Arrival at base camp North of Mt. Everest
The expedition has settled in the northern base camp in front of the Everest. For Urs Bernhard, Holger Birnbräuer, Richi Bolt, Mark Cadman, Angus Caithness, Markus Fahrni, Paul Fox, Alois Fuchs, Reinhard Grubhofer, Kari Kobler, Verena Rohrer, Silvan Schenk, Gerd Schütz and the reporter himself, the true adventure Everest is about to start. For each in their own way. The passion and enthusiasm, the excitement and the determination are writ large in everyone's face.
The base camp is equipped with such great convenience and love for detail that the clients of competitors and the day visitors indeed visit the mess tent as a tourist attraction. It's clear to see that Kari has his joy in what he puts together here. He deserves it, for there must be considerable logistic efforts standing behind this. The host of Sherpas who take care of everything under Kari's strict watch also cannot be praised and admired enough. The people seem motivated, skilled and kind. You just feel comfortable among them.
Is this an adventure degenerating to luxury travel? Not at all: Kari makes sure that we stay standing up to the challenges and dangers that Everest holds without mercy for each of its visitors. First and foremost, this includes the keeping of both physical well-being and willpower. Whoever dares to claim that nowadays, Everest is a cakewalk is cordially invited to undertaking said cakewalk with us. We would see how long the such claiming would keep up his ignorant claim. No, know this: The ascent of Everest is and will be an adventure and a challenge for body, will, mind and courage, even though the long time of acclimatisation may be done under such conditions as we allow ourselves and which Kobler & Partner provide for us, hence with certain conveniences granted.
The journey here from Kathmandu via Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Chegar took place hassle-free, if you ask me. For perfectionist Kari, there were certain things to find fault with. We, the participants, wouldn't have noticed them if it wasn't for Kari's critique. The accomodation and the food could not have been better on this travel. And I know what I am talking about, after all, I have done the journey in via Tibet with a competitor of Kobler & Partner some years ago.
The health of the group is good, given the circumstances. Holger Birnbräuer, Angus Caithness and Reinhard Grubhofer have caught a cold. But we are confident that their ongoing recovery will lead to a complete convalescence shortly. Some other little aches and pains are being voiced naturally. Nothing that would give occasion for veritable concern.
The altitude we altogether feel all the time. We just ought to be careful not to make the mistake of straining ourselves unnecessarily. Gentle, that is our device. The body has enough to do in coping with the coarse conditions of nature.
With Richi Bold, we have a calm and experienced (and if necessary tough) mountaine guide at our lead.
In any case, I for myself, Clemens Strauss, who likes to let himself be called “Dattinger” in reminescende of a childish quirk, am standing once more before Jomolungma with deep respect and great pleasure. Will I reach the summit? I do not know. What I do know is that, if I succeed, not small amount of the success would be thanks to Kobler & Partner. Because I feel well cared for at any time.
What rave!, may some readers think. And right they would be in assessing my report like that! Yes, I am raving! Because I have reason to do so.
Clemens Strauss aka Kurt Dattinger, Everest base camp North, April 16th, 2015