Everest 2021 Update – Jon Kedrowski – 6th May

A look back at the past few days on the slopes of Everest – Dr Jon Kedrowski, climbing with Mike Posner.

“6th May – Mike and I completed a 5 day rotation up to higher Everest camps.”

“On May 2 Mike and I left Everest Base Camp at 2:15 a.m. Winds were calm and the moon was shining down through the valley in the direction of the Khumbu Icefall. Up ahead of us there was already a line of Sherpa headlamps shining in the darkness. Mike and I had a fun and peaceful journey through the icefall labyrinth that night and early morning.

“By 4:30 a.m. it was light enough to see without our headlamps. There weren’t too many ladders over crevasses to contend with so we made good time. Even with a few crevasses we never felt like we were in danger. We trek through the icefall at night with everything frozen solid to minimize the risk of ice blocks falling down from above us. At 5:15 a.m. we took a break near the top of the icefall at 19,500 feet. The sky over Pumori lit up in many colors, creating an amazing scene.

“We realized there was still some end-running of crevasses as well as a couple more up/down portions we had to go through to make it to Camp 1. Mike is super strong and fit and we pulled into Camp 1 by 6:30 a.m. There, we were greeted by Nims and his team who had spent the night in Camp 1. They were getting ready to go up to Camp 2.

“We exchanged high fives with a few of their members and took a break to get some tea and a snack from the cook tent. Our goal on this day was to get to Camp 2. Since we already slept at Pumori ABC last week for acclimatization, Mike and I were ready to move on up for the 3 km (1.6mi) walk to Camp 2. We wanted to get there before the sun hit us too much in the Western Cwm.

“At about 7:30 a.m. we began walking across the glacier above Camp 1. It’s a series of ups and downs and a few crevasses but not too difficult. Mike soon realized we were above 20,000 feet and the wise strategy was to slow down our cadence as we walked.

“As we are got closer to Camp 2 the sun hit us and the Western Cwm warmed up considerably. Fortunately there were some higher clouds, a halo around the sun, and a slight breeze so we didn’t overheat.

“We slowed down to a snails pace as Mike commented about how there was no air and his heart rate was getting rather high. The key to walking for the first time at this altitude is to relax the whole body and breathe slowly. Over the years I’ve been above 20,000 feet over a hundred times and so now my body recognizes it and responds quickly.

“The tents of Camp 2 slowly appeared closer and closer, and we arrived in camp before lunch, less than 10 hours after we started. I was proud of Mike; beside a small headache, he was doing awesome. We rested for the remainder of the day. Next step is to head up to Camp 3 for more acclimatization.

“Thanks for reading,”

Dr. Jon

 

 

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