Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Success on the Lhotse Face!

We're back at C2 after a long and difficult assault of the Lhotse Face yesterday! We reached our goal of getting to Camp 3 at 24,000 feet, which also marks the highest altitude we have ever climbed, surpassing the reach of all of the other Seven Summits including Mt. Aconcagua in the Andes. All of us would quickly agree that climbing such steep terrain at this level, or trying to do much of anything (without supplemental oxygen as we were doing) is agonizingly HARD! We did manage to snap this quick photo as we collapsed (with our jumars still attached to the fixed lines) just before reaching the tents at C3. Just beyond us in the photo is the "Yellow Band" and the "Geneva Spur" which we will be required to cross en route to C4 and the South Col.

For now however, we are resting and recovering in the relative oxygen rich (ha ha) altitude of C2 at 21,500 feet. Neither of us feel great but we'll get over it. We are also marveling at our climbing Sherpa crew of 12 tough guys who carried 48 oxygen cylinders up to C4 yesterday to prepare for our summit attempt. These cylinders weigh 8 lbs each and the guys aren't finished stocking up high yet! In SO many ways this mountain seems impossible to climb, but without the support of our Sherpa team it would definitely be the case! Namaste and thank you again to our Sherpa friends!

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