The time has come
Mario Puzo said that “luck and strength go together. When you get lucky, you have the strength to follow through – you also have the strength to wait for the luck.”
Having waited 13 days at Base Camp, our luck has changed. That elusive weather window that has remained beyond our grasp at the moment has now become a feasible reality. Tomorrow we leave the security and relative comfort of Base Camp in our bid to stand at the summit of Mt. Everest. Our attempt will take 6/7 days depending on whether we take 1 or 2 days rest at ABC so we are aiming for the 25th/26th May.
After 1 or 2 days rest at ABC we head high. Timings are roughly 6 hours to North Col, 5-8 hours to 7800m, 5-8 hours to 8300m then maximum 12 hours to the summit. Each night we will dine on freeze dried meals, stay hydrated through boiling snow on a stove in the vestibule of our tents and rest as much as possible. A lot of my teammates are going on O2 from 7000m which I think is rather a shame but who I am to judge. I and 5 others are using it from 7500m. We will all sleep with our masks at 7800m before our push into “The Death Zone” – as it is affectionately known – above 8000m. Hopefully we will arrive at camp early afternoon before brewing and eating for 5 hours or so. Our departure times are staggered to ensure that everyone has the best chance of getting to the top whilst maintaining the best safety measures so as to keep us from spreading out across the ridge. I will leave high camp at 21:00 KTM time.
Yesterday we had an extremely productive and necessary meeting discussing our summit attempt. All questions regarding the route, O2, tents, cooking & clothing were answered and a 12 hour turnaround time was established. A depressingly large % of the fatalities on Everest and other big mountains are the people who stay out too long, ignore turnaround times and perish on the descent. What this means is that if I am not at the summit by 9am, I should be making my own way down. It is one of the most important safety measures.
George Mallory said that “climbing Everest is all about heart”. Whilst there are a number of other factors to consider to have a successful attempt, the burning desire to reach the summit is certainly one of the key factors. For 4 years I have been attempting to reach the highest point in each of the 7 continents. In one week, this massively ambitious project could be at an end.
I will do my absolute best, anyone that knows me knows that they can expect that at the very least. I will push myself as hard as I can whilst always staying prudent and knowing that it isn’t a successful bid until I am safe at ABC and on the phone to my family.
Thank you everyone for all your support over the duration of this project from my family, my friends and my sponsors. When things get tough up there, and they will, the strength you have given me will make a massive difference and keep me putting one step in front of the other. Thank you.
I will keep you updated on my progress as much as possible whilst up there.
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