NEWSLETTERS - Makalu 2014

The Daily Moraine - Makalu #44 May 2014

'Hurry up and wait'

Dr Joe catching up on hospital news
Dr Joe catching up on hospital news

After having finished our second and final acclimatisation rotation, we have been at Makalu ABC for the past three days recovering from the strenuous three days up on the mountain. Even though this Advanced Base Camp, which is widely used as the actual base camp for Makalu, is at the high elevation of 5,700 metres, our bodies are obviously recovering. "I think I am slowly putting some of the weight back on that I lost up at Camp 3," said Rene while he was scraping off the thick ice of our shower tent to prepare everything for his ablution session once the sun has warmed up the camp. The last couple of days were spent washing, doing laundry or just chatting to the other teams, who are also down waiting for the next good weather window to maybe attempt for the summit. "Over the next few days, the weather remains unstable and we will have to wait for the next weather forecast from Meteotest in Bern," Suzanne said.

Hair washing on rest day
Hair washing on rest day

So, for the time being we are following Russell's motto of 'hurry up and wait' and use the time to recover, gain strength, read and catch up with the other teams around us. Our Sherpas are currently doing the same and are getting ready for their next rotation on the mountain during which they will spend three days high up. "The Sherpa team will leave on Tuesday morning to go to Camp 2, sleep there and take tents, sleeping bags, cooking sets and oxygen bottles up to Camp 4," Loppsang, our sirdar explained. "They will then go back to Camp 3, collect some more stuff and make another deposit at the high camp - after that everything is ready for the summit attempt."

Jacob in our internet cafe
Jacob in our internet cafe

"We are ready to roll and once the ropes are fixed all the way to the summit and our camps are established, which should be in the next few days, we just need the right weather to go up," Suzanne said. However, in the meantime we have to be patient and wait for the weather gods to give us the green light to make our way to the top of this beautiful mountain.

Billi Bierling, Advanced Base Camp, Makalu