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The team head up again to acclimatize
8 May - Chinese summit
This was day that all of BC was waiting for. The Chinese Olympic torch team summited and so now we are free of interference to climb Everest. The army cleared their camps and left on the 9th - smartly, as they promised.
While everything seems OK at BC, compared with other years all the expeditions are a bit behind. The ropes should be fixed up to South Col, but this won't happen until the 11th or even 12th of May, and yet the first real weather window begins a day after. Even with the ropes fixed to South Col it will be a few more days before any possible summit attempts. South Col must be stocked, which will take at least two-three days of load carries, and there is the fixing of the ropes to the summit to be arranged. There will only be a meeting about this in BC once the ropes have reached South Col.
I have a new link to Alan Arnette's dispatches. He is not climbing with us this time but his dispatches are still interesting.
Tarke removing a camp hazard - Jamie
The kitchen crew help Marty level his tent spot - Jamie
An ice avalanche from the Lho La (ie the border with Tibet-China). The camp is far from where it fell, despite appearances - Jamie
From 4 May: Anselm, James, Raphael and myself took a testing day trip up to Pumori ABC. Funnily enough Mara, the base camp manager for Jagged Globe set the pace. She is an athlete. Anselm has previously climbed with Jagged Globe. - Jamie
8 May - Jamie's BC life
Life alternates between the serious and the hilarious, sorting out oxygen and loads, and tea parties, thanks Phil. Analyzing the weather is the most crucial, and yet the most tricky. A snapshot of the different forecasts, both free and paid for, shows a clear picture, but compare the same forecasts only a day different and the real variability of the computer modelling shows up, and so constant adaptation is required. Storms especially, like Cyclone Nargis, are not well predicted. Luckily that should be the last one of the climbing season.
The other really tricky issue is health, related to climbing. Oxygen saturation measured by the 'evil' finger thing shows if work might be needed, but is only part of the equation. Intestinal issues, without lab testing, are perhaps the trickiest, and have stopped many a climber, and often these originate from Kathmandu or personal hygiene rather than our kitchen. And then all this happens in combination...
Some of my BC time is also taken up staying on top of email, we still get plenty of enquiries about treks and future expeditions. Then there are endless small things like patching boots, keeping our solar power system in condition and coordinating with other expeditions.
9 May - Camp 2
The climbers and most of the sherpas are at Camp 2, and a few team members have climbed part of the way to Camp 3. The sherpas are making our Camp 2 dining tent comfortable (a Mountain Hardwear Stronghold, same as at BC) by moving rocks and tomorrow will hack tent platforms out of the ice and stock Camp 3. So the expedition is progressing nicely.