Dear Family & Friends,
It took a serious amount of will power to convince our bodies that getting out of an exceedingly warm and comfortable sleeping bag in the middle of the night to haul 25kgs 700 vertical meters from EBC to C1 was in any was a sensible idea.
After much procrastination, the weather was also looking dodgy, we finally left base camp at 8.45am on April 24th, our pack laden with, mostly, important stuff.
5 hours later we were back in C1 and proceeded to brew up while settling back into and doing some minor repair work to our tent. (A pole had broken during the strong winds the previous week, but that was hardly worth worrying about when several tents from other groups had disappeared entirely – blown off the mountain and buried somewhere in the icefall…….!)
Standing outside our tent I noticed movement to my right and jumped when a black dog appeared next to me. What the…? How on earth it got through the icefall is a mystery, think lots of ladders….., but it looked right at home and was happily running back and forth between C1 and C2. Its attempt at becoming the first canine to summit Everest came to an abrupt end the next morning when it was caught, put on a leash and escorted out of town and down to BC by a bunch of sherpas. (Climbing Everest is a very competitive business.)
The next couple of days were spent carrying loads to C2 and we had a well-earned rest day there on the 27th. What better place @ 6450m, beneath the mighty South Face of Everest, to enjoy the spectacular Western Cwm while pondering how to get those damn loads up the Lhotse face to C3 and the South Col.
We set out on the 28th and while I managed to get my load to C3 @ approx 7200m, Matt was desperately unlucky and hyper extended his right Achilles tendon on the steep blue ice 200m above the base of the Lhotse face and was forced to return to C2.
Back in C2 we discussed our options and decided to return to base camp the following morning for a proper medical assessment with the western doctors at HRA – Himalayan Rescue Association.
The prognosis is not encouraging and Matt will decide what to do in the next couple of days.
Matt & Soren