Everest Update 8 of 10: Weather Window Opening Up

In 7. Everest, Asia, Project 7in4by Steve

Everest Day 28, 12-May-2018: Camp 2 to Camp 3

This morning we had a leisurely start at Camp 2. Had breakfast and hung around waiting for the latest weather forecast and latest news on rope fixing. There’s still nothing definitive but weather is looking better and there may be a chance of something happening in the coming days. So with that Jon and I decided to head up to Camp 3.

We packed up and left Camp 2 shortly after 10:00. Again the weather was a real mixed bag. Overcast with sunny patches, but very gusty. When the wind died down it was actually quite pleasant, but never lasted long until the next gust.

Coming up today Jon and I both had reasonably heavy packs which made for tough going. Not knowing quite what the coming days will hold, we brought up all our personal kit plus enough food for about five days each. We desperately hope we won’t be up here that long, but want to be prepared in case we do need to sit and wait for a day or two. Despite the heavy bags, we made pretty good time and reached Camp 3 just after 14:00, about 4hrs from Camp 2. We are now comfortable in our tent, melting snow for water and about to start on dinner.

In the tent there were quite a few feathers floating around. You always get a few stray feathers from all the articles of down clothing but this was more than normal. I eventually tracked down the culprit. A large tear in the back of my down suit. I have no idea how it got there. Thankfully I had a few repair patches for my air mattress so was able to apply one of those to plug it up. Not ideal but at least it is no longer leaking features.

Lying in the tent you can hear the sounds from the surrounding tents. Amongst the voices there is a chorus of coughing. I guess the cold, dry air is effecting most people.

Jon and I both feel reasonably good, all things considered. Tomorrow we’ll continue up to Camp 4 and then reassess from there.

Everest Day 29, 13-May-2018: Camp 3 to Camp 4

Today Jon, Pemba and I made our way from Camp 3 up to Camp 4 at the South Col. An interesting climb over several famous landmarks including the upper section of the Lhotse Face, the Yellow Band, the Geneva Spur and into the South Col. Upon arriving at the South Col, we pitched our tent then first priority was melting snow to rehydrate. Climbing up today it was incredibly hot. There was barely a breath of wind and with full sun reflecting off all the snow around us it was like an oven. And to make it worse we were in full down suits hence the importance of rehydrating when we got into camp.

We did ok today but were slowed by a few numpties on the trail. When these people realise they are causing a traffic jam, you’d think they’d have the common courtesy to find a safe spot to step aside and let others pass. But no…. (I’m looking at you Mr Blue Helmet). Now I don’t mind waiting when I have to, but what I find particularly disrespectful is that these people are holding up the climbing Sherpas and high altitude porters who are ferrying massive loads between camps. With the work load they are already doing, they shouldn’t have to stand in queues as well.

On a positive note, with near perfect weather today the rope fixing team made it to the summit this afternoon. So the route to the top is now open.

We are now resting at Camp 4, rehydrating and eating. Our plan is to set off this evening aiming to reach the top early tomorrow morning. Time to get this finished off!
“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.