After days of uncertainty and unrest at Everest base camp, the Himalayan Ascent team can finally officially announcement that they're going home. Our guides had already decided to quit the expedition following the loss of our friends and teammates last Friday, but due to the growing movement to demand more protection and rights from the government, we waited it out to support our fellow guides.
Chris Burke achieved her 1st summit on Ama Dablam with Lakpa (his 21st!!!!) on Nov 29th. Ama Dablam has been a goal of Chris' for a while after sickness foiled her 1st attempt in 2010. Feeling fit off Parchermo this time around, Chris topped out in good spirits, even after they were pushed back to base camp during the 1st summit bid by strong winds. Due to the lateness in the season, Chris enjoyed the mountain alone without other teams. A real treat as Ama Dablam is a popular peak in autumn.
Pat's Ama Dablam team are on their way to the infamous Camp 2 (i.e. a tiny rock ledge on top of a pillar) for their summit attempt. They acclimatized on Lobuche East and are now making a direct attempt on the summit without the need to rotate multiple times on the mountain. They aim to be on the summit on Nov 17. You can follow Pat's updates here: http://humanedgetech.com/expedition/pa2/
Both Sumit's (Very Best of Everest) and Pat's groups have summited Lobuche East, Pat's yesterday and Sumit's the day before. For Sumit's team, it was their first stab at mountaineering and they all did amazing! After resting an extra day at Lobuche base camp, they are now on their way to the Gokyo valley via Cho La pass. Sumit, however, has had his mountain fix and is now on his way back to Kathmandu to answer emails and meet office demands. He's left the group in the very capable hands of Jangbu.
More topouts on Ama Dablam with Garrett successfully leading his team to the top this morning. They moved from Camp 2.7 to reach the summit at 10.30am. Meanwhile Lakpa is enjoying some extended rest time in Ama Dablam base camp waiting for the arrival of Pat Hollingworth's group who are acclimatising on Lobuche East. Pat's and Sumit's groups shared Lobuche East base camp together a few nights ago.
Ama Dablam is certainly our favourite mountain, challenging to climb and stunning to look at, the ultimate climber's mountain. Matt Eaton and Nima Sherpa with Lakpa Sherpa (on his way to summit #19!!!) are at Camp 1 of their summit climb. They aim to summit on Nov 3. Garrett and his team are on their final acclimatisation rotation hoping to summit on Nov 7. Pat has arrived in Phakding today to guide Marguerite Lovegrove (U.K.), Atle Lund (Norway), Jaime McMullan (U.K.) and Steven Pearce (U.K.) also on Ama Dablam. They are acclimatising on Lobuche East first. And due to arrive this evening is Swiss climber, Vivien Jean, who's climbing independent. Diane and Marty are walking back to Lukla today after their twin peak success on Lobuche and Ama Dablam.
Well the team is at this moment snuggled in their sleeping bags at Camp 2, but I doubt they are sleeping much. In less than 1 hr, Lakpa, Niels, Scott and Chris will be making a 12am (25th April) start to their summit ambitions on Ama Dablam. Lakpa will lead ahead with Sherpas from other teams to fix the lines between Camp 3 and the summit. He was busy on the mountain yesterday setting the lines up between Camp 2 and 3 –this is the most dangerous section of the climb.
The team should make it to Camp 3 by early morning, where they will take a good rest. Then they will push through straight to the summit. Due to more snow than usual on the mountain, the team decided not to sleep at Camp 3 and to have a longer summit day instead.
Day 1 - At the lunch stop between Lukla to Monjo.Someone locks Erika in the teahouse toilet (doors in the Khumbu can be locked from the outside to stop them slamming in the wind).Will comments: 'There's something fundamentally wrong about the way that people have the power to lock you in the toilet!In the U.S. this just wouldn't be possible.' On day 5, Will awakes in the night to find that the door to his lodge room has been locked from the outside and he cannot get out to use the bathroom.Will reminisces on the experience the following morning: 'I thought it might be some sort of unusual hotel policy to lock people in their rooms during the night'.
Day 5 - Sumit warns the group not to bother with the Pangboche bakery & tells us not to visit the Pangboche monastery as the group will be visiting the monastery the next morning.Will, Chris & Pete then head straight for the bakery & then after some food, they go & check out the monastery.On Day 13, the group visit the bakery in Pangboche again.Will develops stomach pains from a piece of layer cake of questionable vintage.