As always, a beautiful and detailed update from Andrew Hughes – 11th May.
“When risk surrounds, find the focus that grounds you in the next step and present moment. Trying to take in all the dangers undoes the necessary navigation along a given perilous path.
“Our second rotation was but a few nights – yet its demands far eclipsed that of our first. Part of our team chose to break apart the initial push with an additional stay at Camp 1, while the remainder of us elected for one more rest day at base camp before beginning.
“Once again at 2 a.m. we loaded packs on and pushed into the Khumbu Icefalls. The routes initial portions had moved further left, nestling closer to the wing of the icefalls and allowing a seemingly safer passage until the final leg where again the same challenges awaited us with more ladders and crevasses to cross.
“We met the rest of the team at Camp 1 and together continued the long push to Camp 2. Throughout my Khumbu cough plagued me causing my lungs to burn and my muscles in my chest to strain. Arriving in Camp 2 many of us who made the singular push were wrecked. Tears of fatigue and relief uncontrollably filled my eyes.
“A rest day the following day was a gift welcomed and held gratefully. The next day though as we pushed towards the Lhotse Face the remnants of the day up flared up like fire in my lungs. My ego eked me onwards, but my previous experience and knowing that today would not define my overall realization of my dream led me to embrace humility and return to recover further.
“The choice was correct. As the descent the next day started my body was ready for it, my lungs still not healed were happier. This gave me focus for what we once again were forced to find our way through – the challenging maze and moments of the Khumbu Icefalls where exposure was ever present in parts and speed throughout remained our savior until we were back safely at Everest Base Camp.”
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