Our First Team of Climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest today, after our Sherpas fixed the rope yesterday.
Time of Climb – 8:50 am 14th May 2018
Team Members: Mr. Anthony Peter Michael Andrew Middleton (UK), Mr. Edmund Philip Wardle (UK).
Mountaineering Sherpa Guides: Mr Dawa Phinjo Lama, Mr Phurba Ridar Bhote, Mr Kul Bahadur Thapa Magar, Mr Sangbu Bhote
They have returned safely to the South Col high camp and are now resting.
Our Sherpas worked very hard today to break trail through waist deep snow and some strong winds. They have now established the climbing route to the summit of Mount Everest! They are now back at the south col high camp (camp 4).
The Rope Fixing Team Members are: Pasang Tenzing, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Pas Dawa Sherpa, Tenzing Gyalzen, Datuk Bhote, Pemba Sherpa, Jenjen Bhote, Siddhi Bahadur Tamang.
We are happy that our team made the first summit of Mount Everest in 2018. Now, hopefully many other climbers will be able to follow the route safely to the summit over the next week if we have good weather.
Tonight our main team of climbers are heading up to Camp 2 on our “Mount Everest (summit) final rotation”, then we will assess the weather and monitor the progress of our Sherpas who are doing the rope fixing from the South Col high camp (Camp 4). Some of our climbers (advance team) have moved up to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face in preparation for an early summit just after the rope fixing project is completed, as May 13th and May 14th look like perfect summit days. Our second team of climbers is in Camp 2 at the moment and preparing to climb to Camp 3 tomorrow.
The last few days have been very windy on Mount Everest, however, this upcoming weather window looks very reasonable for making summit attempts! Our main team of climbers is eyeing a later weather window sometime between May 17-19, as we are in no need to rush up the mountain because we have plenty of resources, time, and energy to choose what we think will be the best summit day with the least amount of climbers from other teams on the route. Last year we summitted Mount Everest on May 23rd and had the entire route to ourselves as no other teams decided to climb that day.
We hope we are fortunate enough to again have a good summit day where we can enjoy the solitude of the mountain and the spectacular views from the top! We look forward to climbing up the Lhotse Face and onward to the Camp 3, the Yellow Band, Geneva Spur, to the South Col high camp (Camp 4)! Then preparing for the final climb to the summit of Mount Everest!
Our rope fixing team of Sherpas at the South Col high camp (Camp 4) made great progress yesterday fixing lines all the way up to the balcony. Today the winds were very strong on Mount Everest and they had to stay in high camp (Camp 4) because conditions were not suitable for climbing or rope fixing. Our plan is for them to continue fixing lines tomorrow as the weather looks much better and hopefully they will make it all the way to the summit of Mount Everest, thereby opening the route for all teams here on Mount Everest wishing to make a summit attempt!
We are now resting in Mount Everest base camp, waiting for the high winds to die down so that we can begin our summit rotation. All of our members are down in base camp or in Namche resting and recovering from our last rotation when we touched Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Our Sherpa team is also resting in Mount Everest base camp and also in Camp 2, waiting as we are for the good weather window to materialize. We are doing base camp chores such as laundry, resetting our tent platforms as the glacier ice melts during the season, and enjoying the occasional hot shower in Everest base camp! The days have been sunny and warm, with a small amount of light snowfall at night.
Today we took our breakfast (French toast, fried eggs, bacon, fresh yoghurt, & espresso coffee) outside our dining tent in the morning sun! We are soaking up the stunning views of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks and preparing ourselves for our final objective in a few days time, when we will depart Everest base camp for our summit rotation, our journey to the top of the world!
For our 2018 expedition we are using these backpack from Mountain Hardwear. Also, our Mountain Hardwear ‘South Col’ backpacks are utilized by our climbing Sherpa to transport the essential equipment in harsh environment . Furthermore, these backpacks are used for rope fixing all the way to the summit.
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!
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.
Today we trekked from Lobuche to Gorak Shep and then hiked up Kala Patthar (18,160 ft. /5550m) and had excellent views of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, and Mount Nuptse. We are about to go to bed after another great day, everyone is doing well and very excited to reach Everest base camp tomorrow!