Local time: 17 May, 19:00
Location: Camp 1
Weather: Warm overnight, snowing heavily this afternoon.
Hi it’s Paul at camp 1. Well our summit push has got underway. We were really busy yesterday getting ready and then I didn’t get a good night’s sleep as I was very anxious about the icefall. So I was a little tired when my alarm went off at 4:05am this morning. But there was no time for snoozing – I got quickly dressed and packed the remaining gear into my pack – medicines, pee bottle, clothes, technology bag, torch, camera, video camera.
Leaving this morning
We had breakfast, paid our respects at the puja altar by throwing rice into the air and putting Juniper on the fire, and then headed to the crampon point just after 5:30. After donning our crampons and saying goodbye, it was off up the icefall. We had great fun climbing – it was warm, and I had a feeling it was going to be my last time up the icefall for a long time and I wanted to take it all in. It’s very scary and dangerous, but it’s also incredibly beautiful. Instead of pictures, I took lots of video. Attila and I got caught up in a group of about 20 people – Alpine Ascents and the Malaysian team, but they were courteous and let us through. We also let the faster climbers through – it’s much more enjoyable for everyone that way. We chatted to ourselves and to Fiona on the radio.
Relaxing at C1
We cleared the top of the icefall before the sun hit us, and were at camp 1 at around 9:40am. The sun came out in full force and we laid out our sleeping mats on the snow and relaxed in the warmth. If I was carrying shorts, I would have put them on. Continuing our good food tradition, we had aged cheese from Vermont, crisp apples from below Lukla, salami, macaroni cheese and a warm blueberry compote. Very nice.
But by 2:30, the clouds rolled in and it started to snow, so we hurriedly chucked everything into the tent and scrambled inside, where I am now writing this update.
Our plan tomorrow is to take it easy to C2, reassess the weather, but if it holds, then move on up the next day. Health is holding up well.
I have been trying to work out how many people are aiming for May 21. Alpine Ascents are a big group, but they will most likely rest at the South Col, putting them on May 22. I am not sure who is ahead of us at C2, and possibly aiming for the same day as us. I think that it’s not too many people. 20 or less would be great.
Hi to everyone that posted messages. It’s really great to receive them up here.
Hi Jac, I think I’d agree that fresh green salad and maybe some nice Australian roast lamb would be great. Especially if it was done on a webber! We have been very well looked after with fresh vegetables and fruit, but a green lettuce salad has been missed.
Hi Raz, Wishing your group the best of luck with the marathon. The scenery should be magnificent. I think on the 20th my legs and lungs will hurting too as I’ll be somewhere between 7300m and 8000m, heading up to camp 4.
Hi Steve, Are you still riding on Wednesday mornings or hibernating for the winter? I am keen to get into it again when I get back.
Hi Gab and Baz, Hope everything is going well with the dogs. Are you guys keen to get one now?
Hi Jean, Thanks for your kind comments.