We have just returned from our little holiday down the valley. We have spent four nights in Pangboche, resting, eating and playing various sporting events (of which I am reigning Frisbee champion!) We have been waiting for a weather window for our summit attempt and had about a week of bad weather so decided to drop down to Pangboche at 3950m. This is a reduced altitude of 1,400m and therefore much better place to recover and gain energy than basecamp would be.
In the next week there is a weather window opening up, when the jet stream will lift from the summit and winds will be significantly reduced to hopefully below 20mph. So depending on changes in this window, around the 14th we will leave basecamp and head straight to camp 2. We will then have a rest day there and the following day head to camp 3 located halfway up the Lhotse face.
Leaving camp 3 can be thought of as the beginning of our summit day, from this point we will be on oxygen and climbing at seriously high altitude. We will leave early in the morning, cross the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur and then finally reach the South Col and our final camp. Depending on the weather up there and the amount of other climbers going for summit we will either spend a few hours here or a whole day and night (if the weather is not perfect or if it is too busy), before we head out on the long haul to the summit!
So how am I feeling about this huge challenge ahead…? At the moment I am very excited, this is the grand finale of a project I have been working on and putting so much effort into over the last year. I am of course slightly apprehensive too, this is going to be tough, there’s no hiding that. But overall I am still pretty relaxed, I am quite confident at this stage that I will make it, but if not I can always come back in the future! Anyway I am off to climb a big hill, fingers crossed for a summit on the 18th or 19th May but that all depends on the weather!
Wish me luck!