Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm, 15th May
Weather: Mainly fine, 10C
Hi everyone, it’s Fiona here.
While on another day of “active rest”, we’ve been looking at the weather and believe that the forecast is good enough for us to head up on Wednesday.
Getting to the Starting Line
After breakfast today, we checked the new weather forecast which had come in late last night. While not greatly changed, the prediction for fairly low winds seems to have been extended, with no real end in sight yet. The Jet-Stream, which seems to determine most of the winds, is still far away to our North – and we don’t want to risk waiting too long as it is bound to come close at some stage. We discussed this at length with one of the coaches here (who has climbed Everest 6 times previously), and weighing it all up, we’ve pretty much decided that the current weather pattern looks at least good enough for us to head up to Camp 2.
From here, if the forecast is still good, we can continue onwards towards the summit, but if there is a change, we can either wait for a few days at C2, or return down to Base Camp. At least we’ll be at the starting blocks so to speak.
In the best case, if all goes perfectly to plan, we’ll move to C2 on the 17th, rest on the 18th, move to C3 on the 19th, move to C4 on the 20th and then start for the summit later that night (around 10pm). This would make our possible summit date as the 21st. Of course, there is a lot that can happen between now and then though!
We’ll delay making a final decision about leaving on Wednesday until we see tomorrow’s forecast, and speaking to our Sherpas – who should be returning from visiting with their families sometime tomorrow.
With our departure for the summit now (possibly) drawing close, we started to get some things organised. I washed a few more clothes (the thermal underwear I was wearing yesterday) and finished drying yesterday’s wash.
We then started gathering up the food we will need for Camps 3 and 4. We’re taking enough food so that we can spend 2 nights at Camp 4 should the need arise to wait out weather. For dinner, we use meal sachets that you heat by simply submerging the packet in boiling water. We then eat straight out of the package – saving the need to wash up any pots.
A lot of the food we’re taking is snacks though – biscuits, muesli bars, cheese slices, jubes, fruit bars and of course, chocolate (although it will probably be too cold to eat it).
Paul has also been testing the Hotronics foot warmers – they seem to be a bit flakey down here. When we climb from Camp 3 to Camp 4, we plan to test these, as well as the combination of clothes we’re planning to wear for the summit.
Mary is having a lesson in how to update this website as when we’re high up, we’ll radio in our position and hopefully she’ll be able to keep you guys informed.
Hi Chris & Bridget – It is a lot quieter at base camp now than when you guys were here and the whole team was around. But we still seem to have enough people to chat with – especially with Mary here now. By the way Chris, we heard from someone today that you either have a “pool shark” or a “card sharp” – so maybe you were right after all! Have a great time in Stockholm and give our love to
Marc & Em when you see them.
Mark R – the Hillary’s Step will certainly be a challenge. We’ve been advised to turn up our oxygen flow for this section! With fixed line and an ascender, I think we’ll be able to get up it somehow though. I only hope there are no queues of people waiting to use the line as has been the case in some years.
Shanda – Sorry we missed you while you were so close. Congratulations on climbing Kala Patar – it’s a lovely climb (and you’re right, not easy)
Donovan – From what we’ve heard, Camp 2 is as high as a dog has been here – the Lhotse face does get quite steep. We’ve seen a dog on the summit of Aconcagua – which is just over 7000m. Not sure if they’ve been seen any higher.
Reynold – as there are lots of people climbing here, it’s always pretty obvious where crevasses cross the track. The small ones can be stepped over, but as the season progresses, these will widen and some of them will need ladders.
Hi John – the “yellow band” is just a strip of yellowish rock that lies not far above Camp 3. It’s supposed to be quite arduous to climb.
Again, that’s all for today.
Hope everyone out there is well, Fiona