First acclimatisation rotation completed!!
What I’ve done:
– 2 nights at Camp 1 (6065m).
– 2 nights at Camp 2 (6450m).
– Climbed up to 6800m & spent some time there.
I wanted to try to get a bit higher & sleep higher, but the weather up there was tough!!!
Back to Base Camp this morning
Yesterday, we walked up towards the Lhotse face despite very strong, swirling winds and driving snow. There was heavy snowfall again today, but we hope that tomorrow will be clearer for our acclimatization and touch of Camp 3.
Day 20-23: We ventured into the beast that is the Khumbu Icefall with head torches on, feeling pretty intimidated. It’s a demanding part of the route up Mt. Everest, but we passed through it safely and arrived at Camp 1 exhausted. The Western Cwm, a colossal valley of ice between Mt. Everest and Mt. Nuptse, was equally challenging with its gargantuan crevasses.
We made it to Camp 2, but the heat and sun were exhausting. I had two disturbed nights of sleep and had to descend to Base Camp to recover. Our team faced challenges, with one teammate needing evacuation due to breathing problems. Though we couldn’t push higher due to cautious decisions, we await a suitable weather window for a summit push.
Snowed most of the morning. The sun came out in the afternoon and melted it all away. Just a ho hum relaxing day packing and getting ready for a 1 AM wake up call, 1:30 AM breakfast and 2AM departure to C1 through the icefall. I’ll be back in a week. Until then, cheers.
First rotation of Everest is complete! I’m back safely at comfortable basecamp. We spent 2 nights at camp 1, two nights at camp 2 and climbed to camp 3 (7100m)! It was pretty bad weather on our way to camp 3 as you can see in the video.
Now I’ll rest and recover and wait for a good week of weather to go all the way back up and head to the summit.
Ang Mingma and I woke up at 2:00am to move through the infamous icefall. We didn’t move fast, we didn’t move slow. We moved with an efficiency. A diligence with every step, a great awareness of the hazards that exist above and below us.
We spent a very windy and stormy night at Camp 1, nearly 20,000 feet in the sky. Just the two of us at the Imagine camp, a rare night of solitude. But the tent was flapping against our faces and I had a majestic headache.
As the @anymountainsong trekking team learned, the acclimatization process is brutal. Push your body and cross your fingers it adapts. It’s in those dark moments, alone on the side of Everest, that you begin to wonder why you are putting your body through so much chosen suffering. What is the point when life already provides so much.
And just when it seems almost too much, the winds begin to dissipate, the clouds part and the calm goodness of climbing returns.
We spent 4 nights at Camp 2, acclimating, building tent platforms, enjoying the moments the sun heated up the tent so much that I lay in a base layer at 21,000 feet. We walked to the base of the Lhotse face, scoped it out. And finally we woke up early and climbed to Camp 3 at 23,500 feet. It’s been a dry season in the Himalayas and the face is a wonder of blue ice and tough climbing.
Climbing Everest comes with many questions, hesitations, and moments when I wonder, is this really the right thing?
But reaching Camp 3, just the two of us. With an understanding that could only exist between us, watching the clouds move off the summit, the sun beaming down, sharing a snack and smiles.
These moments make it worth it, to try something that mostly seems impossible on so many levels. To keep walking when every part of my body, my brain is saying “no thanks,” this is when I learn something that can’t be found anywhere else. These are the moments that cut through the noise and complications and grief of a climb like this.
We are back at base camp, resting as snow quietly falls, now watching the weather, conditions and other people to come up with our summit plan.