Sunday, April 23, 2017

Anders Safely Back at Everest Base Camp: Successful First Rotation

Judy reporting in. I seem to be on Nepal time because I wake up around 4am (2pm Nepal time) to check if I have any update texts from the guys.  I knew Randy was fine because I had spoken to him last night, and he had a pretty straightforward hike today, well within his capabilities. But we were both hoping to have a text from Anders that he was back through the Ice Fall and at Base Camp. The plan had been to for Anders and the other 3 in his group to leave Camp 2 (21,500 ft) early AM and descend all the way down through the Khumbu Ice Fall to Base Camp, arriving by lunchtime. I knew it had been snowing a ton and therefore I was concerned about the route back. There were no texts from Anders so I did what any nervous Mom would do and checked all the newsfeed and blogs that I follow re: conditions at Everest, the Ice fall, reports from the guiding companies, etc. Sort of like when you have a pain in your leg and go on the Internet, you suddenly think you need to have your leg amputated. So of course, I read that the route had collapsed in the Khumbu Ice Fall and that climbing was suspended till Monday while the "Ice Doctors" (i.e., the Sherpas) fixed it.  Ugh....

So then I texted Randy and told him what I read about the Khumbu Ice Fall. He had arrived in Dingboche and was charging his computer so we could Face Time audio, in the meantime we started texting back and forth about what this might mean for Anders.  We both messaged guides from Madison Mountaineering, and were waiting to hear back.

Then I get this wonderful text:

"Hi Team!  Anders here. Just back to Everest Base Camp. Great first rotation. No worries at all. I had a hard day from Camp 1 - Camp 2 but we moved VERY fast and felt good sleeping at 21K."

Me back:  "Anders SO glad to hear from you. I had read on one blog that the route collapsed today in the Icefall so I'm so glad to hear you're back at EBC. I love you very much!"

Anders: A few ladders collapsed but they fixed some of it up and we could rappel beyond the other stuff. Totally cool! We made it from Camp 2 to EBC in 4 hours. We're moving really well. It's hard climbing but feeling great. It snowed every day. It was really cool camping at the bottom of Lhotse face. It's so incredible; so amazing here."

During this texting, Randy was finally able to call me and I told him Anders was back, so he was VERY relieved and started texting Anders as well. Technology is amazing: here I was in Delaware at 5Am, talking to Randy in some random village in Nepal on Face Time Audio, while both texting Anders on our family text from Everest Base Camp (3pm Nepal time, the next day).  We texted back and forth and Anders filled us in more. I look forward to talking to him later because I am not really sure how he and his elite little team managed to sneak through the ice fall. For example, what did he mean by this?

There were hardly any other climbers in the icefall today so we could really fly. It was great. I know a few teams around us tried to go this morning but got turned around. It's all good, felt very safe to me. Very happy to not be sleeping at 21,500 feet tonight. Will be awesome to recover a few days."

Anyway, it's great news that this First Rotation is successfully over, and Anders, Brent, John and Geoff are so strong and doing amazingly well.  They will rest a few days and, after a few days of dehydrated meals up on the mountain, eat a lot of great food at Base Camp, When Anders texted he said he was still in all his heavy gear and huge boots, but was already in the food tent eating a ton of food.  We will get Anders to tell us more about his last few days and hopefully share some of his pictures from this first big climb.

1 comment:

Mark Parsells said...

Judy, So glad Anders made it back safely to EBC, glad he and his team are so strong! Randy also seems to have a great guide and his photos are awesome! Glad both are well!! Best, Mark P