Last night was wild. Gale
force winds that threatened to rip all our tents away. In fact we had to
postpone our trip to C1 as a result of the wind destroying the tents. Also the
long ladder pitch shown in my recent update was completely destroyed as huge
blocks of ice above and below it detached themselves from the glacier above.
According to Sidiar our Sherpa leader it will be easier and safer now. As a
result Manuel, Dirk and I decided to get some exercise and climbed up to 5600
meters above the Pumori base camp where we thought we could get some views of
big E. We were not disappointed the views exposed the ice fall, the top of the
Lhotse wall, the South Col and the whole ridge up to the South Summit, the
Hilary Step and the top itself. You can see in the picture the winds which
swept all the snow off the main face exposed as an aura around the summit
area. Absolutely no go area for the time being!!!
The trip was also a useful
test of my current acclimatisation. To be honest I felt like it was a walk in
the lakes. My breathing and power seems to be really good. Dirk struggled a
bit and was disappointed given my 15 years his senior but he was fine really.
Manuel looks as though he really could go all the way without O2. I have
considered this myself but have firmly made a decision to use it as its not
just about helping breathing but also decision making and avoiding frostbite.
Base camp is now like a mini
town with Yak supplies arriving every morning. The American's and some other
teams are putting up boundary ropes like they own the place which is really
very unhelpful. In summary I feel really positive, just a pain not having
access to my own phone and having to rely on the generosity of others.
Dirk Stephan and Keith Woodhouse, a small German/English team of two will
attempt Everest in Spring of 2005 via the normal southeast ridge route. Keith
is in his fifties, Dirk 39. "Both of us have extensive mountaineering
experience, I am in a lifetime project of the seven summits, already started
with Kilimanjaro, 20 years ago. My expeditions have been self organized
whenever possible. I soloed Aconcagua and Elbrus - if you can call it this way
on this beaten tracks. Everest and Carstensz are still missing. Keith and me
climbed Denali together the year before. Keith works for British Telecom as
Manager Global Solutions. I am Pilot for a German Charter Company. My aim is
to support a cancer charity. This has a personal background, as my wife has
cancer herself and I am greatly involved in researching things and supporting
people with the same fate. Everest is a good opportunity to raise funds things
like this. Every support is welcome!"
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