David Wiseman reviews the challenging conditions

  • David Wiseman | May 4, 2012

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    Hi, it’s Wisey here from the 2012 Everest Summit team. We’re back down at Base Camp after spending 8 days up on the ‘hill’. We’re sent eight days at Camp 2, which is around about six and a half thousand metres, but we went up to the base of the Lhotse Ice Face as well, which is about 6,750m or something like that.

    We’re in a bit of a limbo at the moment because we’ve come down to Base Camp and we’ve had a bit of a meeting. Essentially the mountain isn’t really ready for us to climb at the minute. The ice fall is pretty dangerous this year, so we’re having to race through that, and the Lhotse Ice Face itself is very, very dry – there’s no snow on it whatsoever – which makes it pretty difficult to climb, not just in terms of difficulty but also in terms of danger.

    Essentially a lot of the rocks are melting out of the glacial ice and they prove pretty hazardous to anyone trying to climb it. There have been a couple of guys hit by rocks, thankfully no-one from our team, no-one from our expedition – everyone is well and good. But essentially we’ve come back down to Base Camp to take stock an just wait for the snow to fall. As soon as that snow falls it makes the ice wall much more hospitable and we’ll be able to whistle up to Camp 3 and beyond, hopefully, fingers crossed.

    But yeah the past eight days have pretty difficult for the team. Just getting up from Base Camp to Camp 2 in a ‘one-er’ [a none-stop trek] is very, very difficult it’s one of the hardest things I think most of the teams have done.

    Again, not anyone from our team but there were a few emotional guys once they reached Camp 2 just because they were completely spent. Anyone who thinks climbing this mountain is easy and it’s just a commercial yak track should come and have a go, because climbing from Base Camp to Camp 2 really is a physical, mental and emotional challenge – very draining indeed.

    But we’re back down at Base Camp now and it’s a just a matter of waiting out, waiting for the snow to fall. We’re all ready, we’re all geared up. We’re now acclimatised up to 6,500m and we’re ready to go for the push to the summit.

    OK, stay classy!

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