Our team had a good day in the icefall today, nothing out of the norm and are now peacefully sleeping at Camp 2. The ice fall is doing what it does any given year. We all got up at 2:00am, had a bit of a meal and send off talk. The team got out the door for early to climb through the glacier with no crowds and cool temperatures. Base camp was buzzing with activity today with the sounds of numerous other teams packing up to set out tomorrow.
The plan: We got some high winds right now and the plan is for summit fixing team to meet at Camp 2 on the 16th and make the call from there on the next steps. If all goes to plan it would work to have the route fixed by the 17th. Peak Freaks Phu Tashi and Palden Sherpa will be on the fixing team.
The window for favorable weather seems to be stretching out more so this will be good in getting around bottlenecking. We've done some head counting trying to get an estimate on how many people will be up there so we can get an idea on spacing teams where possible. Keep in mind it's only the commercial operators that take this into consideration so we will also calculate the mystery factor of the private teams. According to the estimates we've made we think that about 2/3 of the original number of climbers that arrived here early April are left for the summit push. The past couple of years we've seen 90 to 130 people all summit on the same day and with how many people we have here if everyone climbs responsibly we should to see some summits taking place from the 18th to the 25th and possibly later. Earlier of course is better as it's only getting warmer.
Peak Freaks style: We keep our team small for a reason. We are able to climb as one solid unit and have more flexibility than large scale expeditions. We don't have to share camps to get everyone through a rotation, we can if we want just hang out at the South Col and suck on oxygen if the team needs time to rest or if things don't feel right or weather. We also have enough supplies oxygen etc. to allow for a second summit push if need be. All factors considered, we are ready to climb!.
However this mornings departure was minus one, Captain Crunch (Chris Cameron) got crunched when he fell down the stairs with his duffel bag the day he was leaving the US for Nepal. He got banged up pretty good and has been climbing well considering he's been in a bit of pain. Just the past couple of days his pain got worse so he went and got checked out by the doctors at the HRA and they wanted him to go to Kunde to get an x-ray. It's all good, nothing broken and is making his way back up right now. He's got time still and should be able to catch up if he's feeling good by the time he gets here, meet Crunchy.....
Crunchy (Chris) Cameron, American, 46 years old, commercial fisherman for 30 years. Fish Bristol Bay Alaska for salmon every summer and in younger years spent time king crab and snow crab fishing in the Bering sea. Also involved in salmon fisheries along the west coast off Washington and Oregon. Spend winter months in San Francisco fishing for herring. Have always been into adventure, years ago living in China for a year teaching English and running around southeast Asia for a couple more. My passion today is my time off from fishing and spending one to two months a year as a Buddhist monk at a temple in Thailand where my teacher says I need the merit to prevent my return as a fish for all the many I've captured. Peak Freaks seems like just the next natural thing "I love it" the hardest part is just getting started, leaving home going down the steps and out the door. I have a wonderful, smart, beautiful little girl "Natasha" 11 yrs old, who makes home very special for the few days a year I'm there.
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