An update from Colin O’Brady via his Instagram account on 29th April.
“The Lhotse Face is one of the most famous features to climb on the South Side of Everest. It’s a 5000 foot wall of ice and rock. Camp 3 is located about halfway up the steep icy face.”
“@dawafin and my objective today was to “touch” Camp 3 (23,100ft / 7100 m) and then return to Camp 2 for sleeping. The idea is each time we touch a higher altitude it will better prepare us to be able to sleep that high on our next rotation.
“When I was a kid I read every book and watched every movie I could about Everest. The ten year old boy who lives inside of me was really excited to climb the famous Lhotse Face today!
“The day started out with perfect weather. Almost too perfect as we were baking hot as we left Camp 2. We made steady progress and clipped into the ropes at the base of the Lhotse Face about an hour after leaving Camp 2. It’s been a pretty dry winter in the Himalayas and as such the Face was extra icy. More or less blue ice every step off the way.
“About 2 hours and 45 minutes after leaving Camp 2 we arrived at Camp 3. Since we’d been making great time we talked about continuing higher but Everest had other plans. It went from bluebird sunshine to socked in snowstorm in a matter of minutes. We pulled on all of our warm down clothes and sat down at Camp 3. The camp is on a precarious ledge, if you saw it you’d be surprised you can pitch a tent on this steep ice. Still early in the season there are no tents pitched yet from any teams.
“Dawa and I sat down to expose our bodies to the thin air above 23,000ft for as long as we could. Finally after 30 minutes we got too cold just sitting there getting snowed on so we clipped back into the ropes and rappelled back down to the warmth and safety of Camp 2.
“It was such a fun day. My body felt great. Each altitude higher that I feel strong builds confidence for my No Oxygen summit attempt in a few weeks. Today was a great step in the right direction to prepare my body.
“Tonight we’ll sleep again in Camp 2, and then early tomorrow return to Base Camp for recovery. I can’t wait to be reunited with @jennabesaw when we get back down there tomorrow.”