The waiting, the resting and the acclimatisation is over. Tomorrow we move up to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to get ourselves in position for our summit push. Our exact schedule is not yet confirmed as there still remain a few uncertainties, such as when the remaining ropes will be fixed between 8300m and the summit, and which day is likely to be the best possible weather window. We would also like to know what other teams are doing to try and avoid summit day bottlenecks. But we’re now focussed on the mountain and in summit mode.
I’ll be sharing a tent with team mate Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson during our summit push. Any of you who have been following his blog at climbforhope.wordpress.com may raise an eyebrow at this. His writing has been described as “dramatic” by some, and “depressing” by less kind people. For those of you who read his last post, where he listed the many ways it’s possible to die on the summit ridge, I’d like to assure you that we’re here to enjoy ourselves, have strong Sherpa support, and as long as we take care there’s no reason to suppose we won’t get up and down safely and in one piece. Thankfully Grant is not so pessimistic in real life as he is on the page, so we should be able to keep conversation light inside our tent.
I’m very fortunate to have Chongba Sherpa with me on summit day once again. Chongba was my personal Sherpa on Manaslu last year, where he was an absolute star, looking after my oxygen as I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. He is hugely experienced, having summited Everest 12 times from the south side, putting him among the elite. He has never summited from the north and is very keen to do so.
I won’t be posting any updates while we’re on our summit push, but if you’re interested in keeping updated then regular dispatches will be posted on the Altitude Junkies website.