Sunday, April 29, 2012

Camp 3 rotation complete- Lhotse route concerns

Our team had an early morning start getting in under the extreme winds that have now moved down lower on the mountain tonight hammering Camp 2 pretty good. We are happy with our action once again playing with what we're given up here in this extreme environment. In particular we are all very happy with how Marty and Joshua have been providing fantastic support to the team. They're solid team builders offering encouragement and go above and beyond in making sure everyone is safe, I'm very proud to have both of them onboard with Peak Freaks this season.

Marty has already made several laps up and down between camps on each climb they've been out. This is not new news to anyone that has crossed his path, if you were to add the vertical feet of Everest from base camp to the summit and back, he's probably already done that this season and then some. Then there's Joshua, also a professional mountain guide who is not only an exceptional technical climber who I witnessed on Pumori two years ago scoot his way up to the summit in very difficult conditions, he's also a chef, a graduate from culinary school in Ecuador, the two skill sets make for a perfect marriage in this industry.

Route/Weather: The winds we are experiencing here now should be pulling out around May 3rd with a pretty good window for fixing the rest of the route. The South Col is still not fixed but the rope is up there just above the yellow band. Once that gets fixed our Sherpas will start hauling oxygen, tents and food to Camp 4 while our team members rests.

Leaders Meeting: Another one today- some concerns have been brought forth about the condition of the route up Lhotse for those who will be climbing Lhotse this season. As it is all over in the mountains today, some deterioration of the route has presented itself. The rocks underneath that used to be glued by ice and snow are popping out creating hazards up there. The fixed line will need to be re-routed out and around the danger zone and some cleaning by kicking off rocks before anyone should try climbing in there.

What's next? Our team will come back down to EBC tomorrow and go for a well deserved vacation in the village of Pheriche. This will be their opportunity to rest, oxygenate, hydrate and load up on energy before their summit push. I've made their reservations and they are stoked to go where things are living, touch grass and that sort of thing.

I'll be out tomorrow rousting up some Sherpa climbers who were committed by their leaders at the initial leaders meeting to get their schedules underway for the rest of the work that needs done up on the route. I've been around this base are so much now meeting with everyone on various issues that I certainly don't need my map anymore. I've managed to get to know my neighborhood well throughout this expedition.

I'm looking forward to having the team all back in dinning tent tomorrow to hear their stories, it's always a pretty good night, one of those rewards of being here doing what we do. Over and out... Tim

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