Thursday, January 10, 2013

On to Camp 3 & Cell Battery 3!

Our favorite "C" boys are now on the 3rd of the the 3 satellite phone batteries, so I just had a brief call with Randy this evening.  I can't imagine not being able to communicate during these next few critical days, so let's hope that battery lasts!

They had a relaxing rest day at Camp 2, and Randy said he was feeling good.  He even took a little "hike" on his own up to about 18,000 feet, just to move around a bit and see how he felt.  His oxygen level climbed up to 81% during the day today, then would occasionally dip into the 70's or even 60's, but then bounce back up.  I really don't know how to interpret all this oxygen volatility, but he said he is definitely fine to go to Camp 3.  Meanwhile, Anders was feeling strong and ready to rock tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning (Friday) they will break camp and move up to Camp 3 at 19,500.  That is the highest camp, the spot from which most summit attempts are made --- the spot where the whole "launch or no launch" decisions will be made.   They are slotted to summit on Saturday, weather permitting.  Here's what's involved in Summit Day (if they get the chance).  They will leave at 3am (that's 1am Eastern time) with all their warmest gear on and their headlamps.  They will carry daypacks of essential gear, (gatorade, water, food, ice axe, crampons, sunblock, extra socks, layers, etc), leaving everything else at Camp 3.  It should take about 12+ hours roundtrip to summit.  That's about 9+ hours up, a little bit of time on the summit to take pictures and slap five, then a few hours down.  They will ascend up to 23,000 ft, the highest point outside the Himalayas.  But for this to happen, the weather gods have to provide a window.

Here's the latest forecast (click on it to zoom in):

Not sure if that's readable, but basically about a foot of snow is predicted by Saturday night.  The good news is snow at the top makes it easier because they can use crampons.  But having it snow WHILE they are summiting is a challenge.  So, they have to just get to Camp 3 and wait and see what happens weather wise.  And, of course, see how everyone is feeling (oxygen levels, energy levels, etc).  So lots still up in the air, including them!

Hopefully the cell phones batteries and Randy and Anders won't lose their energy until safely back in Mendoza!

1 comment:

michael stricklin said...

Watching, reading and waiting for next report. Lighting incense now with optimism and clear skies in mind.