Location: Camp 3
Local Time: 17:00, 8 May
Weather: Fine and hot, afternoon snow 40C inside our tent, -16C last night.
Hi everyone, Yes we made it
to camp 3 and this update is coming to you live from 7250m. It was a pretty
tough day, but both Fiona and I feel OK up here, considering.
We left camp 2 at 5:20am and first had a gentle sloping walk to the base of
the Lhotse face. This took 1.5 hours. After a quick rest we started upwards on
fixed lines. The start was really steep, and went on for 100m. The ice is blue
and very hard. After this initial steep section the slope flattened off, but
it rarely gets below 50 degrees. Up high there are some vertical sections,
which at over 7000m makes for tough going. After 6.5 hours we reached camp 3.
The camp is literally cut into the side of the slope. The platforms are just
big enough for the tents, and if you go outside your tent you need to be
clipped in and wear crampons. To get snow to melt for water we just reach out
of our tent and grab it from the side of the slope.
How are we faring
Fiona has a slight headache, but I feel Ok. We have eaten a fair bit and tried
to drink a lot. From what we have heard from other climbers, the night is
terrible with most people hardly sleeping. In our tent there is an oxygen
bottle for use if we feel the need. However this defeats the purpose of going
up here so we don't really want to use it. It's a bit tormenting though,
seeing it there!
What does it feel like up
This is as high as we are going to get without oxygen. The next time we are
here we will be breathing oxygen while sleeping, so I thought I would share
with you what it feels like. If you don't do anything, and lie very still,
your breathing is fast, but you are not puffing. However the minute your move,
sit up, light the stove, eat, drink, you start breathing like crazy. The trick
is that as soon as you notice you are breathing hard, you force yourself to
breathe a little harder and pretty soon you are back to normal. Our heart
rates are about 120bpm at rest whereas at home they are in the 40s. We don't
notice our heart beating though, its the breathing that you really feel.
Plans for Tomorrow
Assuming we feel Ok tomorrow morning we are going practise climbing up on
oxygen. We will don our suits, masks and with an oxygen bottle in our pack and
a flow rate of 1.5 litres per minute, climb up for about half an hour. I am
really interested to see the impact of the oxygen. We will then return to camp
3, pick up our gear and head back down to camp 2.
Mary arrived into base camp this morning. She came onto the radio just as we
were reaching camp 3 so it was a pretty breathless conversation on both sides.
Mary said she was a bit tired, but otherwise felt fine. She was just in time
for lunch, and I am sure that it will be a change from the Nepalese food she
has been eating to date. We are looking forward to seeing Mary in a few days.
Other IMG Climbers
Dennis is up in camp 3 with us - his tent is about a metre from ours. He said
he is feeling fine up here and doesn't have a headache. He too is surrounded
by oxygen bottles in his tent, tormenting him.
That’s all the news we have I
am afraid, as we have been a bit out of the loop.
Thanks everyone else for your
messages, we're a bit lacking in energy to respond to more today.
That’s all for now, Paul.