Dear Family and Friends,
This blog is from Matt. The last blog described our last foray up the hill and mentioned that I strained my Achilles tendon on the Lhotse Face on the way to camp 3. When the injury occurred and I descended to camp 2 it didn’t feel too good. Whilst sitting in the tent at camp 2 I had some time to think about the consequences. The descent to base camp made me realise my footing was unstable; I was favouring the injury which was making things worse. After a visit to the doctor at Everest ER I started thinking of the consequences of tearing the tendon further and doing it again on the Lhotse face would be quite problematic. I also know what it feels like and the instability in the foot makes me realise that it is not in a condition to try and climb 3500m from Base camp to the summit. I have decided to leave the expedition with enough strength in the foot to walk back to Lukla slowly. We came to climb self sufficiently, and that means self evacuate. There are a number of other reasons for erring on the side of caution that I will not go into here. Obviously it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for the last 3 days, and Soren has been a great support. Something like this in a small climbing team can really test a friendship, and it has made it stronger, which is always one aim of a mountaineering expedition, come back as friends. I wish Soren the best in continuing on up the hill, and fulfilling his dream of summiting Mt Everest. He’s a strong determined climber who deserves the success in the manner in which he continues to climb.