Today our team had a nice breakfast in base camp and then climbed up to Advanced Base Camp, which is just 3 miles away and 1000 ft. Higher than our K2 base camp. It was warm and sunny when we began our hike, and after 2 hours we reached the ABC, where we took a short rest before descending back down to base camp for lunch. In the afternoon the clouds arrived and we have had a little snow this evening.
Today our Nepal & Pakistani Sherpas carried loads of equipment for the rope fixing project on K2 such as the semi static rope, ice screws, carabiners, and snow pickets to camp 1. They also carried some tents, stoves, fuel, etc. for us. Our plan is to rest tomorrow and then start planning for our first rotation on K2 to acclimatize. Everyone is doing well and we are looking forward to some good weather beginning the day after tomorrow.
Today our madison everest team climbers with guides Garrett Madison, Conan Bliss, & Sid Pattison along with climbers Josh, Matt, Randy, Tym, & David are resting in base camp up . They are waiting to begin the summit rotation, this is the final rotation on Mount Everest and hopefully will culminate in reaching the summit! The weather has been windy, more so than the specialized weather forecasts have predicted. So, we have been conservative in our decision making and decided to hold here in base camp until the weather trend looks suitable for us to move us.
Then our Everest climbers will climb from Everest base camp through the Khumbu Icefall and negotiate the many ladders which span crevasses, sometimes about 20 ft. (6m) in width, along with the steep ice and vertical sections of the route. We will go up past Camp 1 through the Western CWM (Valley) to Camp 2, our Advanced Base Camp and from there take a rest day to re evaluate the weather, route conditions, etc.
Our 2 advance teams are already enroute on the final summit rotation! Ed & Ant, our first team, are at Camp 2, having moved up from Everest base camp 2 days ago, and are assessing the mountain conditions which includes the weather, the rope fixing progress, etc.
Our second advance team with Kenton, Ben, and Mark left Everest base camp yesterday and are currently also at Camp 2. They reported very good conditions in the Khumbu Icefall and after arriving at Camp 2 are also reassessing the mountain conditions in preparation for moving up higher on Everest.
Our rope fixing Sherpas moved up to the South Col (Camp 4) yesterday in preparation to fix ropes from there to the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8,333m), despite strong winds on the Lhotse Face. Yesterday we had a huge wind storm on Everest that lasted through the night and many teams lost tents at Camp 2, fortunately we had our entire Sherpa team (22 Sherpas plus camp staff) in our Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp) so they were able to secure and protect our camp during this massive wind event. Thankfully, our Sherpas reached the South Col (Camp 4) and established a camp there, and then commenced the first part of the rope fixing project today, reaching the Balcony (27,500 ft. / 8333m).
If the weather is good, and mountain conditions are favorable (they reported deep snow on the route), and our team has the physical energy and mental fortitude, then hopefully our Sherpas will be able to finish the summit rope fixing and open the route by the end of May 12th, so that the route will be open for all climbers on Mount Everest by May 13th.
This is our plan, and with determination and good luck we expect our 4 teams of climbers (Sherpa rope fixing team, advance team of Ed & Ant, second team of Kenton / Ben/ Mark, and third team of Garrett / Conan / Sid with Josh / Matt / Tym / Randy / David to be reaching the summit of Mount Everest between May 12th and May 18th, weather pending! Fortunately the weather forecast looks good through May 21st, so we have a very good weather window in which to make our summit attempts. Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers! We hope Mount Everest (‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepal) will grant us safe passage to the top of her peak and back!
Burke Khang Expedition Update – November 5th, 2015:
Our climbing team has made it to Burke Khang Advanced Base Camp! The team is currently sleeping at an elevation of 17,713 feet. Yesterday the team made another acclimatization hike with views of giants Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, & Nuptse, we also spied more unclimbed peaks for next year! Check out our Facebook page for additional photos and beautiful panoramas!! Tomorrow the climbing team will head onward to our Camp 1 and up the very technical route of rock, snow, and ice towards the summit of Burke Khang!
For family and friends who want to watch the summit push check out this link, it will show you a basic map view of the climbing groups location as they push toward the summit. The data is refreshed every 10 minutes. My personal suggestion for watching this historic summit push would be to download Google Earth on your device. Once you have this software downloaded shoot me an email at: email@example.com. I will send you an email with instructions on how to view the climbing team’s progress on Google Earth. We have been working hard to develop this technology and will hopefully have this available in a mobile application in the near future.
Team before rappel practice. Left to right: Paul and Denise Fejtek, Bill Burke, Kathy Meyers, Garrett Madison , Nick Logic
Rappel onto glacier practice:
View of our route to advanced base camp, towards Everest:
View from our hike yesterday, the Ngonzoma glacier:
Pics from our hike to advanced base camp: