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Jamie's summit pix
We made it!
Half the team is en route to Kathmandu (23-24 May), the other half at BC about to leave, all except Jamie who is helping with the Project Himalaya summit push.
18 May to the summit, 8848m
We did not have the smoothest start, perhaps insufficient planning by some people that had a snowball effect.
Tonya and Da'Yula did the best and set off at around 11pm (17th), slowly and steadily. Sele was supposed to set off at the same time but even with the hour's advance on the schedule ended up still being the last. The rest of us were to set off around 12 midnight but due to the oxygen being outside less than 2 metres from the tent, this added some confusion and so Micha, who was ready, set off later than he should have. Myself and Namgyal have to take responsibility for this.
I set off with Namgyal around 12:30 and Namgyal caught to the front runners while I stayed at the back to ensure everything was OK. A few minutes out of camp I came across Sele moving two steps at a time. Sange, the sherpa with him, and Sele had not turned on Sele's oxygen. When I fixed this he immediately picked up speed.
We climbed thru the night, climbing the Second Step just as the sun hit. Sange (Sherpa) turned back, his boots feeling uncomfortably tight with his feet swelling. Just above the Third Step a fast team past us going the other way, having already summitted. There is a lot of safety in speed.
Further up at the end of the snow triangle as the trail sidles around you think you are close but the summit is still an hour away. Just before here here I asked Sele to turn back knowing that he wouldn't. I caught up to Micha to check he was OK. He was finding the altitude tough but wanted to keep going. We met Brad and Tonya and Dudu heading back with Namgyal after summitting and I asked Namgyal to turn Sele back but he didn't. Dawa was with Sele.
Near the summit on the easy terrain I picked up the pace and got to the top so that I could photograph Micha summitting.
Micha a few steps away from summitting, 9:15am
Another 'stunning' self-portrait. On top. I arrived at 9am.
Micha here because of Panasonic Toughbooks,
and these dispatches have all been from my Panasonic Toughbook which works no problem at 6400m.
The old oxygen bottles are not ours.
Finally Sele (left) and Dawa arrive at the summit, around 10:05am Nepal time. Yes, definitely
later than prudent.
Luckily there was still little wind.
Sele with the South African flag
Micha heading down, the fearsome Kangshung Face on the right.
Dawa Gyeljen of the EPP team (not to be confused with Dawa, sirdar of the Project Himalaya team).
Yep, Sele had an epic descent, perhaps I will write more about it. However after two days he was in ABC where he was able to start recovering. He is OK, thankfully.