FINALLY it looks like the forecast will come through for us, so myself and Team 1 are heading up to Camp 2 in the small hours of tomorrow morning. Currently the winds are tearing up at 8,000m but are forecast to be manageable by the 4th or 5th when I’m due to climb to the South Col, so it’s showtime!
I admit that waiting the last few days has been hard. You constantly worry that your hard-earned acclimatization from the last rotation might fade, or that you are getting ‘soft’ without any real climbing for over a week. Or that you might miss your flight home. None of these are likely true, but it’s hard to remember that when you are mindlessly munching on the 20th Oreo of the afternoon from pure boredom. In any case, I’m happy to get back up there, and back ‘in the game’, so to speak – and burn off those excess cookies!
It’s also nearly time to break out the down suit, the high altitude mittens and the balaclava. I’m intrigued – so far I’ve climbed very hot, almost overheating at Camp 3 in just a thermal base layer, a fleece and a shell. Climbing in the full down suit should be an interesting experiment. I can always unzip most of it if I start burning up I suppose, and as long the hands and feet stay warm the rest is just suffering. And that is my speciality.
Target time from Camp 3 to Camp 4 is 6 hours, for a total distance of 0.8 miles. Pitiful, right! It’s like climbing in slow motion. Let’s hope it’s not too slow-motion! I’m feeling strong and more acclimatized than ever, so I hope that is within my grasp.
Wish me luck – although with a lucky base camp flamingo cheering me on it should be a done deal 😉