Location: Camp 2
Local Time: 4:45pm, 19th May
Weather: Very windy & snowy overnight, then fine
Hi everyone, it’s Fiona here,
Unfortunately we’re coming to you from Camp 2 and not Camp 3 due to new weather forecasts and strong winds last night.
A Last Minute Decision
We woke at 3:30 this morning to get ready for our 5am departure for Camp 3. With backpacks packed, down suits on, sunscreen thawed, and chemical heat warmers activated, we headed into the dining tent for a quick breakfast and to put on our climbing harnesses and crampons.
As agreed yesterday, we radioed base camp for an update on the latest weather at 4:30am. (Base camp receives these by email at around 10pm each night – way past our bed time!)
What a disappointment. The forecast for Sunday 21st (the day of our proposed summit attempt) had gone from average to pretty bad. In fact, that day is now forecast to be the worst for a while with very high winds of over 60 knots and snowfall.
After much deliberation, we decided to stay here at Camp 2 for a while. Camp 3 is really too high to spend any length of time waiting for weather to improve.
More Rest at C2
After discussing our strategy for a while, we returned to our tent and sleeping bags at around 6am. We’ve since spent much of the day between our tent and the dining tent – trying to stay hydrated.
The various weather forecasts that we receive or overhear all seem to indicate some sort of easing in winds and snowfall towards the middle of next week (around 23rd – 25th seems most likely). We are unclear yet as to whether the winds will drop low enough to allow a summit attempt, but this is what we’re aiming for now. This would mean staying at C2 until 21st or 22nd – not ideal but also not too bad either. (I guess this is why C2 is also known as Advanced Base Camp.) But of course everything depends on the new weather forecasts we receive between now and then.
Welcoming Back the Summit Climbers
Camp 2 has become the non-official welcoming point for the returning IMG summit climbers. We have enjoyed congratulating all of these climbers on their immense efforts and hearing about their summit stories. They’ve all shared little tips with us about managing their oxygen, rest points, keeping hands and toes warm, managing food and water to stop it from freezing etc.
Most of this group were fortunate enough to summit in absolutely perfect weather conditions. We hope we can do the same soon. Some of them returned all the way to C2 on the same day of their summit, while others have chosen to rest and spend the night at C4 before coming down to C2 the next day.
We have been overwhelmed with all of your messages of support and encouragement. It’s fantastic knowing we have so many supporters out there.
In answer to a few specific messages…
Eric – we haven’t planned to leave anything on the summit. I believe there is enough clutter up there already.
Hi Jack – great to hear from you. The team is all missing you here. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a big juicy steak by now and have stopped having “that steak dream again”! Glad to hear you’re feeling normal again. Our sat phone number is on the website under Contact Us. Best way to get in touch is to text message us – instructions are there too.
Marina – thanks for your message and enjoy your holiday. Well done on completing the Oxfam walk as well – a huge effort!
Tanya – Sorry I didn’t recognise who you were at first. Thanks heaps for your messages. Would be great to catch up once we get back to Oz.
Tina – great to hear from you and learn that our little quest has somehow inspired you to change your life for the better. Congratulations on your achievements so far. We all have our “Everests” to climb.
Jan – Sorry to disappoint but it looks like we won’t be finished by Sunday. Enjoy
Fiji and say a big hello to Rachel for me