Everest 2019: On the move to ABC

Expedition: Everest via the North Col

Rolfe Oostra

100 years ago, when Mallory and his team approached the mountain from the North they were confronted by the massive broken up glacier called the Rongbuk (named after the monastery) and the enormous north face. An intimidating and a formidable obstacle to the top of Everest. Luckily, they discovered a side valley coming in from the East, which they named the East Rongbuk which proved to be the way to the summit.

We will be following this valley and spectacular glacier for 2 days to get to ABC. This will be our home for 5 days and from here we will climb to the north col 7,100 meters from which the route to the summit, still a long way above us, can easily be seen.

Leaving BC this morning our route takes us up a barren rocky valley with some of the most spectacular sights ever! Huge and strange ice sculptures shooting up from the ground and lakes of turquoise ice sprinkled with pure white snow. There are towering rock features and boulder fields with giant cracks in the ground which exposes deep blue ice below. A captivating all-encompassing trek that’s for sure. This trek will bring us to mid-camp at 5,800 meters.

Following this day another truly spectacular day awaits. We will climb higher and step onto the ice and will be zig-zagging through dozens of 50 – 70 meter-high ice towers called penitentis or shark fins. As we reach ABC the overwhelming bulk of Everest North will be continuously present soaring above us. Spectacular days ahead and I am as excited as a kid in a sweet shop! The vista is just incredible.

Attached are some final base camp images – until we can share more pics when we’re back at Base Camp!

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