Friday, April 20, 2012

First Ventures into the Khumbu Icefall

The last few days we have spent acclimatizing at base camp, and practicing for the Khumbu Icefall.  Today we took our first foray into the Icefall itself, walking about two hours up to the first ladder crossing over a crevasse.  Everyone did well on the hike, so it was a big confidence boost.  It was also nice to get a sense of the Icefall since the other times we head up through will be in the dark (and cold) in order to limit the exposure to objective hazards such as avalanches and shifting ice.  The two pictures are from our high point on the climb today.  One shows the view from where we took a break, including a big chunk of the Khumbu glacier, base camp (on the rocks in the middle ground), and a nice view of Pumori in the background.  It’s hard to tell at the resolution that I can send, but from that point we could see how huge base camp is covering most of the rocky section in view in the photo.  To give a frame of reference, it takes almost an hour to walk from one side of base camp (near where our camp is) to the far other side of camp (where Russell Bryce’s camp is). 


Tomorrow we start our first rotation above base camp, which will last around 5 days.  Our plan is to wake up around 1:15 am, and have breakfast at 2 am.  Then we will leave to head up into the Icefall at 3 am.  The climb should take around 8 hours to reach camp 1.  The next day we will take a rest day, and then the following day we will move up in the Western Cwm (the massive valley formed by Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse) to camp 2.  We will spend a day or two at Camp 2, and then head back down to base camp.  I will make sure to take lots of photos and will post an update once we get back to base camp!






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