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May 19th - Summits

The Sherpa team that was fixing the ropes finished their job yesterday and the team summited.  Now the rest of the climbers from the many expeditions still on the mountain will begin their summit attempts.
News is leaking out that several teams are summiting as I write this.  We have no news on Pasang and her attempt and as soon as we here something, we'll post it.
This is a very exciting time, but also a dangerous one, so fingers crossed for all the climbers.

Saturday May 12

Update from basecamp:  There has been some bad weather at BC for the past week and high winds are forecast on the mountain for the next few days.  The Sherpa team that is fixing the rope on the route has only reached the south col (C4).  It is not expected that the route will be pushed to the summit for a few days.  Almost all the teams in BC are waiting for this to happen so that they can plan their summit attempts, but with the monsoon approaching it looks likely that there will be a mad rush up the mountain sometime between May 18 and 24th.  It is looking increasingly unlikely that every

Avalanche - Part 2

Hugo is now in Kathmandu and this is his second installment on the huge avalanche that swept the Western Cwm in late April.  This is the story of Nima's rescue.

The Avalanche

This is Hugo's account of the avalanche that fell off the Nupste face on April 27th.

May 5- splitting the team

 
The 2012 High Adventures Expedition has decided to split in half. Hugo, Dendi, Tendi, and Karna have descended from Everest basecamp. They are currently in Tengbouche en route to Kathmandu. That leaves Karma and Pasang in basecamp where they are gearing up for a climb up the South Col. High Adventures Expeditions basecamp will remain operational to support their ascent while the rest of the team makes their way down to Lukla and then back to Kathmandu. Keep tuned to the blog for a full and detailed account of the avalanche that struck the team on April 27th.

May 3: Expedition over?

 
High Adventure Expeditions has gathered our remaining team in Everest basecamp trying to decide how to move forward without any clients. On the climb up the steep and icy Lhotse face, Amit began to develop lots of pain in his upper back. The Lhotse face is the gateway to the upper slopes of Mt Everest— a glimpse of the difficulties to come. As climbers move above camp 3, they will face the same steep and icy slopes with less oxygen, more wind, more cold, and a bulky oxygen rig on top of it.

May 1: over 22,000 feet

It was a great day for upward progress as the wind finally relented. Under clear, sunny skies we left Camp 2 and pushed up the Lhotse face. This face of ice, rock and snow stretches over 3500 feet at angles of 40 to 50 degrees with the occasional steeper bulge. This steep face requires a different climbing technique putting us onto the front points of our crampons— kicking them into the hard blue ice to get purchase. Climbing this face to camp 3 is another one of the obstacles all climbers must conquer on their quest to climb Mt. Everest.

April 30: Resting at Camp 2

 
We’ve done everything we can to make camp 2 a comfortable place to rest and recuperate as much as one can at 21,300 feet. The mountain, however, is not cooperating as much as it could! We’ve spent two days here trying to rest and recover. The 50 mile per hour winds buffeting the slopes of the South Col haven’t made it as comfortable as we’d like. These high winds are forecast to last for at least another 24 hours before the weather takes a milder turn.

April 28: Camp 2 over 21,000 feet !

 
We rose early from the tents at camp 1 anxious to reach Camp 2 and 21,000 feet. Situated higher on the mountain, Camp 2 is much more expansive than camps 1, 3 and 4. It generally serves as a form of ‘advanced base camp’ providing some of the luxury that we became accustomed to at basecamp. Again, we have tents for the climbers with a separate, larger tent for us to gather, cook and eat in more comfort. We will stay at camp 2 for several days finding the time to make a trip up to camp 3 as we continue our acclimatization. 

Apr 27: Camp1

It was an early departure from the comforts of basecamp as we rose at 3AM to climb through the icefall to Camp 1 with the Sherpas moving ahead of us to set up the camp. We arrived in good form and settled into Camp 1 to adjust to the altitude. The Sherpas continued on to Camp 2 carrying more of our equipment. Later that morning, the largest avalanche I’ve ever seen came off the face of Nuptse crashing down into the Western Cwm. The blast from the avalanche was strong enough to knock Nima, one of the Sherpas on our expedition, off the route into a crevasse.

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