Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 17:00, May 16
Weather: Warm in the morning, but cold and snowing in the afternoon. min -2C
Hi Everyone, It’s Paul here.
This morning Fiona and I checked the weather and the spell of low winds looks set to continue into next week, so we decided to continue with our plan of leaving for our run up to the summit tomorrow.
The weather forecast looks great, although they say that after May 21 the winds will start increasing. It also says that they think that the jetstream winds are unlikely to return to the Everest region this climbing season, which is great news. Our tentative summit date would be May 21, leaving the South Col (C4) on the night of May 20.
Tomorrow we plan to go to C2 in one long stint, and then the next day rest, and rehydrate. This will be the last time we have liquid water on hand, after C2 we will have to melt snow. The following day, May 19, we will climb to C3, then the next day C4. That night we will leave for the summit. This is all highly weather dependant, and as we have plenty of time left, we are not in a hurry and will wait for good weather if need be.
Packing and getting ready
We packed up our food today for camp 3 and camp 4. One night’s food for C3 and two for C4 (in case we have to wait out some bad weather for a summit attempt).
Most of our summit clothes are at C2, but we are bringing up some more chemical warmers, socks and spare gloves. All the batteries of our boot warmers are charged, as are our camera batteries. We are taking lithium batteries for our head torches, as these work better in the cold. At $20 for four AA batteries they are expensive. Both Fiona and I had showers and I had a shave. This is very important for ensuring that the oxygen mask makes a good seal around your face.
Our Sherpas are back
Dasona and Mingma are back from visiting their families in Pangboche and Phortse. They said everything was well at home.
Mary has been issued with a radio so that she can keep track of our progress. She is settling in well at base camp. Tomorrow we are getting up at about 3:00am, with breakfast at 4:00am and aiming for a 4:30am sharp departure. Mary says she wants to get up with us and walk to the crampon point in the icefall (where we put on our crampons)!
Thanks to everyone who is putting their state and country after their name.
Hello Rita, We have the choice of individual tents, or a shared tent and then a gear tent. Its pretty quiet at night, but everyone is very considerate and there has never been a problem with noise. Up higher in the mountain most people share a tent.
Hi Steve, No we didn’t do much research on cameras before we left. Most of the pictures on the site have been taken with a Canon S80 camera. Happy with it so far. As far a non climbing items we are taking to the summit, we are taking Gu, some sponsors flags and that’s about it.
Hi Alan Arnette, Thanks for your message of support. I hope things are going well for your Broad Peak and K2 climb this year.
Hi MC, We think we are right on schedule too! We feel really strong & healthy at the moment.
Hi Tam, Always great to get your messages. Passed on.
Dear Barb, No response to the wedding invitation??
Paul and Fiona
Accept with pleasure,
the kind invitation of
Barbara and Frank Johnston
to the wedding of
their daughter, Jacqueline
and Luke Jones
to be held at
Potter’s Cottage, Warrandyte
Friday, 30th June 2006
(Hope that’s sufficient!)
Jo, Mary is my stepmother and she has come all the way from Australia to support Fiona and I in the crux of the expedition.
Hi Raz, Great to hear everything went well on the Kokoda Trail. Well Done!
Hi John (The Vet), Thanks for your message. Good Question. Camp 3 is where it is because its too far for us to go from C2 to C4 in one day. We could do it, but then we’d be too tired to go further, and as C4 is in the death zone at 8000m, it’s impossible to recover. It’s very difficult erecting C3 tents, and it’s prone to avalanches, so we would all rather it wasn’t needed. Unfortunately there is no other option.
Hi Vic, Great to hear from you and say Hi to Gay and the kids.
Hello Tanya. Fiona read your email, but in the message we saw it didn’t have your maiden name and Fiona was unsure who you are! Maybe she was having a high altitude moment! Sorry.
That’s all for now,
PS. Only two more trips through the icefall!