Tomorrow we plan to finalize
the route to camp 2 and get the tents set up. We are fixing 8 millimetre rope
as we go, having now strung more than 1500 metres, 37 pickets and 24 ice
screws. The weather continues to be what one might describe as perfect. It has
not snowed appreciably since our arrival, winds have been light from 0 to 10
kilometres per hour. Mornings have been sunny and warm generally ranging from
-7c to +25c. Each afternoon, clouds roll in, then dissipate by morning, with a
few mists and flakes blowing about, but never really snowing. It seems one
could only describe this as a drought, and we are watching the snowpack on the
mountainsides steadily disappear. There never was any snow around basecamp.
Most of our ropes from previous year's expeditions are exposed (we have been
diligently cutting them away and removing them as we go), and we now find
ourselves climbing on rubble and rocks up to 5940 metres, when we finally step
onto old snow, and make the final ridge climb and traverse into a gorgeous
camp 1, located in a beautiful snowy and protected bowl, sheltered at 6150
metres. Just above camp 1, we found a 4.5 metre wide crevasse/unconsolidated
area, so we walked down to Gorak Shep and rented 4 ladders to bridge the zone,
and these have now been carried up, rigged, and safely established. The
following Sherpas have made fantastic progress for our team, and we are deeply
indebted to them:
Lakpa Kongle Sherpa,
Maya Sherpa, (attempting to
become the first Nepalese woman to reach the summit), Pemba Sherpa, Tsapte
Sherpa, Temba Sherpa, Nanda Kumar Lama (Krishna).
The following foreign members
have slept in camp 1, and are planning to try for the summit in the next few
Phil Aikman, Marion Joncheres
(attempting to become the second French woman to reach the summit), Michael
Long (attempting to be the first Irish person to reach the summit), Daniel
Marino, Daniel Mazur (summited twice before), Jay Reilly (was he the first
Australian to summit the peak in 2003?), Kirsti Sampson.
We are very sad to have to
say goodbye to Rex Dougherty, a dear friend who left basecamp to trek down the
other day, having decided his lungs were not coping well with the altitude. He
was accompanied by Laxmi Rai, a member of our kitchen staff. We imagine he
will fly back to Kathamandu today.
Only today, Bridget Rossiter
has chosen to head down valley for some rest, together with Bahadur, one of
our kitchen staff, who is carrying her kit bag. We wish her good recovery.
Ray Dolamore is keeping track
of basecamp, as well as the lower reaches of the mountain, and Aidan Forde and
Steve Hysko are convalescing in basecamp.
We received an email from
Richard Lees, who has been gone a week or so now, and he said he was on his
way to some beach-y destination, away from Nepal.
Thanks again for your
attention and support to climbing the high Himalaya! Yours Sincerely, from
Daniel Mazur and all of us at SummitClimb.com