9/3/2015 3:08:33 PM
We stuck our heads out of the tent on 30th April at 3.30 am and took off an hour later. First hundreds of vertical meters felt very strenuous before muscles warmed. We ascended to camp 1 in four hours and continued immediately to camp 2, which took another 3 hours. Altitude difference between camp 1 and 2 is about 400m. The temperature felt like being above 25 degrees, which made us to hike slowly.
We intend to rest one day in camp 2 and head to camp 3 on 2st May early in the morning. Even resting in upper camps is more challenging that at lower altitudes. Some have a habit of staring the ceiling of the tent, others read and some keep busy with some kind of chores. Sometimes it feels that getting out of the tent is an accomplishment. I read for a good while and thought how Labor Day celebration went at home.
Contrary to the weather forecast, the wind got stronger and it started snowing on Sunday night. In the morning we had over 20 cm of snow. Lhotse wall has been blue ice so far, but fresh snow makes it easier to climb as long as the wall is stabile. We decided to stay in the camp one more day and see how the weather turns out to be the following day. Waiting in 6500 m consumes a lot and therefore we tried to make the decision as soon as possible.
Morning of the 3rd May way excellent, no wind and the sun was shining. We had made our way to about 7000 m when the weather took a quick turn to worse. Climbers on Lhotse fall tried to cover themselves from strong winds and some descended with the most possible long leaps they could. This time we did not reach camp 3, not to mention staying there overnight. We did not want to stay and wait for another chance to climb to camp 3, because we had consumed a lot of energy. Instead, we came to BC today on the 4th.
We are ready with acclimatisation now. Everything has not gone as planned, but there are not such changes in plans, which would prevent us going for the final objective. The weather has bigger role from now on. Tomorrow we head with Timo about 1 vertical km to Periche, where we plan to rest and supplement energy reserves. We will return in some days, well before the anticipated summit push.
We heard that there had been rather unusual visitors in the base camp. An expedition from Brunei intended to break a record of playing a chess game at the highest altitude ever. Part of the team had turned back before base camp. The rest arrived to BC by riding horses. Soon there was a helicopter taking AMS suffering expedition back to lower altitudes. Horses could not of course be flown back, but there were people who took care of them and saw that they got back.