The boys finished setting up the 2 C4 and dropped off oxygen loads last week. Our original plan was to head up to C2 tomorrow, on the tail of the Everest summit fixing team (Lhotse is all set), to start our summit bid. However now timing is a tad uncertain given the winds expected during our summit dates. This could mean waiting a few extra days.
The team reached Camp 3 at 1PM today. As expected it's a little windy but this should ease off by the evening. Tonight they'll sleep with supplemental oxygen to prime them for the next stage, hopefully tomorrow if the weather holds, they'll move to Camp 4 of Everest and Lhotse.
It's just a matter of waiting a few more hours now. The Lhotse team of Lakpa, Chris, Chirring and Pasang arrived at Camp 4 ~7800m around 2pm today. They split from the Everest group after the Yellow Band and continued right up the Lhotse face.
Lakpa and Chirring have the task of completing the rope fixing to the summit early tomorrow morning. The Everest party of Warren, Jangbu, Margaret, Angkaji, Dendi, Peter, Mingma and Nima arrived into Camp 4 ~7925m at the South Col about 3.30pm. All team members are feeling strong and healthy.
Our teams had a successful morning. Young Chirring picked up where the fixing team left off on Lhotse and fixed the last 300m of the summit blocks, and summited at 10.30am this morning. Chris summited at 11.30am with Lakpa and Pasang.
We're proud of Chirring for the first summit of the 4th highest mountain this season! Previously a monk and now a young guide, Chirring has the luck of his uncle Lakpa's climbing genes. Great news on Everest too. The group set off at 9pm last night under calm and cold conditions. Peter summited at 6.30am with Nima and Mingma.
Everyone is resting at Camp 2, except Chris who has already headed back to BC with Chirring. We certainly had a tough team this year. Margaret, Peter, Warren and Chris, all experienced climbers, impressed our guides throughout the rotations with their strong fitness, positive attitudes and good adaptability to high altitude. Here's a message that Steve (Margaret's husband) asked to be posted:
The team arrived back at base camp at lunchtime. As they rest, eat, wash and think about packing, the crowds are starting to develop above. Groups are beginning to prepare for a summit push over the next few days.
Whilst teams are building on the Western Cwn and on the South Col (~35 climbers have delayed summit bids due to strong winds and are waiting out another day for an attempt tonight, hopefully with plenty of oxygen!), we are glad to be back in Lukla and away from those crowds. We took the more exciting option of a helicopter to cut the journey from base camp to Lukla.
Lakpa and Sumit have both had productive summers. Lakpa led a group to the Karakoram range in Pakistan. The expedition was slightly delayed by the unfortunate and sad Nanga Parbat base camp attack, but despite being rattled by the incident the team focussed on their objective and successfully climbed both Gasherbrum I (8080m) and II (8035m).
The monsoon clouds are still amongst us here in Kathmandu as we wrap up the past weeks of summer climbing. It's been a successful season on a few 8000m peaks.
Ang Kaji popped into the office today tanned and beaming from his double header on Shishapangma and Cho Oyu in Tibet. He was the first to summit Shishapangma as part of the rope fixing team to the central summit on the 25th September at 9.15am. He and his Mongolian client also topped out on Cho Oyu at 6.30am on the 2nd Oct as well!!! Amazing effort!!!