The following day, we cross more of the moonscape and head out to Everest Base Camp, surrounded by looming mountains. Incredibly dwarfed by the landscape, the tents of EBC slowly grow from dots of color in the distance to life-size domes and squares. We are one of the only trek groups to be spending the night at Base Camp. That gives us the chance to relax, look around, and sleep on the glacier.
After a respite of lunch in our dining tent, we walk down to the Icefall, find the Himalayan Rescue Association set up, learn the Icefall doctors have completed setting the route through that most dangerous territory, and find the helipad just completed and ready for rescue.
It’s a cold night in the tents at a mere 3 degrees Farenheit, and everyone is glad for their warm bags and jackets. When I get up for a few minutes near midnight, the snow outside literally sparkles in moonlight, and the mountains are aglow. I am struck by the sheer beauty of this quiet, icy earth.
In the morning, the silent smattering of tents on the edge of the world slowly comes to life.