Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lobuche Round 2 Success!

5300m Himex Everest BC - We're back (we did the math today as we have now walked 35 miles or 60 kilometers between Everest BC and Lobuche BC, 2.5 roundtrips)! Two tough days since my last dispatch yet another successsful summit of Lobuche (20,192'). This time we slept on the summit ridge at approximately 6,000 meters. What a view (see photo of Everest as seen from our tent door, along with Makalu to the right, another 8,000 meter+ giant which looks like a shark's fin).

Our team was extremely efficient on round two of Lobuche as we left Lobuche BC at 7:30 in the morning and arrived at our high camp at 12:30, tucked carefully on the snow ledge not too far below the summit itself (see photo of our red and yellow tents as seen from the summit). The Sherpas did a great job digging out the tent platforms, not to mention anchoring our tents into the side of the mountain. Another 30 minutes vertically and I was back on top of Lobuche. This time was very special as I was joined at the top by Ellen Miller of Vail, Colorado. Ellen is the first American woman to summit Everest from both sides. She is training with us as she will attempt to climb Lhotse, Everest's "sister peak" and hopefully become one of only a handful of women in the world to have done so. I truly wish her the best for a safe and successsful climb.

Between David Tait and Ellen Miller, along with several of our guides who have stood at the top of the world multiple times, and of course our Big Boss" Mr. Russell Brice, I am in some outstanding mountaineering company. Humbled doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

Tomorrow is a much needed rest day so laundry is high on the priority list, followed closely by a shave. A new game plan will likely unfold after the third climbing team arrives back here in Everest BC late tomorrow. Soon we'll head up through the Khumbu icefall on our way to Camps 1, 2, and eventually 3 on the steep Lhotse face. Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I managed to NOT lose my camera this time on Lobuche! Take care family, friends, and colleagues.