Newsletter 618 May 2007
After an excellent 10 day rest at base camp the team got ready to start heading up the mountain for the final push. Health is good and spirits are high accross the board. The weather is being uncharacteristically benevolent and a long period of warm, windless conditions means that the time has come to get some climbing done.
Russ designated the two summit teams and everybody organised their kit in order to make the trek back up to ABC. It's a long way!!! but almost all the team members did well and arrived in good time. After one rest day, the first team left yesterday for camp 1...and again ALMOST all of them made good progress and arrived in good time despite the sun glaring onto the fixed ropes up to the col.
Today, they are all already settled into camp 2 and by all accounts well, if a little damp from the warm snow that has been falling for the past couple of hours. They are set to summit on the morning of the 21st if all goes well and the weather holds. Watch this space...
The second team drifted out of camp this morning on their way to camp 1. Those who left early may have made it before it started snowing but for the most part I think they got a little wet on their way into the col. Shame. I can't think of anything worse than being at north col...and being wet...UGH! The second team has our two members attempting an oxygen-less attempt as well as the Japanese contingent: they are due to summit on the morning of the 22nd if all goes well.
SO....ABC felt a little empty at lunchtime with just a few film crew left, a few of the Sherpa and randoms like myself and Russ.... we'll head up to the col in a couple of days.
The second film crew are drifiting into camp as I write and will start the next stage of their acclimatisation over the next few days.
David and Phurba successfully summited on the morning of the 15th and went down the south side as they had planned. They had an uneventful descent and trip through the ice-fall but have decided that once is enough and are not coming back over...in fact I do believe they are safely back in Kathmandu. Congratulations to them both; we've missed them over here and wish David a safe trip home and Phurba a safe trip back to us!
All this good weather has meant there has been lots of activity high on the mountain over the past few days....lots of it successful and good, sadly some unsuccessful and tragic. I only hope that as teams move up and off the mountain, there is more room for our guys to have safe, successful summit days. We wish them the best of luck...and will be watching their every move (literally!)... next dispatch should have some happy news of successful members (and guides and Sherpas of course) on the top.