Thursday, May 4, 2017

Potential summit bid in the works for Anders! Potentially May 10th is the day.

Judy and I had a real nice long conversation with Anders via Face Time Audio early this morning.  It was a little after 4pm in Nepal and he was resting in his tent (once the sun goes down behind the mountains, about 3:30 each day, one finds that retreating to the tent and the warmth of your sleeping bag to be a prudent strategy).  We had a great connection, which is not always the case in communicating to/from Nepal.

Anders is fine and in good spirits although he is wrestling with a bit of a head cold.  Five weeks into this expedition, basically everybody is fighting a bit of something--John and Brent also both have a bit of a cold.  They're not as bad off as Ant (the cook) whose cough was so bad he ended up breaking a rib or two while coughing and now is a bit out of commission due to the pain.  These niggling pains will probably stick around for the duration because things just don't heal/improve very fast at 17,400 feet.  Indeed, back here in Delaware, I have a little cold as well.

Everest, especially at the summit, has been plagued by high winds over the last week or two, which has slowed the placement of a fixed line all the way to the summit.  However, the forecast does seem to be improving with the jet stream moving north due to an expanding ridge of high pressure.  If thats the case then expect the fixed lines to reach the summit in the next 2-3 days.

One worrisome factor is the extreme cold at the summit.  It's minus 40 degrees F, which is pretty much right at the lower limit for most folks.  It is scheduled to warm somewhat (although still be quite cold) and the relatively calm period, wind wise, does look to create a pretty big summit window:  Probably from May 8th to 12th or so.  The snow could be picking up a bit towards the latter part of that window, which might be an issue.  Here is the latest forecasts for the summit:

Friday May 5th
-15 to 25 mph wind
-Minus 20-24 F
-5 to 6 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 56

Saturday May 6th
-10 to 25 mph wind
-Minus 22-26 F
-5 to 6 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 49

Sunday May 7th
-10 to 20 mph wind
-Minus 18-22 F
-5 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 53

Monday May 8th
-5 to 10 mph wind
-Minus 18-20 F
-4 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 44

Tuesday May 9th
-5 mph wind
-Minus 15-18 F
-10-12 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 35

Wednesday May 10th
-5 to 10 mph wind
-Minus 13-17 F
-11-13 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 33

Thursday May 11th
-5-10 mph wind
-Minus 11-13 F
-15-18 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 30

Friday May 12th
-10 mph wind
-Minus 11-13 F
-15-20 inches of snow
-wind chill: minus 33

Anyways, the current plan is for them to leave early the morning of Saturday May 6th.  This would put them up at Camp 2 mid day on the 6th.  Ideally, they would rest at Camp 2 on May 7th, because the move from EBC to Camp 2 is a big and tiring one.

If the window holds then they would don oxygen masks and tanks and make the relatively short trip up to Camp 3 on the 8th and they would overnight there.  The move from Camp 3 to Camp 4 at the South Col would be scheduled for Tuesday the 9th, and they would likely get to Camp 4 mid day and they would rest there before a late 5/9 or very early 5/10 move for the summit.

May 10th is at this point their summit day.  a final call on this will be made tomorrow.

It's getting close now.

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