Greetings to all from a snowy afternoon at Camp 2. All expedition members are
here together for the first time in a while, even yours truly is now healthy
and back with the whole group.
Most of the climbers came up from Camp 1 today, and were caught in a fast
developing snow storm packing zero visibility out on the glacier and colder
temperatures. The colder temperatures are at least are easier to deal with
than the days when the furnice heat blasts into the solar oven of the Western
Cwm. That said, it was obvious that several climbers needed momma nature's
reminder about always carrying enough warm clothing for personal survival when
when the weather turns sadistic (yes, even warm mitts and hats).
Meanwhile, Jean and I were already at Camp 2, mainly so that I could catch up
on my acclimatization. We decided to head up to the Lhotse Face and challenge
at least part of the hard steep ice and fixed lines above. Well, you know what
the bard once said about the best laid plans of mice and men. . . The storm
came in. Our descent through complete white-out became interesting when I lost
the poorly marked trail and we had to follow a "handrail", in this case a
small icefall to find the morrainal shelf which Camp 2 is located on. Momma
Nature is always one to keep you on your toes. Thank goodness for compasses
and topo maps!
Tomorrow will be a rest and acclimation day for the whole team here at 21,500
feet while many of our Sherpa staff head up to begin building our Camp 3 at
around 23,700 or so feet part way up the huge icy face known as the Lhotse
Face (Lhotse being the world's fourth highest mountain is of course right next
to Everest and thus part of it's face is climbed en route to Everest).
As I write this, the storm is clearing, and a brief burst of alpenglow lights
up the Goliath-sized peaks surrounding us here near the top of the Western Cwm
(valley). I don't even bother to reach for my camera, the beauty is simply too
stunning. . .
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
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