Monday, September 22nd, 1997
Base Camp Tengma, 15.250ft. (Michael K. Jørgensen).
We have just had breakfast as a well-known clatter is heard from far, and
soon a helicopter comes sweeping over the mountains from the east. In a
considerable altitude it flies over the campsite and continues across the Barun
Glacier. Immense hilarity!!! All the same our agent in Kathmandu succeded in
inducing the pilot to fly our gear up to the advanced base camp (ABC) at 17.000
ft. But the pleasure only lasted a short while. At first we think it's the
resonance from the steep rock cliffs, but it ain't. The helicopter is on the way
back and aims for the helipad in the sand next to the campsite, no persuasion
possible, and soon our 30 barrels, boxes and packsacks are unloaded. Ten minutes
later the helicopter takes off again and is heading for Kathmandu. So we didn't
succeed in getting our gear to ABC, but at least the chopper came on time.
Unlike the American expedition, which had to wait for more than a week for flying weather, and when at last the helicopter came, it landed at Yangle Kharka, two stages down the valley. We only have one long day from here to ABC, and Sonam (our sirdar) immediately started organizing the porters. The sweet life was over now, no more life in luxury, now it was time for us to carry the loads as well, and loaded with rucksacks of 50-60 lbs we commenced this last stage, following the porters. The lower Base Camp is broken and everything is carried up to ABC, except for one tent with the remaining gear, which is guarded by Sonam and Erik. Erik has had a little trouble with the altitude after yesterday's climb to Tengma and is lying over a day in Base Camp before ascending to ABC.