Day 9 of the Everest expedition: We are spending the day in preparation for our long acclimatisation rotation at Camp 1 (5900m)- Camp 2 (6400m) – Camp 3 (7500m). Packing food, snacks and gear for the 2am departure on May 2. Sharing great organic dal bhat meal with the sherpa team as the main AC team is up on the hill. And yes, having last shower for a long while. We will be gone for 7+ nights with a hope that this rotation sets us up for a successful summit attempt when the weather window comes.
Our climbing set-up is more independent and though we will be supporter by Pasang Bhodi, one of the most experienced AC sherpas, we have to be self-sufficient in terms of planning for contingencies. That includes communications protocol, weather planning and, of course, medical emergencies. Yesterday we had a crash course in high altitude first aid response with Kieran, AC’s doctor. The highlight was learning to perform an injection using a dummy of an orange. In an instance of cerebral oedema we have to be able to inject Dex to help alleviate swelling.
So tomorrow we will be heading via Khumbu icefall to C1 losing all comforts of the base camp and getting one with the elements. The forecast is for less wind and some snow. In C2 the weather forecast is for the balmy -20C so I will become one with my man’s size XS one-piece down suit.
We are both feeling strong and healthy, ready to start climbing on this storied Southern route via Western Cwm and Lhotse face towards thin air. Stay tuned for the updates from the hill and send your positive thoughts!