All of our climbers are down in Mount Everest base camp at the moment, resting up and preparing for our next rotation up the mountain to acclimatize. We have been taking hot showers, doing laundry, and enjoying many fine meals here in our base camp. Our bodies are responding from the time we recently spent up at the higher camps by building more red blood cells. So that we will be better acclimated the next time we venture up Everest.
The weather has been good, only a little wind on the upper mountain and some daily snow fall in the afternoon, but we dont need to worry. This is the typical weather pattern for Mount Everest during this time of the year. Our Sherpa team is carrying loads up to Camp 2 and will make a carry while also completing the fixing of the ropes to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) in the coming days. Everyone is doing well and enjoying the magnificent views here in Everest base camp. We are hoping for good weather for next steps!
Today all of our climbers and guides in our main team descended from Camp 2 down to Everest base camp after a great first rotation! We ended up staying an extra night at Camp 2 for acclimatization because everything was going so well for us up at our “Advanced Base Camp”. This will assist us in our acclimatization process as we prepare for our ‘summit rotation’. We spent two nights at Camp 1 and three nights at Camp 2 while we were up on our ‘first rotation.
Today, while we were preparing to descend to base camp at 6 AM from Camp 2, we received information that the icefall route had changed . Our team at basecamp were saying that it was in the process of being repaired. So, we delayed our descent to around 10 AM when we had confirmation that the new variation in the Khumbu Icefall route was complete, arriving base camp this afternoon. Our team is excited to be back in Everest base camp where the air is thick, the food amazing, and the accommodations seeming very plush after nearly a week up high on the mountain.
Over the last few days our expert team of Nepal Climbing Sherpas were able to fix ropes to the Geneva Spur, just short of the South Col (Camp 4) high camp on Mount Everest, despite the windy conditions and the icier than normal slope on the Lhotse Face. Now, with an up line and a down line in place from the base of the Lhotse Face to Camp 3, and then a single line going above that to the Geneva Spur, teams will be able to acclimatize and position loads up higher on the mountain.
Our rope fixing team is preparing to head back up and fix ropes all the way to the South Col in the coming days and then position oxygen and equipment for the ‘summit fixing’ project at the South Col so that when the weather conditions permit they can begin fixing ropes from the South Col up towards the Balcony, the South Summit, and onward to the summit of Mount Everest. They will also install a second ‘down line’ in places to ease congestion on the route such as on the Yellow Band, the Geneva Spur, and at other bottlenecks along the route. All is well here on Mount Everest and we hope for good weather and route conditions to continue!
Our team has arrived at Camp 2 on Mount Everest! Today we climbed from our Camp 1 up through the Western CWM and arrived at Camp 2 in the early afternoon. We are settling in now and excited to be in our “ABC” or Advanced Base Camp! Everyone is doing well!
Our expert team of Nepal, Climbing Sherpas are very skilled technical climbers . Their job is to ‘fix’ the lines from Camp 2 all the way up the mountain to the summit of Everest. They have been working very hard since beginning. Our team were fixing ropes above Camp 2 on April 19th, and have now succeeded in fixing lines from the base of the Lhotse face all the way up to Camp 3. They have installed 2 lines, an ‘up’ line and a ‘down’ line for climbers.
Camp 3 is now ‘open’ for climbers wishing to climb the fixed ropes up to Camp 3 to acclimatize. Furthermore, they can secure a camp place, or carry loads of supplies to Camp 3. Our expert Sherpa team will rest and then continue working on the next stage to fix the ropes up towards the Yellow Band, Geneva Spur, and to the South Col known as Camp 4 on Mount Everest. We hope for good weather!
We have begun our First Rotation! Today our climbers and guides departed Everest base camp at 3 AM . They will climbed up through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1, arriving in the morning. Our plan is to rest for the remainder of the day at Camp 1 and then spend the night here. Our plan for tomorrow is to go for an acclimatization hike up the Western CWM (valley) tomorrow and then spend another night in Camp 1. All is well here on Camp1.
Yesterday was our Puja ceremony in base camp. Our whole team of climbers and Sherpas took part with a Buddhist lama. They ask permission for the mountain to grant us safe passage. After the blessing was complete and our Puja ceremony finished, we commenced with some dancing and traditional Sherpa / Nepali music. Then, our whole team walked down to the helicopter pad in base camp to reconstruct the helipad. Our team of climbers & Sherpas, 40 men in total, worked for 2 hours to carry rocks and gravel to the helipad .They level the surface in preparation for the helicopter flights to transport the loads of equipment for the rope fixing project . i.e (ropes, carabiners, ice screws, etc.) from base camp to Camp 2 on Mount Everest.
Today at 6 AM we awoke to a cloudy sky in base camp. But, soon after the clouds burned off and the weather was suitable for flying. We transported all of the equipment for the rope fixing project (750 kg) from our base camp to the helipad . Until then waited for the AS 350 B3E helicopter to arrive. By 8:30 AM the helicopter arrived and the first load went up to Camp 2 where our climbing Sherpas had been waiting anxiously for the helicopter to land. And, unload the equipment.
They had arrived earlier in the day and already scouted a suitable landing zone for the helicopter . They were communicating with us in base camp by VHF radio regarding the weather conditions at Camp 2 . Additionally, the expected arrival time of the first helicopter load. In total 7 flights were made from the base camp helipad with equipment for the rope fixing project. This will be deposited in our Camp 2 where our Sherpas will collect the equipment. Afterwards, they will begin rope fixing up the Lhotse face towards Camp 3 on April 19th. As, Tomorrow April 18th is a ‘black day’ in memory of the 2014 Khumbu Icefall tragedy that took the lives of 16 Sherpas.
Our team of climbers is currently training in the lower Khumbu Icefall today practicing ascending vertical fixed ropes, rappelling, and crossing ladders. They are training for the preparation for our climb to Camp 1. The weather is nice and we are excited that everything is on track so far for Everest 2018!
Today is our 4th day in Everest base camp, we are now settled here for this 2018 expedition. We have been training for the Khumbu Icefall by practicing various climbing techniques such as ascending fixed ropes, rappelling, and crossing ladders. We will continue training the next few days before we make our first ‘rotation’ to Camps 1 & 2. Tomorrow is our Puja ceremony. All is well here in base camp.