May 15, 2013

The time has come to go UP!

The time has come to go UP...!

It’s been 5 days since we completed our last rotation up Lhotse, sleeping at an altitude of 7400m (Camp 3) before coming down to Base Camp to prepare for the final summit push – and wait for the weather!!  It’s been an exceptionally busy few days filled with birthday celebrations (THE party of the year at the AC Base Camp!), a surprise visit by the legendary Reinhold Messner and a friendly television crew, detailed briefings on Summit Day logistics (food, gear, timings) and finally, general catching up on both sleeping and eating – something I’ve become exceptionally good at..!

Looking at the forecasts (a company called Meteotest based out of Bern, Switzerland), the summit window this year is pretty clear which is excellent news and has allowed the bigger teams on the mountain to work together to coordinate timings in order to avoid long delays on the mountains upper slopes. The window of good weather looks like it will be between the 18th – 24th of May... a huge improvement over last years 2 day window which caused so many problems on summit day..!

Our current planned summit date will be the early morning of May 20th. This means that we will depart Base Camp in the early hours of the 16th to climb up through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 2, spend the 17th resting and finishing final preparations at Camp 2, climbing the icy steep Lhotse Face to Camp 3 on the 18th,  continue up and traverse to Camp 4 on the 19th and to the 8516m summit on the early morning 20th! It’s a packed schedule but given the strength of the team, quality of the leadership, quality of the route and the resources available to us I cant imagine a better time..!

In terms of my personal reflection on the journey thus far – and the challenges which now lay ahead. I have thoroughly enjoyed the physical and emotional journey which this expedition has offered and delivered – both for the team and friendships made, the comradarie with the Sherpas, the quality of the services provided and the many laughs shared both during the expedition and the run up to it with family, friends and colleagues. I am confident that these past months have formed the foundation of the ‘crux’ which now lies ahead and can’t imagine having a more solid foundation. I feel both honored and blessed to have the opportunity to climb with this team on this absolutely spectacular mountain…!

Please keep our team in your thoughts and prayers over the coming week and think of us on the 20th as we stand on our perch gazing out at a spectacular Himalayan panorama looking out at the Roof of the World in the morning light. Full details of our progress can be found on the Adventure Consultants website under the ‘Lhotse Dispatches’ section…!


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