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First Steps up Everest

Two mountaineers navigating a glacier on a Gasherbrum II Expedition

Tomorrow — very early in the morning — will see the first foray by some of our team members through the ice field and onto the main slope of Everest.

The weather so far has been both a blessing and a problem. It has been unusually warm, allowing our climbers to bask around in t-shirts and flp-flops, and to continue all their prep work with no hinderance from snow, ice, gales and all the other standard weather problems. Definitely not a regular Everest year. On the other hand, the warmth has caused the area of ice between Base Camp and Camp 1 to be unusually active. That’s why the team has been practicing and acclimating on Lobuche. It’s a lot safer than crossing multiple times through that moving ice field.

However, at least one of the team plans on attempting Everest this year without the use of supplemental oxygen. To be successful at that, he needs time to acclimatize to as high an altitude as possible. Lobuche won’t cut it. So, tomorrow (Thursday) morning at around 2:30am local time (that’s around 1:45pm PST Wednesday in the US), Adrian will be guiding Dave through the ice flow and hopefully on up to Camp 2. They will be the first of our team to ascend through the ice field, apart from our Sherpa who have been moving gear up there for days.

More info as soon as we get it!
-Adrian Ballinger, via sat phone