Everest 2012: Teams at Altitude

ABC - North courtesy of Altitude Junkies
ABC - North courtesy of Altitude Junkies

The teams are in full motion , many are currently at Camps 1 and 2 on the South and Advanced Base Camp on the North. Perhaps it was the prediction of a cyclone off the Indian coast bringing bad weather on Wednesday that pushed everyone up. That threat seems have diminished now.

Asian Trekking reports their north side team is at Base Camp. It is lead by Japanese Tamae Watanabe now 73 years and who is the oldest women Mt. Everest summiteer. She set the record at age 63 in 2002.

Himex is ready to start the standard route after their time on nearby Lobuche. Greg Paul posted some nice pictures of Lobuche. Billie Bierling reports:

In the meantime, most of our Sherpas had been up to Camp 2 (6,400m/21.120ft) a couple of times carrying oxygen bottles, food, sleeping bags and tents up to our camp site there. They made the round trip in an amazing six hours. “Each Sherpa carried a load of about 15kg, which is the equivalent of three oxygen bottles and one sleeping bag each. Getting through the icefall is really quick this year,” said Lhakpa Nuru, one of our Sherpas.

Blog(s) of the Day

Bandar climbing the the IMG Hybrid team, has a Blog of the Day He provides a good first person description of his rotation to Camp 2. It is a good read showing the range of emotions from fear to boredom. A snippet:

… sit in out tents doing nothing. Atte had laughed at how many times he saw me playing with the small fabric pocket in the tent. Boredom and nothing to do left me just listening to music and fidgeting with our tent for 8 hours. The heat in the tent gave me headaches and caused me to drink lots of hot water. Next door to Atte and I were Vanessa and Lisa. We played word games and name that song to try and pass the time but the grains of sand fell very slowly.

The second Blog of the Day comes from Ian Ridley as he does a wonderful job of describing his time climbing back to Camp 1 after their first rotation.

Screaming Winds

It seems the winds have been very strong the past two days with reports from Camp 2 on the south of a few broken tent poles – nothing unusual however. There was some “snow-thunder” reported from base camp, again not unusual but strange experiencing it in person.

Altitude Junkies reports on their ABC setup and has a few very good pictures showing it placed on the rocky environment with Everest looming behind. Phil comments on the high winds and you can see the plume off Everest screaming  as it goes from the usual West to East.

Helicopter Recoveries

Fishtail Air, who runs the high altitude helicopters to Everest, reported they ferried the body of Karsang Namgyal Sherpa from Base Camp back to Kathmandu. Also  Namgyal Tshering Sherpa was transported from Camp 1. Helicopters now remove bodies as high as Camp 2 on the south side. There is no such service on the north where no helicopters are allowed for any reason.

Helicopter flights in and out of EBC are quite common these days. Still, every single person stops what they are doing, or pokes their head out of their tent, to watch the chopper fly quickly in. Hovering just above the rock landing platform built by the Sherpas, it only stays a moment while people or cargo is loaded or offload and then just as quickly scurries back down valley. It all happens in a matter of a couple of minutes. Everyone whispers quietly when the load is a fallen climber and stands silent, deep in thought as the normally quhiet base camp transitions through unfamiliar back to normal sounds.

The action continues on bot sides. Safe climbing to all.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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2 thoughts on “Everest 2012: Teams at Altitude

  1. Another varied account Alan that leads me to read the highlighted pieces in much more detail. It seems that most teams, at both bases are now on the daily routines. Ian Ridley is a star with his blogs that carry the reader right to the heart of the matter and manages to make the most mundane task seem exciting.Thanks again. Kate

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