Our team of climbers is heading up tonight on our second rotation on Mount Everest to acclimatize. Additionally, they will carry essential equipment to our high camps such as our down suits, mittens, hand warmers, and electric foot warmers in preparation for our summit rotation in a couple weeks time. We have been resting up here in Everest base camp the last few days . We are ready to make our second trip up Everest to climb the Lhotse Face to Camp 3. Our plan is to touch Camp 3 and then return to Camp 2 for the night. We should be back in base camp in 4 or 5 days time.
The goal of this second rotation is to continue building our acclimatization and increase our familiarity with the route . Furthermore, to become more efficient in our climbing through the Khumbu Icefall, Western CWM, and the Lhotse Face which is more icy this year than in previous seasons.
Our rope fixing sherpas are currently in Camp 2 on Mount Everest and will be carrying loads of rope and hardware (ice screws, carabiners, oxygen, etc.) to the South Col high camp (Camp 4) tomorrow and the following day. And, hopefully depositing all essential equipment for the rope fixing project at the South Col. After this load carry they will take a rest and we will evaluate the weather forecast for the final stage of the rope fixing project. Evaluation involves setting the ropes from the South Col high camp (Camp 4) to the summit, a multi day project. We hope for good weather and route conditions for this project to continue moving forward in a timely manner.
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!
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 a favorite so far for our Kilimanjaro team! The Baranco Wall can be an intimidating feature and as we woke up we could only see it for brief moments through the breaking fog. We stashed our trekking poles and steadily climbed. Mike, Todd and Cassey showed no signs of slowing as we crested the wall! As we bobbed and weaved our way around the mountain we were all in awe on the mountain to our left, and the beautiful countryside of Tanzania to our right. Karanga camp was a welcome sight!
Today we sit primed and ready for our climb tonight! The climb from Karanga to Kosovo camp at 15,500ft is a rewarding but demanding day. As usual Mike, Todd and Cassey floated it! As the scrub brush disappeared leaving only gravel and rocks, one starts to feel the change from hiking to climbing. Now we rest, drink water, eat and prepare for our late night start and our climb to the top of Africa!
There are few places like the beautiful Shira Camp sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro. Looking out over the jungle, seeing Meru peaking up above the clouds watching the frost give way to sun warmth is fantastic. Today the team rocked our acclimatization day climbing up to 15,000ft to the Lava Tower! We moved confidently and steadily up, happy to see our lunch tent through the mist. We dined in luxury on chicken, pasta, sandwiches and fresh fruit while trying out best to master the Swahili phrases of gratitude we have been learning. After a good break we descended down through the Hidden Moorlands of indescribable beauty. Wandering past waterfalls, clumps of wild Dr. Suess trees we arrived at Baranco Camp at 12,750ft. Red blood cells freshly oxygenated, we rest before dinner.
Early this morning our Ecuador climbers reached the summit of Cayambe at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Located in the Cordillera Central, this glaciated super-volcano runs along the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range. The volcano and most of its slopes are located within the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. Weather conditions looked beautiful on the summit today with epic views from high above the clouds! After a short rest at the high altitude hut, our team packed up their gear and will now drive back down the mountain and toward their next mountain ascent on Chimborazo.
Way to go team!!
William enjoying the amazing summit views from Cayambe.
Route to summit.
Lower glacier crossing.
Beautiful views in the Andes as our climbers set off for the Ecuador volcanoes! Our team will spend the first few days acclimating on local peaks close to Quito in preparation for Cayambe at an elevation of 18,996 feet. For a detailed overview of this exciting climb please visit our page here.
To the top!
William celebrating his first summit of Pasochoa. This extinct volcano is located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorian Andes.