Back at Base Camp
Last Saturday we left Base Camp and headed off to camp 2. Everything went very smooth pretty much according to plan. We got through the Khumbu Ice falls without incident but by the time we got to camp one it started to really heat up. When we left in the morning it was probably 15 degrees. The temperatures probably reached 80+ between camp 1 & 2. The sun beating down on us was rough. Anyway we were pretty drained by the time we got to camp 2. About a 12 hour climb in all. Sunday rest day Monday half way to camp 3. On Tuesday we set out to go to camp 3 to spend the night. Weather wasn't real good. Got half way up winds were about 60 MPH. Supper cold (eat. 0-20 degrees) we all are now wearing our Down Suits so we were definitely prepared. Bottom line after much debate we turned around. Pretty big setback. Part of the reason was the weather was supposed to continue to deteriorate. We headed back to camp two. The winds were now forecasted to reach up to 100 MPH. These type of winds could wipe out Camp 2 so the plan was to retreat to Base Camp on Wednesday the 26th. We left camp two @ 4:50 AM yesterday and safety got back to Base Camp. A little discouraging but we got to my new high point approximately 22,000 ft. We also spent a good amount of time at that elevation getting acclimatized. Being at base camp we can get strong. Camp 2 and above really takes a toll on you. It's hard to eat and sleep. Last night was the night in a while where I slept really well. Food is also way better here. The weather is unstable so we're not sure when we're heading back up. All this is part of the process and why it takes so long. We are still ahead of schedule. The big question is when we go back up and when we spend the night at camp 3 do we come all the way back down to Base Camp? Just need to roll with the program. The climbs have been unbelievable and very enjoyable. When we went through to ice falls before dawn it was hard to visualize. Coming back through there yesterday morning was hard to describe (awesome.) I was so fixed on getting through there safety; over horizontal ladders, jumping crevasses, climbing peccaries ladders up 20 feet, I'll keep everyone posted once we have a plan moving forward.
Heading to camp 3 when winds stopped us.
Working through the maze
This is Camp 2. Camp 3 is in the background up to Col in the sunlight. Camp 4 is near the ridge off to the left.
Ice Falls before daybreak