Practice Run No.3 – Getting Ready for Summit Push

In Practice Run No.3by Steve

Back at Base Camp

After a very ordinary night at C1 on Thursday night, yesterday we dropped back down to BC to complete the acclimatisation rotation. It is wonderful to be back on horizontal ground with the relative luxuries of base camp. For the first time since I’ve been here, slept straight through the night.

Today I am just having a rest day and getting ready to go back up the hill tomorrow. The rest of the group are several days behind with their acclimatisation and are spread out between ABC and C1 at the moment, so I am just having a quiet day at BC be myself, with some of the Sherpa’s.

The original schedule was for 3 acclimatisation rotations progressively getting higher each time, before going for the summit. But that was quite generous. I have completed maybe one and a half rotations having done a day trip to ABC and back, and 4 days / 3 nights getting as high as C2. I feel I’ve been acclimatising well and feeling strong. The next time I go up, I’ll be aiming to go all the way.

The weather looks good for the next few days, but then heavy winds, up to 80km/hr picking up late Tuesday /Wednesday.

The plan from now is:

  • Today – Rest day in BC and packing (although most of my gear is already up at C1 which I left there on my last rotation).
  • Sunday – Climb to ABC and straight on to C1. Sleep at C1.
  • Monday – Climb to C2 and rest there.
  • Tuesday – Early start, head for the top, return to C2.
  • Wednesday – Return to BC.

We’ll monitor the weather. If Tuesday is looking bad, then I’ll have two options:

  1. Climb straight to C2 tomorrow and head for the top on Monday, returning before the weather turns (a couple of very long days), or
  2. Sit it out for a few days and wait for the weather to clear.

I know which one I’d prefer, and it doesn’t involve sitting and waiting, but I’ll just keep monitoring the weather and play it by ear. One thing’s for sure, I don’t want to be up there when its blowing.

“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.