Everest 2012

May 10

Dispatch #10

Published at 11:06
Dispatch created from email
Apologies for a bit of a delay in blogging- it’s a bit of a
long one but hopefully worth the read. We have walked 6 hours down the valley
to Pangboche, a small village at just under 4000m. We’ve come down to
recuperate a bit in the thicker air whilst we wait for a summit window, as at
basecamp the lack of oxygen means nothing really heals and any minor ailments
don’t get better. We’ve just been relaxing for a few days, making games such as
our own mini Olympics involving Frisbee with a barrel lid, traversing the
wooden balcony, the standing long jump, doing pull ups etc etc.

So, back tracking a bit, camp 3 rotation done! We got back
to basecamp on Friday (nearly a week ago) having climbed up the Lhotse face to camp 3 (7100m) as the last part of our
acclimatization.

It took several days; the first involved climbing directly
to camp 2 from basecamp, skipping out camp one (which was destroyed in the
avalanche we were caught in previously). It took 6 hours which was a reasonably
good time and I was pleased to be feeling pretty strong on arriving having felt
a bit rubbish in the morning. We then had a rest day at camp 2, before
ascending to camp 3 the next day.

The route to camp 3 had been changed, after the route that
was first set was deemed inherently dangerous due to large amounts of rock fall
from above. Therefore, we were some of the first people to take this new route.
The path was difficult to find but once we got to the bottom of the fixed
ropes, it was simple to follow. However, the route is composed of steep hard
dry ice this year, and the first couple of pitches were fairly difficult. The
solid ice posed a 70 degree angle in places and I would guess a Scottish grade
4; winter climbers among you will know that’s not too difficult, but with the
cumbersome 8000 meter boots we wear, and with just 40% of the oxygen we are
used to at sea level, it becomes pretty tiring! Luckily those first two pitches
were the hardest and it became more varied from then on, the steeper parts
being less sustained.

I was pretty knackered on reaching camp 3, and it was becoming very cloudy with a cold wind.
We jumped into the nearest tent which belonged to another team (a fairly
standard procedure up here) for a bit of shelter for 15 minutes before
descending into what was largely a whiteout. Having taken 6 hours to ascend, it
was a mere two hours of descent back to camp 2 in time for a late lunch.

The following day we descended back to basecamp on one of
the hottest days yet. We raced down through the Western Cwm and then the icefall
in just 3 hours to arrive just as lunch was being served- Spam and chips, nom
nom nom!

We now have a bit of a wait. All of us in the team have
completed our acclimatization, so we are now waiting for the weather to clear
to allow for a summit bid All of the team have moved to lower altitudes to seek
more oxygen and comfort, ranging from a 4 hour walk away to a village called
Pheriche, to flying hundreds of miles back to Kathmandu to meet visiting
family! Now it looks like just a few more days of waiting before we get a
weather window, as the winds seem to be dying around the 18th, 19th,
20th May, meaning we’ll probably trek back to basecamp tomorrow then
start heading up the mountain on the 14th May. This is all likely to
change so I will do my best to keep you posted.

One other thing to say is that if anybody has heard things on the news about a particular team leaving the mountain due to dangers, this shouldn’t worry you; this is one team out of 45 who have deemed it too dangerous, the other 44 are carrying on and we believe the dangers are no more than the norm.

The only other bit of excitement has been getting a few stitches in my hand. On a rest day at basecamp I decided to go on a short walk just to get out of basecamp, and when changing the song I was listening to I fell and cut my hand on some ice, but luckily it’s been expertly stitched and I don’t think it will affect me any further.

Photos are of my feet on a ladder, our tent at camp 2 (copyright Matt Thornton), the Lhtose Face and Rob on the way to camp 3 on the Lhtose face. Many thanks for all your messages via Expenews, I am reading them and they're all really kind, thank you! Please keep them coming.
Also, please please please keep donating directly to Women for Women at www.justgiving.com/BeckyEverest

Comments


  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-11 23:04:23 Nora Russell says: Sounds like its all going great Becky - well done, hope you and Valerie still have the flags and perhaps you are able to swap them around so Valerie can the one she signed? I think she will be back in EBC soon no? Also we are trying to arrange a few interviews for your when you're back - I have given the journalist from the Guardian Matt's number- hope you don't mind! Stay focused and enjoy it! We are all thinking of you! xx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-11 09:22:34 Nicolle says: Great reading your update Becky, really do feel positive that this is your year on Everest and your mind set sounds so perfect. I know exactly how proud your family and friends are of your bravery and perseverance to truly go for something you believe you can do. Wishing you, Rob and Matthew some great times in the coming days. Stay focused, strong and safe. xx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 20:53:30 Emily Smith says: Keep going, you are amazing :) Love from Brunei xxx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 18:23:22 Holly says: Loving hearing your news. Cannot wait to chat to you about it! Hope the weather behaves itself for you. Lots of love :) xxx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 15:07:43 Jane Thompson says: Hi Becky …. thinking of you again this morning ... was in Mountbatten for interviews …. found you on the '08 yr 11 photo ….. your GCSE's were all about to begin! Miserable weather and AS exam mode chez nous - so no big news in Romsey! Andy is loving his rehearsals for the Opening Ceremony- sounds like it should be amazing! :D David starts his next week…. obv they are both mid-exams ….. Sounds like you are doing AMAZINGLY! :D Hope the nearest weather window works out. Lots of love xx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 14:38:01 Rik Elderton says: Great to hear that things are going well, superb and detailed blog, really gives a flavour of life there. I wondered if the Kosheen track I recommended via twitter has had an airing and if it inspires you as much as it has me to climb hard?
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 14:07:50 Sandy says: Sounds great Becky. Stay cool, recover and good luck!
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 12:01:24 mum & Dad says: Great to hear your news today. Fantastic photos. Do hope you get a shot at the summit after everything you have been through. Good luck with the weather.Look after yourself and that hand!! Say Hi to Matt & Rob. We are with you every step of the way, so proud of you. Enjoy this moment of your life. Stay safe and stay strong. Love you sooo... much, can't wait to have you home. xxxx
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-05-10 11:14:04 Chris says: Hi Becky, it looks like it is all going to plan. I keep my fingers crossed for the summit attempt. Best of Luck and enjoy your rest at the moment.


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