March 28 am - Base Camp:
It’s 4:15 a.m. here in Nepal and the group is just starting to rise. We’re
going to be leaving this morning for our second major acclimatization run
and our first trip to CIII. It’s a very windy but clear morning here at BC
which makes it extra cold!
Yesterday there was a collapse in the icefall which meant that no one was
able to make it up and which means today will be a busy one.
The team is doing very well and keeping healthy. Everyone is really looking
forward to pushing up higher on this run to see how they do at those
elevations. The plan at this point is to spend one night back at CI then a
couple of nights at CII. After that if weather permits we’ll ascend the
Lhotse face to our CIII at about 24,000’ for one night. It will definitely
be a cold and restless one but in the morning we’ll drop back down to CII
for a night before returning to BC. That will complete our acclimatization.
Next step is to drop WAY down in elevation for some rest and relaxation
among the rhodies, trees and streams of Deboche.
We’ll be in touch soon.
All the best,
Earlier: April 25 - Base Camp:
Another lazy day of sleeping in, eating and indulging in massages with the
certified massage therapist next door… We are eating tons down here and
we’ve discovered the fattening properties of Nutella and are devouring it by
huge jars. After breakfast, 6 members tried ice climbing with me today on
the gigantic ice fins near camp. Everyone showed natural talent with the new
age leashless, wildly bent ice climbing tools and made it look easy but
after two hours we were starving and promised to bring more snacks next
Gopal, our cook is back from Kathmandu where he had to deal with some family
business. We were so happy to see him with his friendly smiling face and
round belly greeting us with lunch today! Deepak, our interim cook will go
to Kathmandu for some needed rest now. He was cooking for Pete Athans in
Mustang on an expedition before this.
Dave went to a meeting with the SPCC (Sagamartha Pollution Control
Committee) this morning to discuss the continued maintenance of the ice fall
and it was demanded by the expedition leaders that they hire two more “Ice
Fall Doctors”. More is better when it comes to those guys. They work hard
maintaining ropes, ladders and anchors and take turns going up every other
Tashi Delek! Amy
Earlier: April 24 - Base Camp:
Dear friends, family and loved ones,
It was a brutal rest day. Our challenges were many and our pleasures were
few. It all started with seeing who could stay in bed the longest however
once the sun hit the tents the heat was unbearable and we were forced out. A
demanding four course breakfast was followed by either yoga or an
acclimatization trek to the base camp bakery. Then there was the quandary of
deciding whether to shower, answer emails or suffer though a session of
massage therapy. Deepak (our cook) insisted that we eat sushi for lunch.
That was almost enough to sustain us through the ordeals of the afternoon
which included cards, walking the slack line, washing clothes and reading.
In the evening had to partake of John’s powerpoint presentation of several
expeditions. All said and done, it was so exhausting, we barely made it back
to our sleeping bags before nine….what a day!
Weather has fallen into a familiar pattern with clear warm mornings and
snowy afternoons. Team members are now sleeping well after the challenges of
camp one and two. Though we have had some sore throats we have missed (so
far) the major cold outbreak that has run though base camp. Stay tuned.
All the best,
Earlier: April 23 - Base camp
Ahh… back in the land of amenities. The whole team is back in BC after a
successful trip up into the Western Cwm. We spent a couple of nights in CI
and a couple of nights in CII with varying degrees of sleep quality and
quantity. Despite some sleeplessness (is that a word?) and a couple of
headaches everyone was excited by the enormity of the environment.
Yesterday we took a walk half way from CII to the base of the Lhotse face.
Everybody’s legs felt like lead as we made our way above 21,000’ for the
first time on the climb… the next time our legs will still feel like lead
but perhaps half the weight. It is a bit sobering.
Our Sherpa staff have been nearly running up and down from BC to CII over
the past couple days and are on their last 2 days of carrying oxygen
bottles. Later they’ll have a few days of moving those bottles from CII to
the South Col. It’s a remarkable feat and as per usual the climbers are
shocked at their strength. The trip down to BC from CII was pleasantly
uneventful as the whole team climbed safely despite being a bit fatigued
from the first acclimatization journey. The shower was quite popular despite
the dusting of snow throughout the afternoon.
The next few days will be spent doing laundry, catching up on reading and
will include plenty of poker games with Firat our Texas hold ‘em ringleader.
If they haven’t already I’m sure the climbers will be sending emails to all
their friends and family.
We’ll be in touch over the next few relaxing days!
All the best, Dave
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