We have now returned from camp number one. Having rested and had something to eat I can now tell you how our night was at camp number one. It wasn’t one of the worst nights that I have spent at altitude to be honest. I almost didn’t have any headache to speak of and I slept well. I have been told that it was one of the coldest nights that there has been since we came to Everest, but I didn’t even notice. At base camp the thermometer registered 17 degrees below freezing but I don’t know how cold it was in camp number one – probably colder.

This morning at around five o’clock the hustle and bustle of the sherpas began at camp number one. The sherpas accompanying the commercial expeditions leave base camp very early for camp number one and their arrival woke us up. Watching them arrive is an incredible sight. They carry an incredible amount of gear, some of which I don’t this is entirely necessary up here such as mattresses and heaters … tons of stuff. It is a little surreal to be honest. As soon as we were awake we turned on our little store and started to melt ice so that we could have a quick breakfast before heading back down to base camp. After some milk and biscuits we got dressed and began our descent. It was incredibly cold and as there were a lot of people making their ascent we had to stop on a few occasions to let people pass. At a few of the ladders we had to wait for rather a long time. It was so cold that it was almost unbearable. I then started to wonder what will happen if it is the same on the day that we try to reach the summit. Oh well, for the time being I am not going to worry too much, but today I have suffered with the cold and that sets me off thinking about things.

Asier, Pablo, Jorge, Migueltxo, Itzi and Fernando were waiting for us at base camp with a hearty breakfast. As soon as we arrived we had a couple of eggs and ham. You can’t imagine how much you enjoy this type of meal when you come back down to camp from altitude. When we had finished, Pablo checked us over and we all seem fine. I have pulled a muscle in my neck which is also affecting my back. It hurts a little but I hope that over the next few days whilst we are resting it will get better. The doctor has told me not to move too much today and to keep warm. I don’t quite know how I will do this as it has begun to snow, just as Victor our meteorologist predicted, and I think that it is going to last for a couple of days. Not to worry! I shall spend more time in my sleeping back. I like being in my sleeping bag..

I am now in the kitchen, and am about to go and have dinner. I always come here at nightfall. Nati, our cook, has just made some popcorn and he has offered me some. I refused, as Pablo doesn’t let us eat popcorn. He says that anything with too much salt is not good as it dehydrates us. However, Nati is insisting as he always does (he! he! he!).

Asier is a lot better now. He is almost fully recovered and over the next three days whilst we will be resting here he will be able to complete his recovery. That’s why I am happy. Everything is taking shape and we are now totally immersed in the climbing.

Love