Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stopped Cold by the Wind!

We made it up safely through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 2 as planned, despite the roar of a massive avalanche that was fortunately just out of our path. We awoke early this morning to a fierce wind and with our bags packed containing all of our essential gear for Camps 3 & 4 and the Summit. The winds were still strong as we headed up to ~22,500 feet at the base of the Lhotse Face. It turns out that our fancy new Marmot 8,000 meter down suits are just as effective in keeping out the biting cold as they are for dancing a jig to the Black Eyed Peas!

Unfortunately, the wind-swept snow blowing high above, and a new weather forecast received this morning, factored in to a decision by Scott to turn us around. He said during his last 5 Everest expeditions he has never seen wind this strong. We were disappointed to be sure to lose a day but feeling much more secure that our tents won't blow away here at Camp 2 rather than up at Camp 3. However, the looming concern on everybody's mind is the rapidly approaching end of the summit window. Every year near the end of May the monsoon arrives effectively shutting down the mountain. Last year this occurred on May 25th. Our new plan, assuming no more weather delays should put us at the South Col with a shot at the summit on May 23rd.

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