Pawel Michalski tried his best to get up Lhotse, but had to admit defeat when Cyclone Yaas came flying in.
“It wasn’t the end… at least that’s what we thought.
“We had great acclimatisation, deposits in C2 and C3 and determination to stand on top of Lhotse.
“From everywhere we tried to gather information regarding weather forecasts for the next few days. We analyzed data on planned outings of other expeditions from the base. The decision was made, we decided to try to stand on top on 25th May.
“In our part of the world, in Europe, cyclones do not occur. Sometimes the media says that one or another has ravaged Southeast Asia or the Pacific islands.
“Road to C2, ′′ jumping up”, even Icefall, was getting friendly. C2 weather was optimistic. The next day we went up, crashing into the Lhotse wall. The wind was increasing, but it seemed more disturbing that crowds of climbers with oxygen masks were sliding down the handrails, blocking the approach.
“After 7 hours, in the hurricane wind we reached C3. It was no longer a meteorological curiosity. Cyclone from the Bay of Bengal – Yaas got us too. Our little tent pulled on all sides, throughout the night, we survived, but one glance at the sky above Lhotse, was nullifying our further plans.
“Clouds were even ripped apart by the jetstream and then pushed with enormous force between the shredded rocks of the ridge.
“The decision is made. To get down safely. Like rag dolls, we dangled on handrail ropes, trying to stay upright, scratching blue ice with crampons. The fight for every metre drained strength and the wind cooled the body.
“Finally we made it safely to C2. After wrapping up our leftovers, a farewell road through Icefall in heavy snowfall.
“Till we meet again… Lhotse.”