NEWSLETTERS - Everest Expedition 2001

Newsletter 1011 March 2001

It's Snowing, Again

Snow seems to be the theme of the last 24 hours. The Sherpas, climbing from Camp 3 to Camp 4 ploughed, despite the fatigue and lack of Oxygen, through knee deep snow. The two hour climb took over 4 and only 3 of the 7 Sherpas made it all the way.

The delay in climbing up made the descent even worse, as an afternoon storm hit them at high camp. They battled back down, arriving in ABC after 7 pm. For the Sherpas it was a long and tiring day.

Meanwhile, Evelyne and Robert hiked back up to ABC. Keiron, Jamie, Naoki and Marco went to Interim camp. The rest of us delayed our hike, hoping to go in one shot from BC to ABC on the 11th.

The alarm was set for 5:30 a.m., needlessly, as small avalanches slid off the tent roofs, all night, waking us at regular intervals. 6 inches (15cm) fell through the night. Now, at 6:30 a.m. it is still snowing and the view up valley is black clouds.

The folks at Interim will certainly move up, despite the snow. Interim is a bit too spartan a place to pass a leisurely day. Those of us at BC will wait to see if any trains of yaks are headed up. In these conditions, the route, a rock and yak poop strewn mess in the best of times, will be a slippery, wet obstacle course. It certainly wouldn't be worth the added hours and the risk of a sprained ankle to push ourselves up the hill.

Of course, this storm will put a halt to all progress on the hill. I imagine that the folks on the South Side are also holing up. This is mountaineering: hurry up and wait.

Chris Warner