We are back at base camp! We came down from camp two yesterday, and arrived just in time for lunch. We were delayed a bit in the morning because we were radioed from base camp that there was a break in the icefall, and we didn’t want to leave until we knew that the “ice doctors” had fixed up the route. As we came down, we found that the break was in a flat area known as the “football field” that we had previously designated as a “safe” area to take a little rest. And the whole shelf just collapsed!
Now that we have spent a night at camp three, we are done with the acclimatization process. We are going to take a few days for rest and recovery, and then we just wait for good weather to make a summit bid. We plan to go back down to Pengboche tomorrow so we can really get a good rest at lower altitude before our summit attempt.
Here is what we have been up to these past few days:
Yesterday we all made it up to camp one for the night. We were joined by Tori from the London Business School team, because she wasn’t feeling 100% when her team went up the day before. Tori and I were tent-mates at camp one, after I managed to convince Victor that we did in fact know how to use a stove. As we are both the only girl on our teams, I thought it was quite nice to have a “girly night”, as Victor called it.
Today we all came up to camp two. It was very hot coming up the Cwm this time, and we all had heavy packs because we had to bring up what we had left at camp one the last time we stayed there. It certainly made it a lot harder work!
Despite the fact that I caused us to get a later start than planned this morning (I had a particularly hard time getting out of my warm sleeping bag into the cold air) we accomplished our goal for the day. We went up the very first pitch of the Lhotse Face, and are now back at camp two for the evening.
Yesterday we went about halfway up the Lhotse face to camp three to spend the night. This was a new record for my dad and me, as our highest night ever! Camp three is at about 23,500 feet, and our previous highest night was at camp two on Cho Oyu, at 23,000 feet. We arrived at camp three around noon, and then had a lot of time to kill in our tents, as it wasn’t really safe to go more than five feet outside the tent without putting on crampons and clipping into the fixed ropes. Thankfully, I had not yet reached a hypoxic level where I couldn’t enjoy my book.
Coming up the Lhotse Face was a bit windy, and some parts were pretty icy. It gets fairly steep, so I was glad to have my ascender, which slides up the rope, but not back down, so you can use it as a handhold to pull yourself up.