Newsletter #1721 May 2013
Everyone Safe at Camp 3
After a well-deserved rest day at 6,400m, our Everest team left Camp 2 at 6am on Tuesday morning to move up to Camp 3, edging their way towards the summit of Mount Everest, where they are due to arrive on 23rd May.
“Everyone sounded really good this morning and was climbing up the Lhotse Face really well,” said Dr Jen, who always follows the team closely on the radio in case any problems occur. Many teams have summited over the last two days and are coming down, however, the fact that the Lhotse Face is now equipped with an ‘up’ and a ‘down’ rope prevents major traffic jams. “Since I have been coming here, the rope fixing has improved significantly and I hope that it will continue to do so,” said Russell, who is hoping that the Korean rope, which is currently used in the icefall, will be replaced with a better rope next year.
Our team had a good trip up and most of them arrived at Camp 3 at around lunchtime. “We are pretty much settled in our tents, but it is very hot on the face and we are lying on top of our sleeping bags scantily clad,” Woody, who has reached the summit of Everest eight times so far, said on the radio. While our members are sweltering in the heat at Camp 3, our Sherpa team is staying at Camp 2 from where they will move to the South Col on Wednesday morning. If all goes well, our Sirdar Phurba Tashi will break even with the current record holder Apa Sherpa and will have stood on the summit for the 21st time.
As most teams are either up on the mountain getting ready for the summit or coming back from it, or have already left for Kathmandu, base camp seems like a bit of a ghost town at the moment. “In a week or so, this place will be completely deserted until the next spring season begins in March 2014,” said Russell, pointing out that his Sherpas will probably take another 10 days or so to dismantle our camp. However, before the Himex camp disappears it was brought back to life on Tuesday afternoon when our last trekking group arrived.
Relaxing in the white pod.
After a hearty lunch, Russell took the group of ten from China, Sweden and Finland on a tour through base camp familiarising them with our routine and reprimanding them not to do anything too quickly and relax for the rest of the day. Mr Wang, the owner of our outfitter Toread and husband of Jing, who has just summitted Nuptse and is on her way to the top of Everest, is also part of the trekking team. “I am very excited to be here as this is the first time that I am getting the chance to visit my wife at base camp,” he said.
If all goes to plan, Jing and the rest of the Everest team should be back at base camp on 25th or 26th May, however, you will hear from us beforehand about their progress on the hill.
Billi Bierling at Everest Base Camp