Friday, 6 May 2011

Everest Acclimatisation Complete

Photo: Greg Healey Collection

Over the next couple of days the team will make their way back to base camp having completed the final stage of their acclimatisation. From our 7010m camp on the north col an unrelenting snow slope with fixed lines led to a small camp and the start of the climbing proper at 7500m. Despite the temperatures requiring down suits, the views across to Pumori, Cho Oyu, Changtse and Gyachung Kang were stunning. A five hour slog up a slope that looked like it should take two gave Geordie a very physically demanding 22nd birthday. Our Sirdar Dorje had a quick sprint up the North Col to leave a prayer scarf with birthday wishes tied to the tent!

Our previous day’s climb to the north col had gone well despite a big pack, the fixed lines taking just over 2 hours. There was a team of Russian base jumpers checking out a cliff of Changtse for next year. 5.5 seconds for those who are interested.

After last year’s problems with tents being blown 100m vertically upwards, this year our ten tents are all tied together in a long line! With the slightly worrying fact that our equipment is now spread across six locations on the mountain it's away down to base camp to stare at the weather forecast and make our plans. Others plans involve 4 ascents in a season for Pemba Dorje Sherpa, and 24 hours on the summit, putting our efforts in to perspective!