Sunday, May 18, 2008

18 May: Rest Day At Camp II

The team took a rest day at Camp II today, getting necessary rest for tomorrow. Several groups are showing up at camp today with the same summit plan... the 21st is looking like it's going to be a busy day for sure.

At this point, most of our decisions hang on the weather forecast, which is proving to be a moving target but we will continue to press on and hope for the best. There is still a potential issue with some depression in the Bay of Bengal that could disrupt our plans. Once we move to Camp III, we will begin using oxygen that night, which is a committing move, so we want to be right. As with last year, Willie will be fixing ropes above The Balcony and up to the summit, so even if there are dozens of climbers going on the night of the 20th, we won't experience the famous backlogs that can trap groups at choke points like the Hillary Step- at least not on the way up. It also means that all things working out the way they should, we will be the first intended summits on the South Side for this season. With the Olympic Torch, 18 people have summited on the North side, which is usually the case but unique this year. Technically easier, the North side typically puts people on the summit much earlier than via Nepal but this year, that should be the
only numbers that they provide while the South side will be a mob scene through the end of May.

All of the team- Sherpas, Members, and Team Leads are all reporting excellent health. Over the course of this climb the team has spent over 10 days at Camp II and at this point are well acclimatized to 21,000 feet. Pretty amazing to think about, especially for those of us used to the scale in the States, where Mt. Rainier is 14,410' and the highest point, Mt. McKinley is 20,320'. So we are well rested and now acclimatized to a point even higher than the roof of North America. Amazing that this has taken more than two months to accomplish, and is now here. More amazing is the amount of time, effort, and sacrifice that has gone into this challenge.

The Sherpas made it to the South Col today and back safe. Overall all is well and we will be heading to Camp III at 6am tomorrow morning.

See also:
Rest Day at Camp II:

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