An in-depth update from Fischer Hazen, Mountain Trip Guide, from 2nd May.
“The team is back in Base Camp resting and recuperating following our first rotation. After six days high on the mountain, it was amazing to walk back to our tents and breathe in that thick lowland air of Everest Base Camp (EBC). It’s incredible, 17,500’ feels low compared to where we were sleeping at Camp 1 (19,800’) and Camp 2 (21,300’). We were greeted with cold juice, coca cola and a fantastic meal of chicken chili, think spicy chicken and rice. Sarki (our basecamp chef extraordinaire) has been creating culinary masterpieces to get us back to full strength. The past 24 hours in EBC have been fully occupied with rest day activities. Warm showers using a bucket and portable shower pump were a first priority, closely followed by lounging in the sun on the astro-turf pad in front of our dining tent. Self-care is the name of the game on these breaks between rotations.”
“Up on the mountain conditions were quite favorable. The icefall is relatively technical this year, with steep sections of fixed lines requiring an ascender and some tricky transitions from ladders to vertical snow. The team did really well and demonstrated solid proficiency on our first trip up and down the icefall.”
“Camp 1 was beautiful. Our tents are situated at the mouth of the Western Cwm. To one side is the West Shoulder of Everest. To the other sits the imposing snow, rock and ice face of Nuptse. At the back of the Western Cwm, Lhotse stands guard and if weather conditions are just right the Summit of Everest can be seen. Following two nights acclimatizing at Camp 1, the team headed up to Camp 2. The route is a bit longer this year as there are fewer ladders spanning the crevasses. Instead, the trail ran around the end of the crevasses or would dip down into a crevasse and then climb out the other side. We were very fortunate with pleasant weather and moderate temperatures for our stay at Camp 2. While acclimatizing at that altitude is incredibly difficult, it is an important step in preparing our bodies for a safe push above Camp 2 on our summit rotation. We spent one of our two days at Camp 2 resting and adjusting to life at 21,000 feet. The second day we hiked out towards the base of the imposing Lhotse Face, both to scout the route and to stretch the legs.”
“The team is in good spirits and looking forward to our second rotation up high which will consist of one night at Camp 1 and three nights at Camp 2 pending a good weather forecast. As mentioned in previous updates, two team members (Brad and Ema) have returned home due to a variety of different circumstances. We all miss them and everything they brought to the team.”
“We hope everyone is doing well back home and will keep you updated on our progress as we rest here in EBC!”