Hi everyone, it’s Fiona here.
We had planned to climb to camp 4 today, but it’s extremely windy here (gusts to 120 km/h). Fortunately we have dug our tent about 2 feet into the snow & built a 1 foot high wall, so the tent is withstanding the winds quite well. We do however look enviously at the American & European tents that are better designed for these sorts of environments. During the morning the winds abated slightly, so we actually packed everything up inside the tent, got dressed into our climbing gear, but when we went outside, getting out of our tent-bunker, the full force of the winds made us beat a hasty retreat! The photo is of Paul back in our tent writing this web site update. No funny comments about the clothes!
We just received an SMS from our travel agent saying that our flight home has been cancelled, so we have asked a good friend to look into this for us – looks like we can get a flight out of Almaty on Aug 17.
We have with us 6 days of food and gas (we can stretch it to 7 days if required). This enables us to carry everything at once, rather than the two trips we had to make for each camp up to & including camp 2. Our plans are to get to camp 4, then we will be 600 vertical metres from the summit. This will take about 10-12 hours return. Assuming we can go to camp 4 tomorrow, that will leave us supplies for about 4-5 days to wait for good weather. Climbing is a lot about tactics & planning; we have just seen 4 strong teams of between 3-17 people have to turn back because of poor planning. Planning won’t cater for all situations, but it certainly puts you in a very strong position.
Paul & Fiona at camp 3 on top of Chapayev.