Climbed up to C2
Fiona climbs up on her way to camp 2. Yes, that's what the colors look like at 7am. Photo Paul Adler.
Location: Camp 2
Local Time: 17:45, May 6
Weather: Fine all day. max 6C
Hi It's Paul here, Today we woke up at 5am, got ready and left camp 1 for camp 2 at 6:20am. The plan was to beat the heat of the day. We are climbing much faster now, and 2 hours and 40 minutes later we pulled into camp 2. The sun only hit us at about 8:30, so we timed it pretty well right. We were able to join Dennis, Jim & Jack who were already at camp 2 for their breakfast. We are really pleased to be climbing much faster as it's proof of our acclimatisation.
Testing sock combinations
I tried a slightly different sock combination today. I have been using a plastic bag between my liner and thick sock to stop any sweat getting into the thick, warm sock. The plastic bag is a bit annoying, because it makes my outer sock slip around. My feet were noticably cooler this morning, so I am going to have to try to work out a way to stop my socks from moving around so much.
We are going to rest here tomorrow, and then climb up to camp 3 the next day. After sleeping the night we will hopefully climb up towards the yellow band on oxygen, to test it out. We will then return to camp 2 and go down to base camp the day after.
Other IMG climbers
Jim and Jack are going up to C3 tomorrow, Dennis will go up to C3 the day after with us. We haven't heard of Dan's plans, but I presume he will be coming up to C2 sometime soon. Brenda was going to camp 2 yesterday, but she didn't feel well and turned around at camp 1. She said she was still recovering from a cold and felt that a few more days in bc would do her good.
We heard from Mary this afternoon that she is at the Eco Lodge in Lobuche, suffering from a mild headache. However, she was very excited because she is going to have her first shower in many days. At US$18 per night, the Eco Lodge is one of the more expensive lodges on the trek into base camp, but it's really nice and the food is fantastic. Highly recommend the pizza! I am not sure of her plans, but I imagine she might rest there a day and then head up to Gorak Shep, before going to base camp.
From Dennis Kellner
Hi it's Dennis here. I am currently returning from my own man made hell. I climbed straight from basecamp to camp 2 in one day. It took me about 8 hours and the last 2 hours were pure agony. First of all I did not take care of myself (rule number one). I should have drank twice as much water as I brought along. I should also have eaten more and consequently I paid the price. The way from camp 1 to camp 2 is basically a steady uphill climb which takes us through the Cwm, a saddle between 2 mountains. This valley like area is snow covered so it turns into an oven when there is no wind and a clear blue sky, just like yesterday. Paul measured the temp at a little over a 100 degrees F. With the addition of the reflection off of the snow it becomes a veritable oven. So in addition to not taking care of myself the weather was perfect for getting a tan. With about half of the oxygen available to us at sea level walking uphill with heavy boots, a 30 lb. pack and all of the clothes you would normally wear up at 20,000 feet and not taking care of myself it was a recipe for trouble. Luckily I made it with no other side effects other than being completely spent upon arrival at camp 2.
I had planned to take 1 rest day before moving up to camp 3 but there are enough usable brain cells up in the old bucket so I am going to take two rest days. That will put me on the same schedule as Paul and Fiona. So we plan to go up to camp 3 on Monday and spend the night there. Tuesday we plan to take a little walk towards camp four to get used to using our masks and oxygen. Then we plan to come down to camp 2 and on Wednesday back to basecamp.
As of today it looks like we will not have the infrastructure to attempt a summit for 10 or 11 days. At that time we must wait for a good weather window. So the chances of an early summit are not looking real good today. The talk lately is turning more and more of home so we are eagerly anticipating to be able to summit as soon as possible. It appears we all will be sitting around basecamp waiting for the first opportunity to attempt a summit. I know for me and I suspect for most of us it can not come too soon.
Thankyou everyone that is following this site and your posts to us. Everyone of us look forward to hearing from you. It's a little bit of home for us. It is sort of like when GIs get mail from home. Tam I love you and miss you terribly and I am eager to get this thing done and get home to you.
Thanks everyone for putting your state and country after the message. Sure makes for interesting reading over here on Everest.
Hi Christy, Fiona here. How do I keep my strength up and cope with the cold? We trained solidly for 2 years for this, so we have started from a pretty good base. Eat lots, while climbing, keep up the energy (we use GU gels) and water. A lot of it is mental strength and determination though. I set myself small goals throughout the day, like the next rock! We also focus on the planning & strategy a lot - when to rest, when to climb, what to carry, how long to stay in one spot, time of day to climb, what gear, how to factor in illness. If you have the right gear and use it properly you shouldn't be too cold!
Hi Paula & Steve, Thank you very much for your email and for the offer of sponsorship. We would very much like it if you could support the foundation that IMG are going to establish for Phinjo's family. Without the Sherpas we wouldn't be here - it's that simple. We feel a great deal of debt to all the Sherpas, but particularly to Phinjo's family. So if you can in any way no matter how small help his family that would be the best form of sponsorship we could get. Re other climbers: Is there any IMG climber in particular that you would like more info on?
Thanks Chuck for your comments. Its a lot of work (and fun), but your feedback makes its all worthwhile.
Hi Tim, We are running our own race a bit, often we are the only ones in camp.
Donavan, Yes it was 30 eggs - our entire supply up here. All that climbing made him hungry! (He went as far as the Lhotse face.)
Hi Monette, No results from the NASA tests. Not sure how accurate they are going to be, because I think I did my best up here at C2 as I had done the test several times before.
The Italian Climber: I saw a member of his team yesterday when we were climbing through the icefall. He is back in Italy, and doing well, however his vision is still very blurry.
Puja Ceremony: My very limited understanding is that it's a ceremony perfomed by the Lama. In our case it was for safe climbing, but Mary also attended one which was for a good harvest.
What's Gu: Gu is an energy gel we eat while climbing. It provides both slow and fast release energy, unlike lots of other snacks which just provide one or the other. They are very easy to digest, which is really important up here.
Golf Balls: No they are not normal golf balls; they are lighter and have holes in them.
MC, when we are all back in BC I'll try and remember to ask Jack and Dan what they are taking. It's a real concoction. Deb, Dan's wife could probably enlighten everyone.
Steve, I don't think IMG have ever had a bottle fail. They seem to be so safety conscious that I would guess that there will be extra oxygen available in reserve in the event of a bottle failure. They have provided us with as much oxygen as we want to practise on. I sat on oxygen for 2 hours at base camp practising (secretly I was hoping it might help my throat!). I think the larger Poisk bottles that climbers use weigh 4kg. My pack probably weighs 3 kg!
Hi Cathy great to hear from you.
Rita, definitely no dogs have summitted Everest! Way too steep.
Jonathon, No we didn't do any sports psychology training before we left - any suggestions?.
That's all Folks,
Posted by: Liz - Upper Montclair, NJ USA on May 6, 2006 11:39 PM AEST
Thank you for your most interesting dispatches! I am very impressed with the fact that you have not missed a day so far! We had several technical difficulties when at EBC and ours were rather sporadic. Also the cost was quite high - not sure if rates are just lower now than a couple of years ago.
Keep up the great work,
Posted by: Tana Kellner on May 7, 2006 01:57 AM AEST
Hello from New Mexico (Cannon Air Force Base otherwise known as the hot dry desert). Just wanted to tell you "YOU'RE THE BIG KAHUNA" I wish you luck in your endeavor. Do you have someone there to bring you a cold beer? If not and you make the summit I'll get you one. Love Tana and Ian. Think warm thoughts and Dad helped me write this. We are wishing you all good luck and hope you all make it to the summit and back safely.
Posted by: Elizabeth on May 7, 2006 02:28 AM AEST
Wow, it sounds like you are doing really well. Keep going!
Posted by: Em & Marc (Lausanne, Switzerland) on May 7, 2006 03:11 AM AEST
Great work reaching Camp 2 in blistering form! Keep up the great work, and make sure all your extremities are kept warm! We listened to your radio interview Fi- nice work!
Stay well- we are cheering you on!
E & M
Posted by: Steve New York on May 7, 2006 03:18 AM AEST
Thanks for answering my ? about the O2 tanks. I'm sure at times you may feel isolated up there. Although probably not as interesting, I hope my little report will bring a smile to you.
Location: Kinston, NY
Local Time: 12:14, May 6
Weather: cloudy, some sprinkls. max 18C
Cooking turkey gumbo today. Wish I could send some to you on Everest. Cats are taking a rest day, and will probably do the same tomorrow.
Posted by: Bud Allen on May 7, 2006 04:42 AM AEST
I use that term presumptuously seeing I am now half way around the world. My heart, however, is still with the team on Everest. My sudden reversal of fortunes still has me reeling. Last Saturday I thought Kami and I were headed for Camp III and our final rotation then some time down valley. Seventy-two hours later I am back in the Georgia pines. I am still not feeling "crash hot" but I am already planning next year.
I did want to say how much I value each and every member of this team. Your friendship and support over these weeks has been a tremendous asset. I can easily see every one of you standing on the summit in short order. Of course in my twisted way I probably see it a little differently. I see Paul on top of Everest working on his PDA while Fiona carries his pack. Dave is explaining the benefits of gluten free living while Dennis is wondering why his beer froze. Brenda is trying to get up a game of charades and Justin would walk down and climb it again this afternoon if he didn't have to miss lunch. Marcus is recording sat rates and Walter is studying the weather and trying to figure out what word goes with "marker". Jim is still working on his theory that if you go high enough you can kill any pathogen you have. Jack has his Bally's and massage stick. Dan is asking everyone he meets "who likes to climb Everest and is multilingual? Moi!" John is on the sat phone getting his kids final grades. JF is wondering about the registered letter from the Canadian Air Force. Sophia is contemplating a new Rolodex for Nepalese only. And Karl is sitting there in the biggest parka in the world smiling at everyone.
In all seriousness I could not have chosen a better group of people with which to climb. And making all the pieces fit like they were meant to are Mark and Jangbu. I can't offer enough praise for the tremendous job they do. My prayers for all of you are sure steps, safe climbing and God speed. I look forward to hearing about everyone's success.
Posted by: MC - Vancouver, Washington, USA on May 7, 2006 08:35 AM AEST
Hi Fiona, Paul, IMG team and Sherpas
It must seem like you have been up and down this mountain quite a bit with several rotations still ahead of you. Keep your spirits up; the prize will be worth it!
Fiona, I can relate to how you set small goals throughout the day, like the next rock. That mind set will get you to the top.
Thinking of you all. MC
"To climb the mountain because it is there. No, I climb the mountain because I want to be there." MC
Posted by: Ron Hilton: Evergreen, CO USA on May 7, 2006 08:47 AM AEST
It sounds like the early summit option is dwindling, so what is the latest date allowed?
Thanks for the updates. Be safe!
Posted by: Phil - Sydney on May 7, 2006 10:00 AM AEST
This is my idea of heaven. After being enthralled by Everest for so many years your reports are just so great that it is almost like being there. (well not quite but incredibly realistic at home!) Just listened to the interview as MP3 on Melbourne radio. Loved the description. I hope to get to BC one day but guess time, business etc will tell.
A question? You were talking about the O2 cylinders weighing 7kg and you take 2 on summit day. What is the total weight that you start your summit climb with including every thing you carry. Another question. How tall are you both?
Thanks again for your insightful reports - a winner for many.
Posted by: Mark R : Mountville, PA USA on May 7, 2006 10:18 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul
I am so impressed by the quick climb from C1 to C2 -- awesome! You guys are doing a great job and getting stronger as the summit attempts draw closer.
Fi, thanks for the info on the ladders in the Icefall. I'm glad the largest ladder crossing this year is only 2! Those 8-ladder monsters from previous years just look nasty. Don't think Mallory the dog could have climbed one of those..... :)
To Dennis: you'll be in great company with Fi & Paul, stick with them all the way to the top! Glad to hear you made it safely to C2. I can't imagine dealing with those extreme temperature swings in the Cwm each day. Rest and take care.
Can't wait to hear of C3 and that trip beyond toward C4. While you're up there, please look up and take a photo of the Everest summit pyramid for us readers. Keep positive, that's where you're headed soon; in the footsteps of legends.
God's blessings for safety and strength to you all,
Posted by: Valerie & Rummy on May 7, 2006 11:20 AM AEST
Congratulations on your successful climb to C2. Do you have time to tell us about your own sponsorship and how hard you had to work to get the sponsors on board for your Everest climb? Stay Safe--Valerie & Rummy Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia
Posted by: Noni on May 7, 2006 11:25 AM AEST
Hey Jack! You be careful! and climb that mountain baby! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
I sent your message to one of my professors...so DU is watching you!
Posted by: Benno & Kate Claydon - Melb, Aust on May 7, 2006 12:36 PM AEST
What a spectacular photo of Fiona climbing up to C2! How fantastic, we can only begin to imagine.
It must feel great for you both to be steadily improving, getting used to the altitude, getting faster with each climb up. The gods seem to be smiling on you two.
Keep it up, more good luck to you both,
With best wishes,
Kate & Benno
Posted by: tam - Florida Keys, USA on May 7, 2006 12:41 PM AEST
Paul & Fiona:
C3 awaits you! How exciting!
With regard to your thoughts in your posting.....Ditto! But, listen to Sagarmatha. Regardless of how long the adventure takes, Tas and I will be here patiently awaiting your return. My heart is smiling.....You make me proud!
Thank you for your humor! If you pegged the others as well as you did Dennis, you have now introduced us to the entire IMG team! Glad to know you are feeling better.
To all of you:
Climb safe, climb strong. Our thoughts are with you.
Posted by: Sammie and Nick Melb Aus on May 7, 2006 01:28 PM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi,
Well done making it straight to Camp 2, sounds like you are acclimatising to plan. Paul you must be feeling much better now, which is good to hear. Fi, we listened to your radio interview and you came across really well - just like the professional athletes when they are interviewed on TV! A little short of breath but I think it just made your answers sound well considered :-)
By the way I was interested to see there is a guy called Dave who is eating gluten free - I was curious if he has he been able to maintain that while on the mountain?
Anyway, look after each other.
xx Sammie and Nick
Posted by: Mum & Dad H on May 7, 2006 04:57 PM AEST
Hi there, sorry we haven't written for a while but we've been to Blair and also our computer has died!! Invizage are coming tomorrow (Monday) - hope they do a good job!! Fiona what on earth were you doing climbing without your warm gloves on - REALLY!!!!!!! you should know better especially after Khan Tengri. Leah is now home safely & she just loved Bali. It's like Vanuatu but cheaper & better shopping (if you want to shop). It's turned quite cold today -hail & thunder predicted maybe not as cold as where you are. I started clearing the back of the block at Blair & it was very difficult so I thought of you both climbing etc & I struggled on for a bit more. Luckily I could then have a shower & hot drink. Dad went to the footy but sadly the western bulldogs lost -they've won 4 lost 2 this season. There are 2 miners stuck in a cave in northern tasmania & they've been there for 12 days now. The rescue team are working very hard to get to them but the rock they have to dig through is 5times harder than concrete. it's hoping they may get out tonight. Congratulations on reaching Camp 2 and take care & be sensible -no going out of your tent in bare feet paul & wear your gloves at all times Fiona. Love you heaps & heaps Mum & Dad xx
Posted by: Chris & Bridget (ex Melbourne, now in Mumbai) on May 7, 2006 10:29 PM AEST
Hope you've had a good rest day in C2. Great to read about your climb up, good time! Good luck for breaking new ground tomorrow with Dennis, and heading into the Big 7000 metres!
Were thinking of you today as we were forced to adopt the "Himalayan Plod" while walking here - it's so hot!
Dennis mentioned you won't be able to summit for at least another 10 or 11 days - is that for all climbers on the south side or is it just the IMG climbers? If it is everyone will there be an issue with heaps of people wanting to summit in the first good weather window?
Til then, enjoy Camp 3 and climb safely!
Chris & Bridget
PS Is Jack climbing with his funky massage stick??!