May 18 11:00 pm: Surprise!
I’m pleased to announce that after various complications, the team is now
heading up from the South Col on their way to the summit! This afternoon the
team arrived at Camp 4 at the South Col after an eight hour climb up from
Camp 3. When they arrived the wind was blowing and they immediately dived
into the tents that our wonderful Sherpa staff had set up. Hot drinks and a
dinner of ramen noodles soon followed. Then it was decision time. Our plan
all along has been to spend a full 24 hours at the South Col: resting,
eating, drinking, and getting really ready for a summit attempt starting on
the evening of May 19. Unfortunately all the weather reports have agreed
that winds will increase and there will be more precipitation beginning
possibly on the afternoon of May 19 or on May 20. Dave made a telephone call
to Michael Fagin, our Seattle based weather guru, and the word was the
sooner we could go for it the better. So after a bit of discussion our plan
changed. We would leave for the summit tonight, with the first group of
Vern, Suzanne, Alistair, Tsering, and Fura Kancha departing around 9:00 pm.
Well, 9:00 rolled around and, guess what! It was snowing so hard they could
hardly tell which way to go. So we postponed our departure in hopes the
weather would clear a bit. . . And it did! By shortly after 10:00 the skies
were clearing and our summit attempt was back on. It took a while for
everyone to get boots, crampons, and harnesses on but by 11:00 they were
ready and on their way.
So here we go. I may not hear from the team as often as everyone would like,
but stay tuned. I will try to send a new cybercast every two to three hours
with news of how the climb is progressing. Hopefully it will be all good
news. As I prepare to send this it has also cleared after dumping a couple
inches of snow here at base camp. The stars are out, and soon the moon
should appear to light the way of the climbers.
Base Camp Manager
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