Local time: 3 May, 18:45
Location: Camp 1
Weather: Windy in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. -8C overnight
Hi it’s Paul coming to you from a reasonably warm camp 1. After the snow of yesterday we weren’t sure if we would go up today, but not much fell overnight, so we decided to try. And it was a good decision as we got through safely.
Meagan, Atilla and I got a early start, finishing breakfast at 5am and leaving a little after. The temperature wasn’t too cold when we started out – it was down jacket weather, but not big gloves. However when we got to the crampon point at the base of the icefall, there was a strong breeze coming over the Lho La, a pass to Tibet, near the icefall. Well the breeze picked up and pretty soon I was worried about getting frostbite on my nose. The psolar mask is good for protecting my nose, but it fogs my glasses up when I wear it when I climb, even though I have these anti fog inserts that are meant to prevent this. Anyway, I put up with fogged up glasses and stumbled on, as the wind was really whipping up the snow and driving it into our faces. This continued for about an hour as we climbed higher. When we got halfway up the icefall, the wind died out and we were able to enjoy the climbing a lot more.
The state of the icefall
The icefall is still dangerous, although a large section had collapsed since we were last through. However it didn’t seem that any dangerous parts had disappeared. The tunnel is still there, and it feels a little like when they go through the gates in the movie Never Ending Story. You don’t know if it’s going to strike you down.
Bumped into Pat again
At the top of the icefall I met Pat Hickey again, barely 100m from where I passed him heading up when we were going down. He’s in great shape, and looking the same as when I saw him in Kathmandu over a month ago.
I pulled into base camp at 9:30, with Meagan ahead and Atilla slightly behind. Once the sun hits us we race quickly to the camp to get out of the heat. We were happy with our improvement over last time, although we didn’t push ourselves very hard, took lots of pictures. Our main goal was to get to the top of the icefall before the sun hits at about 8:30.
We are settled into camp, and have had a nice afternoon snack of salami and cheeses – Tim bought me some cheese from Vermont in the US and the salami I bought from Australia. It was Hungarian salami from Australia, and Atilla said it was not too bad. Atilla bought some Camembert which we also enjoyed.
Hi Jennifer, If you go back through my updates you can see that the Sherpa died in a small avalanche coming off the base of the Lhotse face.
Hi Paula, I was pretty amazed when Ptemba assigned me another Sherpa as I don’t need too much help on this trip. He said that we are 3 of us and that we should have 2 Sherpas with us. My concern with Lhakpa is that he won’t stay down long enough to get fully better. I explained that it will be two weeks before we move up again, so take the time. He said that he doesn’t need to go up to C3, so hopefully that’s right.
Hi Mira, I hope that TA doesn’t feel pressured to leave. There is still plenty of time as it’s only the start of May and her expedition should run until the end of May. She could easily do like what Lhakpa is doing.
Hi Ken, I am on the next rotation right now. Conditions are similar, however the icefall route is much more dangerous.