Journal Entry 5/3/21
I just got back a day ago from another climb through the ice falls up to Camp 1 and then on to Camp 2. This was a challenge; each day started at about 3:00AM. The issues I have been experiencing are not physical, but I am dealing with lots of problems acclimatizing. My lungs are a problem and, unfortunately, not improving. I am on steroids, but I do not seem to be coming around.
This is the sixth time that I’ve been climbing back and forth through the icefalls. There have been serious problems within the icefalls over the last couple of days with two major collapses of these building-size blocks of ice. Yesterday there was a particular problem with a several story-size block of ice crumbling down no more than 50 yards in front of us. We were stuck there for a couple of hours and then maneuvered about 12 ladders to work through the broken ice. Since no climbers or Sherpas had a chance to create the trail, we basically needed to maneuver it with no guidance. Two days before that, there was another collapse shortly before our way up leading to a similar problem.
During one of the climbs to the icefalls, we were behind a team that had a blind climber…pretty impressive! I also had a close call crossing one of the crevices that was about 70-feet deep; I caught my crampon on my boot and fell on a snow bridge over the crevice, it was only about 6 inches wide. That was quite scary!
Once you leave base camp, the setups in the other camps are very primitive. In Camp 1, our toilet is basically a hole in the snow. We share tents and there is no food other than what you brought along with you. We were snowed in there for one day, so we ended up having to spend three nights there before moving on to Camp 2. Camp 2 is a little better with a small kitchen area and at least a bucket for a toilet. We partially climbed up to the Lhotse Face the following day and then went all the way back down to EBC where we ran into the icefall problems again.
We are still having major Wi-Fi problems here at EBC. We virtually have no Wi-Fi capability, which continues to be quite frustrating. Everyone here is getting along really well with no problems…that I know of at least.
I’m the only one that seems to really be getting this sick at the end of each leg of the trip. Andy continues to be wonderful to work with, especially through all of my difficulties.
From what we’re hearing, the weather report does not look good over the next couple of weeks. They are predicting anywhere from 30 to 45 inches of snow up on the mountain in the next few days. Apparently, the route to Camp 3 is the worst it’s been in decades with nothing but a vertical ice sheet to get there.
No one ever got to the top of the mountain in one giant jump. Challenges can be overcome and goals can be reached, but it can only happen one step at a time. – Doe Zantamata