Great Big Walk Audio Update Day #41

Hey this is TA calling in from day 41. At an elevation of 5211 m at a location called Swiss base camp but it is so much more than that. Indeed we are camped across from Makalu and in reading something yesterday, we learned that Makalu means big black stony mountain. Which indeed is one description. The other is just big awesome rocky mountain. We can actually see where the Makalu teams from our new location will be heading around to set up their advanced base camps. We’re actually across the Barun glacier from them, from where they will make the turn. They have to go a little further and then they have to make a big right hook and we’re actually going to make a big hook behind us to go up to Shapani kol.

We spent the day walking on the work of glaciers. Glaciers as I talked about the other day are big rivers of ice that move downhill but they don’t normally move ice downhill, they move rock and when a glacier moves downhill it makes things called moraines and it pushes the rock, it is sort of a big bulldozers and it pushes down and it grinds up the rock and in some cases you can find sand and other cases the boulders it pushes those downhill. Some of the rocks get left off to the side and those are called lateral moraines and that is what we were walking on today and at some point if a glacier begins to stop proceeding and becomes receding ie. less snow is added to it and it starts moving backwards, you may have something called a terminal moraine which is a pile of rock left at the end.

We will head up to a camp when we leave here in two days or a day and a half from now and we will go to a glacial snout and the snout of the glacier, sometimes called snout and sometimes called tongue and it is where the front part of the ice is. So it’s pretty cool to be living amongst the moving peak bits of ice and seeing the amazing work they do. We here rock fall across the way from Makalu quite often. We’re safe from that. No problems with that but it is always amazing to watch gravity at work as well.

It was a great walk for me today. A tough walk for some folks in the acclimatizing and a few little GI things going wrong for some folks but we all got here safely and that is awesome. Marian had 11 322 steps and 104 floors and just about 8 km on fitbit. I had 12 508 steps, 113 floors, a little over 8 km and Cam had 12 845 steps, 8.5 km and when we add those all to our grand amazing total we’re celebrating that we’ve passed the 700,000 step mark so that is pretty fun and we’re 416 km or so. Rock hopping was the name of the game today. So moving and trying to flow from rock to rock. We had, sometimes that kind of rock work is also called talus. When rock are about the size of your fist they are called scree and when they get to be the size of big blocks or boulders they start to become talus or boulder fields and we definitely passed a few km of those. We got into camp and again we could call this the swiss base camp beach resort because we are camped on glacial sand once again. Conditions are cold comfy.

We had a delicious lunch and now we’re relaxing in our tents. It clouded over for a while and got kind of chilly and threatened to snow so we call it shake and bake. Windy and cold and snowy that is the shake part and when the wind slows down and the sun comes out it becomes the bake part. We used to be a joke that when you are moving and climbing and camping on glaciers it is like we’re corningware because depending on what the sun is it is like we’re either in the freezer section or we’re ready to be in the oven being baked and we go back and forth regularly between that. So that is our report from day 41. I hope you snuck it in because this is Thursday of sneak it in week. Everybody if you can go out for five minutes, if you can go out for 10 minutes, you put three 10 minute chunks together you’ve snuck it in and that is a great thing. For more information about sneak it in week, you can visit the participation Canada website or the recreation of of Newfoundland and Labrador website and remember if this is Thursday of sneak it in week then tomorrow is find your fit Friday. And a special hello to Mr. Patterson’s grade 5 class. Please let us know if you have any more questions. We love answering questions and from anybody actually. So that’s it from day 41. Catch you from tomorrow. Bye!

Total Steps for TA: 12 508 steps, 113 floors

Total Steps for Marian: 11 322 steps, 104 floors

Total Distance for TA: 8 km

Total Distance for Marian: 8km

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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