We were supposed to climb to camp three this morning. Our Sherpa team was headed for camp four to drop supplies for our summit attempt. When we awoke in camp two this morning, our Sherpas were still here. The wind had picked up overnight and a layer of cloud cover was shrouding the upper mountain. We're all tent-bound for the day to pass the time reading or listening to music.
Yesterday, on route to camp two, my guide John, and our other climber Darrell, both started to have stomach trouble at about the same time. What should have been no more than a 7 hour climb slowed to almost 10 hours as Darrell and John needed to make frequent stops. Thankfully, they're both feeling better today, and with the weather, we have an extra day to rest and recover, and especially for those two guys, re-hydrate. I'm glad whatever hit them skipped me.
I'm a bit nervous for tomorrow's ascent up the Lhotse Face to camp three. We won't be using oxygen, and the Sherpas tell me camp three is at almost 7300 meters elevation. I've never been that high before. The peak of Aconcagua in South America is the highest point I've ever climbed to before, but that is just under 7000 meters. I wonder how my body will react to the very thin air of camp three? If the weather cooperates, the plan is to make the ascent, which should be about five hours of climbing, then make some soup for lunch at camp three, rest for 30 or 45 minutes and then descend back down to camp two.
The next time we climb to camp three will be on our summit push. We'll sleep on oxygen at camp three. I think that's why I'm nervous. If we're going to need to sleep on "O's" as we climbers call them, then why would we go there without O's this time? My guide tells me we'll be dragging ourselves into camp three, but as soon as we start descending we'll be feeling awesome. I trust him completely and know from many experiences that descending at altitude is very helpful. I'll take tomorrow as a strength-building exercise. It's our last acclimatization activity, best keep a positive attitude, right?
For more details, visit Rob's No Guts Know Glory Everest Expedition blog.