Great Big Walk Audio Update Day #39

Hey this is TA calling in from day 39 from Makalu base camp at an elevation of 4800m above sea level and it is awesome being here and I thought we should rename Makalu base camp to the Makalu beach resort. We had sun, we had sand and we had the world’s fifth highest peak. Makalu is 8468 m above sea level and the weather was kind enough to give us expansive views of the entire mountain from base camp to the summit today. To looking 4km up at this amazing wall of rock and ice. So we’re feeling pretty lucky that there was lots of, we actually had the sun till about half an hour ago so its great to come into camp with tents, dry feet and it took us about 4 hours to get here so a half day’s walk it was actually instead of Nepali up up up it’s really actually Nepali gradually flat. So a lovely walk today. About 12 km. Marian had 16 067 steps, 146 floors. I had 16 623 steps, 154 floors. Again around 11 km for both of us. Cam was the big winner again today with 19 988. I wish she’d gone for 12 more steps so it would be a nice even number. She’s a little higher because she went over to visit one of the glacial lakes that’s very close the base camp here so she put in 13 km today.

Some exciting things to celebrate today here on the great big walk. We passed the 400 km mark and we also passed on to the 3rd map. So that’s a big day for us to celebrate. We also began to see glaciers. We saw glaciers today on the slopes of Makalu. Some of those we saw are dry glaciers ie. there is no snow cover on them at this point. So the (inaudible) are very easy to see and then some of them are snow covered. In a few days we will be crossing some snow covered glaciers and one of the hazards there are the kavakas that are covered by snow so we can’t see them and that is why we will rope up together. And a glacier is a river of ice. Basically high up on the mountain. The snow gets deposited during the winter. It compresses and eventually turns into a hard blue ice. That ice is acted on by gravity and pulls that ice downhill and it becomes a glacier and in Newfoundland and Labrador we look forward to iceberg season each year and those icebergs are actually calved off the glaciers of Greenland. Here when the glaciers calve off it is actually often called a sorack instead of an iceberg and those can present some pretty big hazards to mountaineers so they choose to try not to go under sorack balls or to go under them in the middle of the night when it is less likely that they will fall. Glaciers move a little bit faster during the day because of heat of the sun.

So it is pretty amazing scenery here today and I already said that. I am now thinking, I had some other wonderful thoughts. Happy belated physical activities day. We are actually quite proud of our totals today and after our rest day yesterday, I think those of us on the longer team ie. those of us that have been out almost 40 days were feeling much stronger today after the rest and everyone is doing well, acclimatizing, we’re drinking lots again because we have to jump up here to 4800 m. At 5000m it is considered to be about half the oxygen available to our body as at sea level. So we need to assist our bodies in making the changes and the best thing that we can do is breathe a lot and breathe deeply and also we can be staying well hydrated because as our body makes more red blood cells, the blood gets a little thicker so it is important to stay well hydrated. And as you can hear from my voice probably from the last time we were close to 5000 m I can actually a whole sentence without taking a breath. So that is showing that indeed I have been acclimatizing.

So hello, hello, hello from Makalu base camp. It’s actually the 4th 8000 m peak base camp I have visited and at the moment, at least this afternoon it was seriously gorgeous with sun and sand. All we needed was an ocean but instead we had a very glacially fed lake which was pretty darn chilly is you wanted to go for a swim.

A reminder that there are text updates and pictures on the world expedition blog and by all means please send in your questions and comments. You can put your questions and comments on this post and they will be sent in to us and or if you have text instructions, go ahead and text the phone directly. So happy day 39 from the great big walk. As you can see we are pretty excited to be here at Makalu base camp and we will talk to you from tomorrow. Thanks. Take care. Bye!

Total Steps for TA: 16 623 steps, 154 floors

Total Steps for Marian: 16 067 steps, 146 floors

Total Distance for TA: 11 km

Total Distance for Marian: 11 km

Great Big Walk acknowledges the support of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Quick Start Fund for Public Engagement in making these updates from the field possible.

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