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The EPP team is acclimatized and up at ABC waiting on weather
The Project Himalaya team is acclimatized and feeling very good, most of the team is down at BC or lower building up for a push sometime.
I added a couple more pictures to the last CHE North Col dispatch.
Now the 'rescue'.
10 May rescue?
An English company with Explore Himalaya as the ground handler called for our help on late 9 May but it took a while to establish that there really was a need for some assistance. With most of our sherpas carrying oxygen up to 7650m and 8300m I (Jamie) after a night at BC trekked up to ABC with the EPP team. They trekking team had rather ambitious plans and an over-ambitious schedule; not a well-planned trip, and were apparently stuck on a glacier the other side of Lhakpa Ri unable to go down (rather strange, I thought), finding it hard to go up and almost out of food and fuel.
11 May to the rescue
Scott (feeling strong), myself (on my fourth tough day in a row) and Phura Gelu (rested) set off to near the Lhakpa La, a 6800m 'pass'. Leaving camp we came across the sherpas of the trekking group. They were tired after a 20 hour day the previous day but happy to be among friends at ABC. now having first hand info we dropped a little of the food we were carrying and headed up, gaining the col perhaps 3.5 hours later. I was expecting that we would have to drop down the other side and supply the trekking team, who surely must be very tired and almost out of food. Instead they were on top of the real Lhakpa La about to drop into horrible terrain. I yelled over to them and in the wind they still heard me. I tried to make them understand that the route we were on would be much better, and all they had to do was climb 40m more and drop on easy rock to get to where I was but they were not in the mood for working out what a stranger was trying to tell them. They thought they had it worked out by following the sherpa footprints.
Frustrated that they had just ignored their rescuers we climbed down, with one spot where myself and Phura Gelu abseiled down perhaps 6-8 meters with Scott down-climbing then we cruised back to ABC arriving well before dark. All the way back we could see the pitifully slow progress the trekking team were making, high above us. They seemed to be on their last legs. We were not easily able to reach their position and didn't have helmets, and undoubtedly they were loosening lots of rocks. So we left them to it and they finally arrived in camp around 9pm utterly exhausted.
Scott Woolums, joint-leader of the Project Himalaya Everest expedition
Phura Gelu, brother of Da'Yula
Scott and Phura Gelu climbing up the standard route for Lhakpa Ri
ABC is almost visible on the far right, North Col mid-right and Everest looking huge and forbidding center-left with cloud spilling off it.
Scott and Phura Gelu coming around to the Col; I had already seen the
trekking group and signaled them.
Behind is Lhakpa Ri, but only the false summit is visible.
Scott down-climbing the slightly tricky hard ice section; he had lowered
his pack previously with the rope.