Who said that patience is not a virtue! The weather has been all over the place over the last few days with very high winds battering the mountain.
As you know most of our camp at the North Col was badly damaged by them. Thankfully Nurru, one of our Sherpas who was up there, had the presence of mind to put all our high altitude equipment (O2 masks, down suits etc) in a tent which was weighed down with our O2 cylinders so it was not blown off the skinny North Col ridge by these colossal winds!
Our forecast for a suitable window to push for the Summit appears to have slipped by 48 hours as our weather strategists have the jet stream right over the Old Girl until the weekend. Frustrating as we are very keen to get on now, however this is a waiting game now and we need to be intelligent first and enthusiastic second.
Team 1 (Hempie, Duffy and Charlie) are now at Advanced Base Camp and are going to wait there. We, Team 2, are now back at Base Camo as our Doc, George Rodway, who is one of the world’s leading experts on high altitude physiology, if not the leading expert, is adamant that it is better to wait low as the body is not deteriorating at the same rate as it is higher up. This high altitude mountaineering malarkey really is not that kind on the body I'm learning! Anyway, George is a huge resource and a very fine climber to boot - very funny too!
Weather and how we understand it is going to be the key to our success. We will more than likely make our way to ABC tomorrow.
Everyone is resigned to this game of cat and mouse even though minds are keen to get on as thoughts now are of home and loved ones. We have been on this impressive mountain for 45 days now!
Spirits are high, though. Humour is never far away and there is great trust and confidence within the team. I am sure we will weave our way through these complex weather systems as we head up topside.
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