Everest Update 7 of 10: False Start, Still Waiting….

In 7. Everest, Asia, Project 7in4by Steve

Everest Day 26, 10-May-2018: Back up to Camp 2, But Still Waiting

Today Jon and I came back up to Camp 2. The weather is forecast to improve in the coming days so we thought we’d come back up where we’re a bit closer to the action, better positioned for a summit push. However with strong winds persisting today the rope fixers weren’t able to make any progress so that summit push will still be a few days off at least. Tomorrow will be another day of waiting, although this time in Camp 2.

Coming up from Basecamp to Camp 2 today took Jon and I just under 4.5hrs. I felt like I was operating at about 70%, just plodding along keeping the heart rate down and breathing under control. It felt quite easy, but I also felt that if I had to pick up the pace at all I’d quickly start to struggle. Last year I did Basecamp to Camp 2 in under 4hrs. I didn’t feel I could do that today, or if I did I’d be working quite hard and compromise my recovery as we head higher. It is frustrating knowing I am weaker and more fatigued now than what I was this time last year when preparing for the Lhotse summit, but I guess that’s the price you pay for 4 months on the road. Anyway, not long now, just need to hang in there.

It was interesting coming up through the Icefall today. It has changed quite a bit in the last week. A number of small slots which we use to walk over without thinking about have opened into reasonable crevasses requiring a large step to get across. It’s ok with my longer than average legs but I’m guessing some others may be starting to struggle. It won’t be long until some more ladders will need to be put in to bridge the gaps.

Bedtime now. Should get a good 12hrs sleep tonight and then a quiet day around Camp 2 tomorrow.

Everest Day 27, 11-May-2018: Camp 2, Another Day of Waiting

Today Jon, Tim, Rupert and I just stayed in Camp 2, again waiting for conditions to improve up high.

The weather in Camp 2 today was a real mixed bag. Sunny, windy, snowy and everything in between. One minute I was lying in my tent sweltering in the sun, next minute it clouded over and I was diving back into my sleeping bag. It is probably the hardest thing about being in the mountains, it’s either too hot or too cold, never any happy middle ground.

Personally I still feel pretty ordinary but have resigned to the fact that I won’t feel 100% again until I am back home in my own bed, back in Perth’s think, clean air, back in my familiar surrounds. It is near impossible to properly recover in the cold, high altitude environment which I am currently in, not to mention the questionable hygiene. But I am confident I still have enough left in the tank to get up and down this last remaining hill.

Rupert and myself are both on tight schedules so the continuing strong winds and continuing delays are starting to cause havoc. Rupert, an impressive young bloke from Britain, is trying to do a double summit of Everest. His objective is to summit once from the South then head back to Kathmandu, race around to Tibet and summit again from the North. An ambitious goal and needs an early summit on the South for it to work out.

For me…. well you all know my time limits. When we first arrived in Basecamp and completed our acclimatisation we had heaps of time up our sleeves. Now it is getting very tight. I only have 4 days left to summit to achieve my own goal of 7in4. Considering it will take us 3 days on a normal itinerary to reach the summit from Camp 2, I really only have spare day left. I can’t believe after 4 months and all we’ve overcome in that time that it is now coming down to this. The next few days will be telling.
“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.