Almost there

Everest Lhotse Face

I wasn’t gasping only because we had been climbing in altitudes where the oxygen level is low, but also because right in front of me, I could see the top of Everest, which was closer than ever before. Below me, there was the icy, almost vertical Lhotse Wall, which I had been climbing up for the past three hours. Down below, there was Western Cwn, aka the Valley of Silence, and in distance I could see tiny colourful spots which were our tents at Camp 2. It feels unbelievably amazing that I actually get to be here. All of a sudden, the burning sunshine turned into a blizzard and the entire valley got a white cover all over it. Visibility wasn’t more than a couple of meters. We waited for a while for the weather to clear up before heading back to Camp 2.

The preparation for the summit push is over. Climbing to Camp 3 was the final acclimatization climb and we have got to the point where our bodies should be ready to go all the way to the top. However, the route to the summit isn’t ready yet, and we have wait for the so-called weather window, when the climbing conditions are favourable. This means that the temperature on the top is low enough and the storm winds will draw back. Usually, the weather window exists for merely one week a year, which is when all mountaineers will make their summit attempt. While waiting for the weather window and the route to be ready, we will be resting and getting ready for this extreme challenge.

I am glad that despite the throat infection, I have been able to climb and make my way this far. Even though each step has been burning my throat and I am still spending the nights coughing, I have been able to climb faster than most and I really do believe that I have the chance to reach the top. It surely won’t be easy and I am pretty sure that the attempt will ask for a lot of faith, but if the weather is on our side and I will stay well, it is possible that I will be standing on the top of Everest in about a week!

Here at the Base Camp, the weather is as it usually is in the afternoon: it is snowing and we are all in our tents in our sleeping bags. However, the conditions feel almost luxurious compared to the upper camps: you can eat, the tent is warm without wearing a down gear and you have access to other things besides just the necessities. Now it is time to rest, maybe even take shower and to wait for the weather window. More from me soon! Thanks to all of you who have been supporting me and have a great first of May!