Dispatch 10: The 2nd Summit Push
Ok, no point beating about the bush there's only one statement you all want to hear first:
Chung summitted @ 4:45am Nepali time (with Pulbar Sherpa our Team's Sirdar)
Tony summitted @ 7:03am Nepali time (with Dorje Sherpa)
Sue summitted @ 7:15am Nepali time (with Dawa Sherpa)
"The one you've all been waiting for..."
Advanced Base Camp
4:00pm May 25th
Well this is the one you've all been waiting for so I won't beat about the bush.
1st - all are safe and well and back in ABC - although various folk sustained superficial frostbite or snow blindness etc.
BC to ABC, Get set, Go!
On the 14th the whole team moved out of BC headed for Interim Camp. We had an improving weather forecast for several days hence and Russell's view of the data interpreted by the Swiss Meteo was that now was the time to move to ABC to be in position as the weather window opens. Everyone is in good shape after our time at BC and the start up the hill produced a definite spring in the step as we all felt this was where the rubber (the vibram soles in our cases) hit the road.
Stir Crazy but Gearing Up
Base Camp - 12th May - 13:08 Nepali Time (reminder: our whole expedition runs on Nepali time because the daylight hours work best for us (this is true of most expeditions).
Pinned down in Base Camp
A couple of weeks ago, with the season running early, we harboured notions of a week's R&R in BC and then back up for an early summit attempt. 100mph winds on the mountain, 70mph winds at ABC and 50mph winds in BC for the last week, have dashed those hopes and worse caused serious damage to our infrastructure on the mountain.
To the North Col
After a couple of days of bad weather the whole team grouped up (minus Sue who was feeling sick) and we made an early start on our first push to 7000m. The first stage is about a kilometre hike up the glacial moraine to a point where crampons and harnesses are donned to deal with stage 2 which is another half "k" or so across the glacier. Its not badly crevassed but there are a couple of slots that would ruin your day if you slipped in and so we all carry the necessary gear for extraction. This year the glacier is blue with little snow cover so all the objective risks are fairly obvious.
BC to ABC - 15th to 20th April
Further apologies to all for delay in getting these dispatches out. Comms. probs. and various issues with gear and folk etc. but now we're fully established at ABC all should be a little smoother. Well, at least as smooth as operating this technology at 20000 feet can be (when I tried to boot up yesterday evening, the hard disk was frozen, literally).
Chung, Matt, Andy, Laura and Herman set off for Interim Base Camp (IBC) around 10:00 am taking it deliberately slowly. After clearing up some comms. issues Tony follows at 1:00pm and all are tucked up in IBC by 5:00pm. IBC is no tourist trap; a large hoop tent to sleep 10, about 11kms up the East Rongbuk glacier.
It is permanently manned by a sherpa with a VHF radio to cope with the constant traffic up and down the 22km hike from BC to ABC.
Lhasa to Base Camp Mount Everest (5200m)
A few hundred metres higher than Lhasa and several hundred kilometres closer to the objective, Xigatse is largely a chinese trading town now, although it has a beautiful old monastry up on the hills above the centre. The hotel's finest quality for us was the last "normal" hot shower for months (watch later dispatches for the outrageous concept of a hot shower at ABC).
Tibet - Lhasa - Hotel Himalaya (3/4/03)
This is our last night in Lhasa and the 1st and last opportunity prior to hitting the road to Xigatse tomorrow for me to get a dispatch off. So here's the news so far.
Arrival in Lhasa is our first step in acclimatisation and immediately brings home the serious impact and requirement to do it slowly. Resting pulse rates have jumped to 95 and breath rates are up by 1.5. Lhasa is at 3600m and given our end objective of 8850m is a significant slice of altitude. In fact recommended rates of height gain would be of the order of 300m a day and so this jump is uncomfortable. Most folk suffer head aches and some will be nauseous. A couple at least require Diamox treatment. But we've got a couple of days here to settle before heading for Xigatse.
This dispatch provides a brief profile of each of the Himex team led by Russell Brice and guided by Hermann Berie.
50yrs, New Zealand, Expedition Leader for this 2003 Himex and CEO of Himalayan Experience
14 Mount Everest Expeditions, Multiple Everest Summits, 1st Ascent Pinnacles Mount Everest, Fastest ever ascents of Cho Oyu and Ama Dablam, countless first ascents worldwide and recognised by the worlds leading expedition leaders as their expedition leader of choice.
Why here: He's the "Big Boss"