By now, most of my friends, family and followers know that I didn’t summit Mount Everest this year. It was a tough pill to swallow, but my journey isn’t over! I will make another summit attempt in 2019, and I’ll be doing some smaller summit climbs until next summer. Stay tuned for those details.
April 25, 2018, was a rest day for us. We slept in until about 8:30 a.m. and had some fantastic pancakes, bacon and a fried egg, which was wonderful. Along with my SFuels drinks and bars of course, I’m staying well-nourished.
Acclimatization walk and the Lhotse Face
Today, we planned a short acclimatization walk to see what will likely be our biggest challenge to date –the Lhotse Face. The Lhotse Face is between Camp 2 and Camp 3. This 3,600-foot wall of ice has pitches of 40 to 50 degrees, an incredibly steep climb.
I’ve included some photos here of the Lhotse Face, which show some people working their way up. Although the Lhotse Face is going to be a challenge, we’re all excited about it because it’s what’s going to get us to the main part of Mount Everest.
Return to base camp
That short journey took about two hours. Then we came back to our camp, ate lunch and relaxed. The plan tonight is to have an early dinner, go to sleep early and get up around 3:30 a.m. to head back down to Everest Base Camp. We will probably rest there for about five days before our second rotation, which involves coming back to each camp we have been to so far.
After that, we’ll head up to Camp 3 and spend the night there without supplemental oxygen (we’ll use that later) before moving back down to base camp to acclimate and rest again while we wait for a summit window. Ideally, we’ll watch for a summit window about five days from our return to base camp, because that’s how long it will take us to move back through all the camps to be in position for a summit bed from the South Col. The South Col, a sharp-edged pass between Lhotse and the Everest summit, is where we’ll find Camp 4 (an elevation of about 25,938 feet).
We drove to the Kathmandu airport this morning to catch a plane to Lukla. Lukla is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world, but our flight and landing seemed rather routine. Check out the airstrip.
Lukla is considered the starting point for the trek to base camp. While we were at approximately 5,000 feet in Kathmandu, we landed at Lukla at approximately 10,000 feet. Once getting settled in Lukla and having some tea, we headed up the Khumbu Valley towards Everest Base Camp, led by our Sherpa team, pictured below.
Along the way, we saw many interesting sites from the region, including this prayer wheel, which was off the side of the path.
Tomorrow, we have a big day of trekking. We will gain 2,500-3,000 feet as we make our way to Namche Bazaar.