We are enjoying a prefect Himalayan morning camped at Dhaulagiri Base Camp at 4,700metres. The sun has just crested the ridge and is now bathing our campsite in warm sunshine. A welcome relief from the pre-dawn chill.
Group 1 set off today to cross the French Pass and enter the Hidden Valley where we will establish our scientific Base Camp. Groups 2 and 3 will follow tomorrow as all are in good health.
We managed to communicate with Dawa, our BC sirdar yesterday and we understand that not all of the research equipment has yet arrived. It was to be carried up the very steep ascent from Marpha but some of the porters were not adequately acclimatised and left their loads short of the Damphus Pass. We are, therefore, sending some of our porters ahead to retrieve these loads so that BC can be up and running later today.
We are expecting group 4 to join us at Dhualigiri BC later today but we have only had limited radio communications from them. The Sherpa gossip is that all is well in their group.
There has been some illness amongst our staff but fortunately this is all now resolved. Rinje, one of our Sherpa Guides, became very severely unwell at 3,000 metres with circulatory collapse complicating severe gastroenteritis. Fortunately he responded to intensive intravenous antibiotics and fluids and was able to descend. We hope to meet up with him in Kathmandu on our return.