Scott called from Camp 2 – it is evening on May 13. He said he is feeling 80% – not great but quite normal for the environment. Tomorrow, May 14, they will head to Camp 3 and start using oxygen. This is also Karina’s birthday! Wally Berg has kindly provided weather information and the best days to summit this week will be May 16 and 17. The 17th looks slightly less windy but with 100 people poised to climb the Mountain on May 17, Karina’s team has elected to go for it on May 16. Being from tropical Brazil, Karina feels the cold and standing in a long line of climbers all day will not be safe. She also does not have the power to pass other climbers on the fixed ropes.
On May 15, the team will head to camp 4 at the South Col, the last camp. From Camp 4 the climb is 3000 feet – a big day at this type of altitude. Leaving the evening before, the team will climb through the night. They have a turnaround time of 11am. If they have not made the Summit by then, they will retreat. This will be their only attempt as oxygen supplies only allow one attempt. For more detailed information on the route, check out Alan Arnette’s blog: http://http://www.alanarnette.com/everest/everestsouthroutes.php
I’ll keep you posted as Scottie calls me from the sat phone.
PS Mou Mou (Obie’s mouse) has her O2 mask strapped on apparently. This is contrary to earlier reports and it looks likely that she will be climbing with oxygen.
Scott and crew have been in Basecamp the past few days. The weather has improved and the ropes are almost fixed to the Summit. Thanks to Adventure Consultants for providing the Swiss weather report, it looks like they will start the journey upward Saturday Nepal time. The weather window looks good for between the 15-17 May. Cold though – the report forecasts temperatures of 20-40 below (C). Scott’s suit will be crowded with all the batteries keeping warm in there!
He’s looking forward to the summit push now that he’s been treated for unwanted intestinal guests. Lighter too no doubt.
Once they leave BC, updates are more sporadic but I will update as I get news. Think up. Send warm vibes!
Scott just called from camp 2. They have been there for a couple of nights with their backs pushed up against the sides of the tent against the wind. He sounds great. The foul days of initial acclimatizing are over. The wind is too strong to go and stay at camp 3 up on the Lhotse Face so they are just going to head up and tag camp 3 today. The Lhotse face climbs steeply out of the Western Cwm (“coom”) up to the South Col and camp 4 – the final camp. Camp 3 is part way up the face. It’s over 7000m so is an essential part of the acclimatization schedule. After camp 3 on the actual summit bid, they will start using oxygen.
The team should be back at basecamp in 2 days. They will then rest up and wait for the jet stream to back off. The summit bid is likely to be mid-May, which is the gap when the jet stream backs off just before the monsoon. Last time Scott summitted on May 16. Mou Mou (Obie’s mouse) will be joining the summit team. She has elected not to acclimatize and will be making an oxygenless ascent. She is truly a remarkable mouse. Last time Grey Mou Mou went to the summit but has lapsed into depression since because his public speaking career never took off. That could be because he ended up in NZ.
If you would like to read a balanced perspective on the debacle of last week (which I feel was biased in the Western media), check out this blog of a guide who is on the mountain as well: http://alpenglowexpeditions.com/blog/everest-best-and-worst-0Photos are from 2010 but you get the gist: 1. Climbers leaving camp 2 or 3 – they are heading up the Lhotse Face, 2. Getting to the top of the Khumbu Icefall and 3. Camp 4 at the South Col