Let the climbing begin! We made it to Camp 3.
Fiona & Paul at the base of the Lhotse face this morning. Photo Dasona Sherpa.
Fiona climbs up a long section of the face. Photo Paul Adler.
Fiona on one of the vertical sections, this one at just over 7000m altitude. Hard work. Photo Paul Adler.
Location: Camp 3
Local Time: 17:00, 8 May
Weather: Fine and hot, afternoon snow 40C inside our tent, -16C last night.
Hi everyone, Yes we made it to camp 3 and this update is coming to you live from 7250m. It was a pretty tough day, but both Fiona and I feel OK up here, considering.
We left camp 2 at 5:20am and first had a gentle sloping walk to the base of the Lhotse face. This took 1.5 hours. After a quick rest we started upwards on fixed lines. The start was really steep, and went on for 100m. The ice is blue and very hard. After this initial steep section the slope flattened off, but it rarely gets below 50 degrees. Up high there are some vertical sections, which at over 7000m makes for tough going. After 6.5 hours we reached camp 3.
The camp is literally cut into the side of the slope. The platforms are just big enough for the tents, and if you go outside your tent you need to be clipped in and wear crampons. To get snow to melt for water we just reach out of our tent and grab it from the side of the slope.
How are we faring
Fiona has a slight headache, but I feel Ok. We have eaten a fair bit and tried to drink a lot. From what we have heard from other climbers, the night is terrible with most people hardly sleeping. In our tent there is an oxygen bottle for use if we feel the need. However this defeats the purpose of going up here so we don't really want to use it. It's a bit tormenting though, seeing it there!
What does it feel like up here
This is as high as we are going to get without oxygen. The next time we are here we will be breathing oxygen while sleeping, so I thought I would share with you what it feels like. If you don't do anything, and lie very still, your breathing is fast, but you are not puffing. However the minute your move, sit up, light the stove, eat, drink, you start breathing like crazy. The trick is that as soon as you notice you are breathing hard, you force yourself to breathe a little harder and pretty soon you are back to normal. Our heart rates are about 120bpm at rest whereas at home they are in the 40s. We don't notice our heart beating though, its the breathing that you really feel.
Plans for Tomorrow
Assuming we feel Ok tomorrow morning we are going practise climbing up on oxygen. We will don our suits, masks and with an oxygen bottle in our pack and a flow rate of 1.5 litres per minute, climb up for about half an hour. I am really interested to see the impact of the oxygen. We will then return to camp 3, pick up our gear and head back down to camp 2.
Mary arrived into base camp this morning. She came onto the radio just as we were reaching camp 3 so it was a pretty breathless conversation on both sides. Mary said she was a bit tired, but otherwise felt fine. She was just in time for lunch, and I am sure that it will be a change from the Nepalese food she has been eating to date. We are looking forward to seeing Mary in a few days.
Other IMG Climbers
Dennis is up in camp 3 with us - his tent is about a metre from ours. He said he is feeling fine up here and doesn't have a headache. He too is surrounded by oxygen bottles in his tent, tormenting him.
That’s all the news we have I am afraid, as we have been a bit out of the loop.
Hi Bud, Hope you're "cooking with gas" now! Thanks for your lovely message; we'll read it out to everyone when we are back down.
Hi Sammie & Nick, Yep Dave goes gluten free the whole way. He's been doing it for a while now (I think this is his 9th time on Everest with 6 summits under his belt!)
Thanks everyone else for your messages, we're a bit lacking in energy to respond to more today.
That’s all for now, Paul.
Posted by: Liz - Upper Montclair, NJ USA on May 8, 2006 10:33 PM AEST
Awesome!! So happy you are all feeling strong! Thanks, you made my morning.
Amazed you had the energy to send as long a message as you did :-)
Be safe, Liz
Posted by: Brad on May 8, 2006 10:48 PM AEST
Hi Guys, well done on reaching C3, you must be feeling very satisfied to know that you've made it that high and still have about 3-4 weeks for a summit attempt. We are finally hoping to move house next Wed.
Aussie News: 2 miners trapped 1km underground in Tassie will hopefully finally be rescued tonight after 14 days underground.
Good luck getting back down to BC, say hi and congratulate Mary for us.
Brad, Trace, Madi & Paige (6 weeks old tomorrow)
Posted by: Marc and Em - Lausanne, Switzerland on May 8, 2006 10:48 PM AEST
Congrats, an amazing achievement...from the photos it looks very exciting...enjoy your sleep and have a safe journey down...
Cheers Marc and Em
Posted by: Cheryl Threadgold on May 8, 2006 10:57 PM AEST
Thanks for the wonderful updates of your exciting journey, Fiona and Paul.
Great to hear of your safe arrival at the base camp, Mary. Will always be wary on Myer escalators from now on in case someone else is in training!
Posted by: Chris and Bridget (Mumbai) on May 8, 2006 11:05 PM AEST
Awesome guys, well done! Looks like the down suit got a bit hot there! Photos amazing (and amazing effort to take them while concentrating on climbing too).
Hope you are able to get some sleep tonight, and the trip down goes ok.
Chris & Bridget
Posted by: Kirk Benson on May 8, 2006 11:11 PM AEST
I'm back in KTM after my trek and catching up on all the updates. We were on Kala Pattar on the morning of May 2 in the snow when we saw the helicopter fly in and out of basecamp. I see now it was for the injured Italian.
I'm glad to see Mary arrive; as someone of the about the same age (I assume) I can attest that it's not just a "walk in the park."
A question that occured to me is this: if either of you is forced to abandon the climb, will the other also abandon or try to keep going?
Posted by: Liz - Melbourne on May 8, 2006 11:18 PM AEST
Great to hear that you are safely up at camp 3. We've been hovering around the computer to listen to your interview , Fiona and waiting for your next instalment. My daughter was keen to check out the latest in the high altitude fashion stakes. She has been fascinated to read the details of breathing rates, heart rates, how long it can take to do things and says thanks for a view of life after year 12! The 50 degree slopes sound amazing. I'll remember that when I'm battling with 7% on the bike. I hope you get some sleep tonight and good luck with the climb tomorrow. Liz
Posted by: Tim K on May 8, 2006 11:27 PM AEST
Congratulations on making it this far!! Your updates have been fantastic and are now part of the morning routine..will miss them once you have conqueured the mountain! Very interesting to see the difference the altitude makes to your resting heart rate, shows why you need that amazing level of fitness. Good luck for the rest of the climb. Can't wait to read the report from the summit!
Posted by: Phil Stammers - Melbourne Australia. on May 9, 2006 12:22 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona,
Great to hear you made it to C3. Please pass on a big hello and congratulations to Mary. Thanks for your updates. Pics look amazing! Steady as you go... hope all goes well for the climb into the yellow zone and back to base camp. Can you see the summit from where you are?
Posted by: Jill U, Dallas, TX on May 9, 2006 12:32 AM AEST
I've been following you guys and have tried to refrain from writing, but just could not any longer. Your updates are fantastic and the pictures allow us to practically climb with you! I trekked to Base Camp in the fall of '03 (at age 63)so it makes it extra special to read about everything (including Mary's trek). I've read just about every book on the market about Everest so I feel that I know as much about the mountain as one can w/o having actually climbed it. I am climbing it vicariously with you! God speed!
Posted by: Anne Marshall on May 9, 2006 12:33 AM AEST
What endurance you have!! Congratulations Paul & Fi; continue to be very excited at the success you are having. Also extremely happy Mary has arrived to Base Camp and congratulate her too. We send love to all three. I leave Melb tomorrow for New Zealand, so for a week will check the website from over there. Cheers Annie M
Posted by: Paula & Steve Dansker Maryland USA on May 9, 2006 12:48 AM AEST
By the time you read this you will have conquered Camp 3 and had a good sleep. We are thrilled that you are there safe & sound & still have your wits about you. That's monumental. Ours sense is that we won't be reading much from you above Camp 3 (uh, there's a mountain to climb). Thanks for the topics on the side of your website, 'cause we are able to see where you are & almost feel we are with you every step. We tell our friends that we know & are in email contact with folks that are climbing Everest right now & we get a look of envy every time. This is whole thing is incredible. And to think the highest we ever climbed in Oz was Mt. Gillen near Alice. (We did drive up to the top of Mt. Evans in the Rockies (14250+), but that doesn't count.) Please keep up your great spirits. This is THRILLING!!!
Paula & Steve
Posted by: John K Ozarks, Arkansas on May 9, 2006 01:25 AM AEST
Congratulations all on making a successful climb to CIII. Pics and updates are great. Question, is the oxygen you get form the bottles very cold to breathe or is there a way to warm it up? Good luck on your further adventures.
Posted by: Dan Szczesny on May 9, 2006 01:27 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona. Dan Szczesny here again, a friend of Jim and Michelle's. Congrats on making it to Camp 3. I was hoping you could pass on a message of encouragement to Jim. Last we heard he was back down at Base Camp resting. Let him know that we're thinking of him and proud of his accomplishments. We know he can do it!
Posted by: Sue in Maine on May 9, 2006 02:37 AM AEST
Message for Jim, Just sending my love and encouragement, after all he has been through in the last 24 hours and for Jack's well-being.
Posted by: Laura Rice on May 9, 2006 04:53 AM AEST
The kids and staff at Moultonborough Central School would like to send a message to Jim Gagne. We continue to follow your adventure. We hear Jim is a Base Camp and we would like to send positive energy via this email. This quote from third grade Jodi says it all!
"If you believe and I believe that you can make it then you surely will!"
Posted by: Pankaj Gupta on May 9, 2006 05:33 AM AEST
Good to learn that you are on your mission and sucessfully reached Camp 3. I hope this headache wears away faster.... And thanks for such a deatiled update :)
Awaiting your further updates.
Pankaj, Boston MA
Posted by: MC - Vancouver, Washington, USA on May 9, 2006 06:56 AM AEST
Fiona and Paul
WOW!!! Unbelievable photos of the climb up to C-3! I hope you were able to sustain from using the oxygen through the night at C-3 (how tempting) and get a chance to practice with an oxygen bottle on the 9th. Slight headaches are normal at this altitude but hopefully you will get rid of yours immediately, Fiona.
Keep doing what you are doing...it is working! Continued success to you and the entire team.
Sending positive energy your way. MC
Posted by: Jules on May 9, 2006 07:44 AM AEST
Woo hoo! Well done, kids! Rest up and please pass my regards onto Mary and her own awesome effort. Take care, Jules
Posted by: Dee Tozer on May 9, 2006 08:27 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,amazing stuff. Photos stunning, well done so far.
Posted by: Barb Johnston Melbourne OZ on May 9, 2006 09:01 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul
Thrilled to bits you are doing so well. Congrats on arriving at C3. We are all so proud of you both - keep safe and well. Love Barb Johnston
Posted by: Megan Lamb, Melbourne on May 9, 2006 09:11 AM AEST
Hi guys, well done! Thrilling stuff - really enjoying the updates and photos each morning. Rest up and take care on your way back down... (Fiona, having a mocha and a bagel from QV for you right now!) Keep it up - Megan :)
Posted by: Debbie Skelton on May 9, 2006 09:14 AM AEST
Dear Paul & Fiona, congratulations on reaching C3 and well done with keeping us all up to date with each day's events - fascinating reading. So pleased to read that Mary has reached Base camp safely, a wonderful achievement - give her our love, Debbie and Kevin.
Posted by: Valerie & Rummy Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia on May 9, 2006 09:24 AM AEST
What EXCELLENT news to read of your safe arrival up to C3. We are just so excited for you and wish you a very safe journey back to C2.
Stay Safe--Valerie & Rummy
Posted by: Mark R -- Mountville PA USA on May 9, 2006 09:43 AM AEST
Wow! is all I can say, Fi & Paul. Great job on the climb up the Lhotse face. You guys rock!
Those photos are simply awe-inspiring, and I'm sure they don't do any justice to the real thing.
Everyone: I can't resist passing on a few links I found that provide great insight on Camp 3. First has a great 360 degree panoramic view from C3, second has C3 commentary & pics by David Brashears from 1997:
Rock on, Fi & Paul. Be safe. Take some pics of the summit pyramid for us tomorrow!
Posted by: John Willis Melbourne Australia on May 9, 2006 09:46 AM AEST
Congratulations on reaching camp3.It must be both exciting and a little bit daunting to be there. It certainly looks as if all the hard work and training is paying off. Glad to hear that Mary has arrived safely. It seems as if the whole Bayside Area is logging on and following your progress. Good luck. John W
Posted by: Katrina Cuskelly on May 9, 2006 10:07 AM AEST
They look like some dizzy heights - congratulations, stay focussed!
Posted by: Maddi, Melbourne, Australia on May 9, 2006 10:10 AM AEST
Fantastic work guys! Well done - what a milestone. The photos are awesome.
Love Maddi and DP xx
Posted by: Tim & Inna (Boston, USA) on May 9, 2006 10:19 AM AEST
Well done guys! This is a huge acheivement. It seems to me you guys are positioned perfectly for when the summit opportunities open up. Keep up the good work.
Congratulations Mary on reaching base camp. I am sure you will soon have the base camp library organised by subject in the dewey decimal system, with possibly a PDA based database of books lent to climber to go with it. The library will never be the same.
Looking forward to more updates from the climbers, and observations from base camp.
Inna & Tim
Posted by: Ron Munro on May 9, 2006 11:07 AM AEST
Congratulations Paul and Fiona for reaching camp 3. Paul have you tried to do some simple arithmetic without oxygen at camp three. You might be surprised at the results. Great to know Mary is at base safe and well. Ron
Posted by: Dad H, Melbourne Australia on May 9, 2006 11:26 AM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul,
Fantastic news that you've reached C3. Hope there's no sleepwalking in the middle of the night! Mum spoke with staff at Ringwood Secondary yesterday and they are most impressed with what you're doing. Keep up the good work - all the best for the first trial with oxygen. Great news about Mary too. (btw my computer's currently down & is being repaired by Invizage - Murphy never rests!)
Love Mum & Dad
Posted by: meals and danny on May 9, 2006 11:51 AM AEST
WOW!!!!! guys that is so cool. congratulations on c3. The photos are fantastic and really show us what you are facing. Every one i know is always asking me about you two. Mama is both impressed and horrified at what you are doing but loves to hear about it!! take care. hi to mum when you see her.
meals and danny
Posted by: Peggy Brown on May 9, 2006 12:15 PM AEST
Jim and I just want to say Hi and our thoughts and prayers are with you. Have been keeping up with your progress. We arrived home Sun. so now I can keep up on things. Take care and stay safe.
Hugs Mom & Dad Brown
Posted by: Lucinda & Chris on May 9, 2006 12:15 PM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona,
A big congratulations from us! One more piece in the puzzle completed. I agree with Meals that everyone is also asking me where you guys are at and are very interested. She is also correct about Mama, one minute she wants all the info she can get, the next minute "...that sounds ghastly, I don't know why anyone would want to go there!" But she is very proud and always wants to know everything. She is also quite intrigued about Mallory the dog!
Also a big congratulations to Mum - glad to hear you have arrived safely and looking forward to hearing some of your reports.
P&F, good luck for the next step of testing the O2 out and the journey back down to Base Camp. Do you go back up to C3 again before the summit attempt or not?
Lots of love,
Lou & Chris
Posted by: emma allen on May 9, 2006 12:20 PM AEST
you guys have probably heard by now but the 2 miners trapped 1 kilometer underground in Beaconsfied Mine in Tasmania have finally been freed,its quite amazing,they walked out of the mine looking totally normal.I dont know you guys but i am absolutely loving reading all about your climb up Everest,i have been to Kanchengunga Base Camp and up Kilimangaro-but to be above 7000 metres is an amazing effort,keep up the great work,a friend of mine Roddy Mackenzie has been up Everest and i have been looking at some of his photos on the computer-what an amzing place to be-keep it up, regards emma (south yarra,melbourne)
Posted by: Suzy Seemann on May 9, 2006 01:39 PM AEST
Hi Jack--wishing you the best in your endeavors and pulling for you every step of the way--hang in there and may the force be with you! Suzy
Posted by: Jessica Nadeau and family on May 9, 2006 01:42 PM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi
if you could i would appreciate if you sent my cousin Jim a message for me. If you could tell him how much we love him and that we know he can make it. He has worked so hard to accomplish his dream. we know he can do it safely. Are prayers and thougths are with everyone up on everest. Good luck and dream big.
Posted by: Glenda Mickleburgh on May 9, 2006 02:23 PM AEST
Hi Paul, Fiona and Mary
fantastic news all round!! Congratulations to you all on your achievements!
Mary, have you been able to get hold of a glass of wine yet? Surely you can make wine from Yak's milk!
Love to you all, Glenda and Colin
Posted by: Gavin Turner, Delhi, India on May 9, 2006 03:00 PM AEST
Well done on making it to Camp 3! You guys are doing great and after meeting Mary I feel like I am part of your support squad too!
All the best for the coming days.
Posted by: Jane Barrow on May 9, 2006 03:13 PM AEST
Paul & Fiona,
Paul & Fiona,
Keep up the great climbing. Hope you both continue to feel good and stay safe. Mama is enjoying the updates I am printining off and reading to her. Well done Mary, what an achievement.
Posted by: kevin mahoney on May 9, 2006 03:46 PM AEST
Michelle sent me your update. You make me proud! This is what it is all about; helping others and realizing your full potential despite the outcome. The summit is yours but it will be on it's own terms. You knew what you needed to do to return proud and you've done it. Everything else is ice cream. You're a rare individual with depth of character, stregth and reserves. Only you know the answer to the hardest question you will face for a long time. Tenacity is in your blood. Give'er hell and walk away proud the summits only the phsycal manafestation of what you are after. I will be psyched to hear your tales when you return.
Your in my thoughts, kevin
Posted by: Barbara Marshall on May 9, 2006 06:12 PM AEST
Go Mary,with the brief messages seems a walk in the park but obviously not, intrepid one. Antithesis to you have been confined to bed for 2 weeks and next 2, para problem. ABC TV showed Flying over Everest 1933 at 3.30 AM Following your news is wonderful. Keep Safe. Barb
Posted by: John Chellew on May 9, 2006 08:27 PM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona,
I've just started checking out our website each day to see your progress. It's very inspiring. I used to dream of climbing Everest as a kid (still haven't done much about it though). Maybe I'll try Kilimanjaro! Really enjoyed the photos of your previous climbs around the world. (Wish you had scanned in some shots of Kilimanjaro!)
Very best of luck with this climb. You both sound very sensible and organised so hopefully you should both be fine.
Cheers from Fitzroy, Melb.
Posted by: Michael Cormick on May 9, 2006 08:43 PM AEST
A message for Mary,
I admire your courage Mary and I'll be sure a let everyone at Hughesdale PS know of your great achievement. I'm also enjoying Paul and Fiona's great adventure and think the website is fantastic. Safe travels!
Posted by: Richard - MBS on May 9, 2006 09:11 PM AEST
Everyone at MBS is so glad to hear things are going well and you are progressing safely. Fiona, you'll be thrilled to know as you were climbing to camp 3 your colleagues were in exams. I guess we know where you'd rather be.
Posted by: Jean Tsouramanis on May 9, 2006 10:01 PM AEST
Jim be safe and our prayers are with you. Good luck. George my husband can't wait to see you to give you a big hug. Good luck to everyone. love Jean and George Tsouramanis.
Posted by: Jennie Downing Melbourne Australia on May 9, 2006 10:08 PM AEST
Sooo exciting!! I'm hooked!! on your website..your every breath and every step! Congrats Paul and Fiona you have inspired me to stroll to Church St. and never complain about Melbourne's winter again!! Thankyou for this wonderful insight ..Love and warm wishes..Jennie D
Posted by: TROCCON Marie Claude on May 9, 2006 10:15 PM AEST
Congratulations for reaching camp3 !
The breathing is a natural activity, for me, being obliged do control the beats of my heart and my breath would give me a disturbing feeling. The breathing with oxygen is unusual and requires a time of adaptation to make good use of it, but it is essential to climb under the best conditions and I
understand the importance of all theses precautions.
Be sure that all those which follow you send you a part of their breath to fell you stronger !
I am relieved to hear by the TV the miraculous rescue of the two australian miners and I have a thought for the miner deceased.
Thank you for the splendid photos.
I wish you much courage for the continuation.
Posted by: Don McAllister (New Hampshire, USA) on May 9, 2006 10:19 PM AEST
Paul & Fiona, congratulations on reaching C3.
Please let Jim know that we are very proud of him and that we are all thinking of him.
Don, Amy & Levi
Posted by: Jane (New Hampshire) on May 9, 2006 10:39 PM AEST
Paul and Fiona! We are following your tales with a check-in every day! Congratulations and thank you! Please tell Jim Gagne from one who's had her butt kicked by him on many occassions, that I believe in his strength and spirit. Jim, your love of the mountains is parrallel to your selfness love of humankind as evidenced by your heroism. Recover, rest, and return to C3.Kick yourself in the butt, Jim!!! Love, Jane
Posted by: Mum & Dad H on May 9, 2006 10:46 PM AEST
Well done you two - what a great achievement! We hope that the climb with oxygen went well today and that you were able to manage it at that altitude. You are so dedicated and focused & we're sure that you will achieve your goal. Take care coming down. Congratulate Mary when you see her - she's done a fantastic job getting there and we really admire her courage, determination and strength. Mum & Dad xx
Posted by: Carla Danaher on May 11, 2006 10:30 AM AEST
Just wondering if you know when you're going for the summit? Last time I checked it was May 15...
Posted by: Mrs. Ariane Shuffleton's 4th Grade Class on May 11, 2006 10:41 PM AEST
Inspiration for Jim!
Jim is a very caring person. (Kaeley)
You deserve to get to the top. (Travis)
Don’t let that mountain beat you! (Adam)
You did the right thing. (Ryan)
You can do it - turn that frown upside-down! (Hailey)
You just saved a life, so the Lord will keep you alive. (Mason)
You’re dedicated to your jobs. That will help you get further along. (Spencer)
I hope Jack will get better soon. (Reilly)
You can do it Jim! We’re all behind you! (Mrs. Shuff-Ariane)
Anybody who saves a person’s life is a good person. (Jessie)
You almost made it one time (to C3) - you can do it! (Dan)
It’s not what other people think, just do what’s right. (Cait)
You have worked so hard, keep on going. Cowboy up! (Adam)
Jim cares more about saving someone than getting to the top of the mountain. (Cait)
Try-try-try again! (Ryan)
Posted by: Joel on May 12, 2006 05:49 AM AEST
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. This has been a great experience for someone who has longed to see and climb everest. I'm living vicariously through you two! I have come to enjoy reading your daily posts more than reading the daily news. Best wishes and stay safe. Thanks agian.
Posted by: Annette Dunphy on May 12, 2006 07:48 PM AEST
Drea Mary, Paul & Fiona Congrats on your safe arrival at base camp. I am following the climb avidly and am delighted to learn all the complications about making the ascent. I didn't have a clue before.
Mary, It's much warmer here swimming in 12 degree water we miss you. My family news- we have added to the grandchildren last week. My youngest son Sean and Penny produced Finn with lots of black hair. all very well and Grandma delighted with No 8.
Very good wishes for the biggest challenge With love Annette