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    , by Alex

“We’re already in the bag, trying to fit best we can: in just one tent there’s Ming (Temba), (¿Pasang?), Tashi and I, while on the other tent are Furba, Cheppal, Pechhumbe, Geljen lama and Nurbu,” Alex Txikon reported to BC over the radio today. “It’s been quite a tough day, and the night ahead is going to be definitely tougher.”
The 9 climbers belonging to the two teams climbing together on Everest are jammed in two tents at Camp 1, with no mats, since those are stocked in Camp 2, where they had intended to spend tonight. “The icefall was difficult though and visibility was cero,” Alex said. “We could have pushed longer and reached Camp 2 in the night but, i fan avalanche falls from Nuptse’s flank and we lose sight of anyone… we must be careful. Finally, we decided to stay here.”
Meteo conditions and tricky sections in the Icefall had slowed down the group, as Alex explained:
“The day was rather tricky, we couldn’t see anything. First there was 10cm of snowfalling, then 20cm. The “Breathless” team (“Breathless Winter Everest Speed Climbing Team”, outfitted by 7 Summit Treks) carry heavier loads and were slower. We have installed three more ladders, but the Icefall will endure no more than five more days. It’s delicate in some sections, with too many (ice) bridges to cross.”
“Temperatures rose at a certain moment, the skies cleared up and it was hot; but then the evening turned cold and windy.”
As for plans for tomorrow, they will split up on two groups. “First group will depart at 3-4am, and the second will follow later. I’ll probably will be in the first one. I estimate we will reach Camp 2 in 3 hours and, in 4 hours, we will reach the bergschrund (at the feet of Lhotse wall) at 6,700m. Then, I do not know which route they will want to climb. I definitely prefer the one we climbed last week (to the left of the normal route); it’s safer and shorter. But if there are no falling stones, they might opt for the normal route they are more familiar with. In that case, the Good thing for us is that we have 7 rolls of 200m rope stocked at the bergschrund.”
Halung Dorchi, from Tashi Lakpa’s Breathless team, stayed in BC today due to headaches but intends to leave tomorrow at 2am, local time, to join the others. Otherwise, the two teams are working together. “There’s a great harmony among us nine; everyone is motivated and excited.”
Photo: @DiegoMartinezPh.