It’s 2:30 in the morning and a sky so full of stars as to be almost alien
shines through the frigid 17,600-foot air. Our Sherpa cook staff have been up
for a good hour already making preparations, and it is only guilt in this
knowledge which rouses me from my warm cocoon of a sleeping bag as hot bed tea
is served to us. Nervousness, excitement, fear, anticipation; emotions run the
full gamut on this the morning of the first trip up through the Khumbu Icefall
for the team. Well, most of the team. I will remain down as I am not yet
healthy enough yet to challenge the altitudes of Camp 1 and the Western Cwm.
And so, I have the luxury of observing the rest of the team and their
preparations without the underlying tension which always precedes a trip
through the Icefall.
The Khumbu Icefall. It is one of Earth’s most beautiful and otherworldly
landscapes; also potentially one of the deadliest. It’s a love/hate
relationship for all of us. Even for the Sherpas, this is never to be taken
lightly. They are up with us to start a small fire of juniper here at base
camp. This is considered to be an offering to the gods in supplication for
safe passage through this awesome chaos of shattered ice blocks and crevasses.
The sharp cracks, pops, and rumbles emanating from the living, moving Icefall,
along with the occasional roar of ice avalanches (also termed “icefall”); are
never more evident or foremost in our consciousness than the night before
heading through this passage into the reaches of the upper mountain.
Now, as I write this, the first full round trip is complete, and all are
veterans. Yesterday a very tired team returned to base camp from Camps 1 and
2. The harsh reality of eating, drinking, and breathing; of simply living at
21,500 feet has made its impression on all. Today, after a good and long
night’s sleep in the “thick air” of Base Camp, and several good BC meals, all
members are smiling, invigorated, and energized. This evening after dinner was
filled with chess and hearts games, relaxing and listening to good music, and
general good cheer. And thus begins the rest and recovery period in
preparation for the second trip up mountain.
Sorry for the bit of delay in this dispatch. We’ll be sending more photos and
Vern Tejas, Willi Prittie, Dave
Morton, Jose Luis Peralvo, and Lakpa Rita Sherpa will lead the Alpine Ascent
team on Everest this Spring. They will attempt the standard South East ridge
Sport Everest Boot has made some minor changes by adding
more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High
altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to
-75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads.
Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid
shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and
removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive
fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to
increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate
Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated
Expedition footwear for
mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold. NOTE US
SIZES LISTED. See more here.
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight
double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with
a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a
super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the
TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on
steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons
CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura®
upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating
closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated
removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand
See more here.