Friday, May 8, 2009

Enjoying DIngboche!

videoOur whole team including sherpas are down here in Dingboche. Very nice to
breath and relax after a month of up and down trips on Everest. We left base
camp yesterday morning and at 10.30am local as we were across the Khumbu
Glacier from Base Camp, we all watched a huge release off the West Shoulder.
A very difficult thing to see after just being in the icefall a couple days
ago. Very clearly it completely swept the route on the lower third of the
icefall. A very scary thing to see and our hopes are that no one was injured
although we have found out since there was. Our team and all sherpas are all
ok.

We are watching the weather now with no plans at the moment until we see a
solid opportunity. I have never like early season summits as the windows are
short, cold and much lower percentages of summiting. Good luck to all who
have gone up though as there did seem to be a short window to summit this
weekend. Its windy here in Dingboche, but have a report from Camp 3 that its
calm there right now. Video from a small Stupa near our lodge today. Photos
of the team in Dingboche. Yahoo! This is the exciting part as the summit
gets closer. Scott Woolums reporting from DIngboche, 14,000 ft. Nepal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back in Base Camp!

Yahoo, just back down from Camp 3 yesterday and now all the way to Base
Camp. A busy few days. Yesterday we enjoyed some very good weather to climb
up to Camp 3 at around 24,000 ft. No wind, clear and beautiful! Then back to
Camp 2 last night. This morning we got up early and descended through the
icefall again back to Base Camp here. Definitly some changes in the icefall.
Several ladders had been taken out by some large avalanches, but the icefall
doctors are quick in repairing the route, so no problems getting down to
Base Camp here. First showers in a week, sunshine and thick air, at least as
thick as it gets at 18,000 ft. SO now we plan to watch the weather
forecasts. Rest, eat, relax till a weather window shows up. We probably are
looking more towards the 16-18 now with the weather we have now. Stay tuned
as we get closer to the summit. It feels a long way off right now. Hope
everyone is enjoying a great spring where ever that may be! Scott Woolums
reporting from Everest Base Camp.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Slammed by High Winds and Snow!

Epic day today here in Camp 2. Started out good, but very soon some serious weather came in.  We left around 7am for Camp 3. Within an hour we had decided to turn around as lots of wind and a lowering cloud cieling threatened. By the time we arrived back at Camp 2 a full scale storm raged. The biggest concern now was our Sherpas up near the South Col. They started up with the last of our Oxygen at 1am this morning. We had good radio communications with all. A very serious day. We never push our Sherpas into decisions, have no tight schedules for them to follow, only try to maintain safety as a primary goal.They make their choices with weather and conditions to go on or not. I trust their judgement more than most eople I meet in the mountains. This was a very rapidly developing storm. Fortunatly in the face of some very strong winds, Namgyal and the rest of the Sherpas made a super good choice to catch the Oxygen they had near the top of the Geneva Spur, a prominent ridge 20-30 mins below the South Col camp at nearly 26,000 ft. A long day following their progress back to Camp 2 today on the radio. To make things worse, one of the sherpas, Temba, broke a crampon up high and had to descend with only one crampon down the whole Lhotse Face. This is a challenge with 2 crampons on a good day! Everyone is back safe with no problems now. Simply amazing effort by one of the strongest Sherpa Teams I have worked with. So hopefully tomorrow we will have a break for us to get up to Camp 3. We are planning to go back to Base Camp on the 5th. Scott Woolums reporting from Mt. Everest, Camp 2.