The jet stream is back on top of Everest and creating cold harsh conditions for anyone at the upper camps. Teams on the North have chosen to stay at Chinese Base Camp for a few more days until the winds relent.
On the South, several climbers and teams did push through to Camp 2. David Tait, Himex, is one of them declaring his desire to stay there and perhaps go with the Sherpas while the line is being fixed to the summit, similar to what he did in 2009.
My plan is to a summit as soon as reasonably possible after this is completed, so its entirely possible I will not be returning to BC with the rest of the team – rather shooting for the prize asap – it will be hard as i will be probably under acclimatised – but I will be climbing with Phurba Tashi once again. The weather needs to play ball etc.
We began our day at 8am; we started marching up 8,000ft from Camp II to Camp III. It is April 30th. Our goal is to stay up here a night without oxygen. As Wally admitted, it is probably going to be the worst night of our life! Thank you for that, Wally.
We found the Lhotse face was a little more difficult than we had hoped. It was pretty busy, it was challenging as a lot of people were coming down as we were going up. The weather deteriorated as we went up to higher winds, it got colder. We were happy to arrive at Camp III.
We are not at the lower camp, we’re kind of the middle camp, we’re really, I guess, isolated. There’s only one other tent where we are, (incomprehensible) but it’s been chopped into a ledge, but a remote spot and we’re looking forward to staying warm and going back down to Camp II tomorrow.
UPDATE: Eric Simonson, IMG, noted that the line is now set to the South Col:
BIG day today. Sherpas put in 17.5 hour day today (Camp 2 to Camp 2) and fixed to the South Col as well as Lhotse Camp 4. Great job by the fixing team (2 from IMG; 3 From Himex; 4 from Seven Summit). The fixing team left Camp 2 at 3:30AM and reached the Col at 3:30PM.
Scott Woolums, Mountain Trip comments on the summit schedule:
It’s amazing how many groups are planning to try to summit far earlier. Especially when there are no fixed lines into even C4 yet… These early windows tend to be shorter, colder, arguably more dangerous, and potentially more volatile than you typically see after the third week of May. An Everest climb is a big trip, and it seems strange to me to see climbers not being a little and waiting for some good, solid, warmer and more consistent weather.
We are hoping many groups summit early as that could help us by having fewer people on our summit day. Our forecasts are looking like higher winds are coming back to the mountain, with the jet stream close to Everest for awhile now. This effectively shuts down any early May summit windows.
On the North, Asian Trekking reports good progress yesterday:
Eddy Dawes ,Yoshiharu Nakamura and Chi Sing John have successfully completed their first rotation trip to North col (7200m) today. They are coming back to advance base camp.
Phil Crampton, Altitude Junkies, put his team to the real test by asking them not to blog while on their first rotation! This was voluntary and probably more fun but also makes a nice point on focusing on the climb. They are back at CBC waiting out the winds nbefore going back up.
The team are now catching up with emails and blogging as they were off the grid for a week at advanced base camp. We decided to use the BGAN’s at ABC for weather forecasts only and not for blogs so they could focus on the objective in front of them. I’m not sure on how happy they were about this but it doesn’t seemed to harmed them too much not having all their gadgets with them for the past week.
The Russian team of Denis Urubko and Alexey Bolotov are back at EBC preparing to return to 7000m for more acclimatization before they attempt a new route in mid May. They are climbing without oxygen or Sherpa support.
Dave Mauro with IMG, has a nice post about his personal Sherpa, Mingma Chhring. Bonding with the Sherpas is a critical part of climbing Everest. I know I still keep in touch with Kami Sherpa, whom I summited with in 2011.
Memories are Everything