The Team – Sean, myself, Nico, Marlette and Wilmien
Pre departure packing
Before heading up to Jhb for the final packing, I went out and did a bit of shopping! This was for all my “comfort food”, the essential food groups that keeps one morale up whilst at BC! All the good old South African essentials such as Biltong, droe wors, Ouma Rusks, and plenty of chocolate! Everything was taken out of its outer packaging and put in to zip lock bags.
This is going to keep me going for 6 weeks?? My trusty Wonderbags!
On the 12th March, the team gathered again in Jhb, this time to pack everything required for the trip. The kitting goes something like this. We needed to pack 3 “batches” of personal requirements :
– The first lot of kitting went into barrels. This included personal requirements like comfort food and other personal likes when on the mountain. (Chocolates, biltong, energy drinks, supplements for those climbers on the mountain, and other personal requirements for base camp) It also included a music system, screen for watching DVD’s, blow up bean bags, tents and a little climbing equipment. All this equipment was packed in to the barrels and shipped off to Katmandu. From here it would be trucked in to the mountain and then loaded on to yaks for the final trek to BC.
– The second lot was the climbers actual climbing equipment for on the mountain. This was the important stuff. Crampons, boots, thermals, down suits, etc) This equipment would be carried in to base camp by the porters.
– Thirdly, we had our day packs, the stuff required on the walk in to BC. This included water bottles, snacks, energy bars, warm clothing, camera and film equipment, etc. Light enough to make the walk in comfortable as possible.
Pierre Jonker arrived, but the news was not good…! Pierre was involved in a motor bike accident and was not in good shape. He had pulled all the ligaments off the bone on his shoulder, and his Everest trip was no longer. We all felt very sorry for him as he is an Everest fanatic and crazy about the planned trip. Unfortunately, this years expedition was over for him.
Molly and Sean deciding what stays and what goes! Sean confused as to what Wilmien is taking along!
Once we had the barrels all packed up, it was off to the freight and forwarding company where the barrels were offloaded and “Mr Bean,” the controller, took control. Marlette and I had a good chuckle when, on hearing that the expedition was climbing Mt Everest, referred to Sean as “Madala!” (Old Man!!)
Kathy on admin, making up inventory lists of all goods
Next day, Sean, Kathy and I headed off to the Kenwood offices in Midrand. Kenwood had kindly sponsored us all the communication equipment required on the hill. Within a few hours, we were now boffins on the use of all 2 way communication. It was great equipment and all thanks to Kenwood and Leon for setting up the equipment and teaching us the ins and outs of its features.
All packing was now done! With just over a week to go before Sean and I depart, it was back to Durban for some final arrangements and last minute packing.