So … Giles was at C2 and the rest of us holed up at The South Col. We could have perhaps made it down further but we were very tentative about the fact that we would have then been on The Lhotse Face in the heat of the afternoon having probably not really had enough to drink through the previous 4 or 5 days. Not a great combination. So we dived (crawled) back in to the tent and brewed up and rested. Effectively this made it our 3rd night at, or above, the South Col. Quite a long time to be loitering at around 8,000m but with a little bit of oxygen every so often and with pretty much constant brewing up we maintained and looked after ourselves and kept in good order. Well worth the investment in time and effort.
May 21st – up and away and down the ropes towards C2 (and Giles was off down to Base Camp). A longish day but reasonably straight forward given that it was pretty much downhill all the way. Nice to be back down to a more oxygen rich environment compared to the altitudes we’d just been subjected to for the last week or so.
It was a great shame to find ourselves sliding down the ropes past a dead Japanese climber. We’d seen him on the summit push – just sitting in the snow with his hand held out – but he’d already died on the 12th and the weather had been such that recovery of the body had been impossible until the 20th. The long and short of it is that we’d heard it was his 3rd attempt on Everest and, for whatever reason, he’d had an argument with his Climbing Sherpa. He’d told his Climbing Sherpa to piss off, which he duly did, leaving the Japanese chap to his fate. Anyway it was a poignant reminder about the environment we were in and a suitable focus to make sure that we were going to make it down to C2 safely.
May 22nd – Spent the night at C2 and then up (at 5) and away early (6) to make sure we were down through the Khumbu Icefall before it started hotting up too much. It was amazing to see the differnce between how it had been a fortnight ago and what it was now like. There had been many subtle (and some not so subtle) changes and movements and it was definitely better to be there early morning whilst everything was still cold and frozen.
Talking of cold … when we got to Base Camp we were given the BEST bottle of coke EVER.
So … where to start? It’s been a while since we managed to give a proper update and so much has happened that it is difficult to remember exactly the order of events.
It was a bit breezey and quite cold but I busied myself with doing some video footage and enjoying the environment.
Just a quick update as we have been away for nigh on 10 days or so (I’ve lost count). Basically we went up for a weather window which closed so we dropped back down to C2 but then another window opened so we didn’t have time to drop down to BC so we sayed at 2 to then go to 3 and on to the South Col. That window promptly closed so we spent a night and a day at the South Col waiting (and hoping) and then set off in to the night.
It was a desperately cold night and, because of the foul weather the night before, there were a lot of people setting off for the summit. Even though we set off at 8.30p.m. we were still in a big long queue of very slow climbers. Anyway we trudged and waited and climbed and eventually, after an inordinate amount of time, we reached the top of the world. Giles arrived first, then Partha, then myself followed by Jen and Susan.
All now at Everest Base Camp and chilling. Trerkking out tomorrow and hope to be in KTM Weds morning.
I’ll expand on the story another day. In the meantime … some photos (which are sort of out of order I’m afraid and the connection is too slow for me to move them around).
Full moon over Lhotse from C2
All now safe back at BC having summited on the 20th. Hurrah! Well done us! We’re on 00977 98131 65232 if you want to txt. KTM here we come!
[not in tweet but helpful advice] Please remember to start your txt with the name of the person(s) you are sending it to (where appropriate)
The world’s highest update from the summit of Everest! An amazing view. Off down to C2 soon once we’ve taken the obligatory photos. Tim
By Abi at Base Camp
Well, a few days later at Camp 2 and the waiting game is ongoing. The weather is being rather fickle at the moment and this is making robust forecasting for summit windows rather difficult. Its not that the weather is dreadful, but at this altitude, you only get one chance at summiting mainly because ascending from the South Col to summit is so demanding. So, climbers do not want to waste their reserves on a summit window that is not a definite bet, so to speak. There is a lot at stake……so its important to save physical and emotional reserves for a clear window that provides enough time to allow for a serious summit bid.
Everyone in the team is raring to go and awaiting starters orders eagerly………..
Unfortunately I am having to depart before the team has had a chance to summit. It has been a privilege to be able to help contribute to the team’s progress over the weeks of acclimatization and initial ascents up to Camp 3 on Everest. The team have been wonderful to travel with and get to know over our time here in Nepal. Tim, as ever, has been a superb leader of the highest caliber, and great friend to all team members. He has approached this expedition with the utmost professionalism, providing everyone with the tailored support they have required as the expedition has evolved.
So, my part in the story ends here, but the adventure is not yet over……….
(By Abi at base camp)
Well, there have been ups and downs (quite literally) over the last few days with Tim’s team on the mountain. The team ascended to camp 2 in excellent time and then rested for the following day…..building up the strength for the Lhotste Face and ascent to camp 3 the next day. So, next day was a pre-dawn Alpine start from camp 2 to avoid the searing midday heat and energy sapping effect of the sun while exposed on the Lhotse Face ascending to camp 3. The whole team reached the camp in good order, but understandably exhausted from the effort involved. Rest and rehydration was the order of the day, while weather forecasting information reaching base camp was indicating that wind speeds higher up the mountain appeared to be looking unfavorable for the following few days. Stay put or descend? That was the question……..
After much deliberation, the decision to descend to camp 2 next morning was taken. To stay poised on the mountain, but rest at a more tolerable altitude until a window of opportunity arises. The team have had an excellent night sleep and awake with the hope that today’s forecasting might indicate an easing of conditions sometime soon. Apart from some minor aches and pains from the efforts of ascending/descending Lhotse Face, everyone is in good health and clearly in the mood for a serious summit bid. We’re all watching and waiting………