Summit Push Decisions and Preparations
Paul & Fi checking the weather in the communications tent. Photo Mary Adler
Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm, 15th May
Weather: Mainly fine, 10C
Hi everyone, it's Fiona here.
While on another day of "active rest", we've been looking at the weather and believe that the forecast is good enough for us to head up on Wednesday.
Getting to the Starting Line
After breakfast today, we checked the new weather forecast which had come in late last night. While not greatly changed, the prediction for fairly low winds seems to have been extended, with no real end in sight yet. The Jet-Stream, which seems to determine most of the winds, is still far away to our North - and we don't want to risk waiting too long as it is bound to come close at some stage. We discussed this at length with one of the coaches here (who has climbed Everest 6 times previously), and weighing it all up, we've pretty much decided that the current weather pattern looks at least good enough for us to head up to Camp 2. From here, if the forecast is still good, we can continue onwards towards the summit, but if there is a change, we can either wait for a few days at C2, or return down to Base Camp. At least we'll be at the starting blocks so to speak.
In the best case, if all goes perfectly to plan, we'll move to C2 on the 17th, rest on the 18th, move to C3 on the 19th, move to C4 on the 20th and then start for the summit later that night (around 10pm). This would make our possible summit date as the 21st. Of course, there is a lot that can happen between now and then though!
We'll delay making a final decision about leaving on Wednesday until we see tomorrow's forecast, and speaking to our Sherpas - who should be returning from visiting with their families sometime tomorrow.
With our departure for the summit now (possibly) drawing close, we started to get some things organised. I washed a few more clothes (the thermal underwear I was wearing yesterday) and finished drying yesterday's wash.
We then started gathering up the food we will need for Camps 3 and 4. We're taking enough food so that we can spend 2 nights at Camp 4 should the need arise to wait out weather. For dinner, we use meal sachets that you heat by simply submerging the packet in boiling water. We then eat straight out of the package - saving the need to wash up any pots.
A lot of the food we're taking is snacks though - biscuits, muesli bars, cheese slices, jubes, fruit bars and of course, chocolate (although it will probably be too cold to eat it).
Paul has also been testing the Hotronics foot warmers - they seem to be a bit flakey down here. When we climb from Camp 3 to Camp 4, we plan to test these, as well as the combination of clothes we're planning to wear for the summit.
Mary is having a lesson in how to update this website as when we're high up, we'll radio in our position and hopefully she'll be able to keep you guys informed.
Hi Chris & Bridget - It is a lot quieter at base camp now than when you guys were here and the whole team was around. But we still seem to have enough people to chat with - especially with Mary here now. By the way Chris, we heard from someone today that you either have a "pool shark" or a "card sharp" - so maybe you were right after all! Have a great time in Stockholm and give our love to Marc & Em when you see them.
Mark R - the Hillary's Step will certainly be a challenge. We've been advised to turn up our oxygen flow for this section! With fixed line and an ascender, I think we'll be able to get up it somehow though. I only hope there are not queues of people waiting to use the line as has been the case in some years.
Shanda - Sorry we missed you while you were so close. Congratulations on climbing Kala Patar - it's a lovely climb (and you're right, not easy)
Donovan - From what we've heard, Camp 2 is as high as a dog has been here - the Lhotse face does get quite steep. We've seen a dog on the summit of Aconagua - which is just over 7000m. Not sure if they've been seen any higher.
Reynold - as there are lots of people climbing here, it's always pretty obvious where crevasses cross the track. The small ones can be stepped over, but as the season progresses, these will widen and some of them will need ladders.
Hi John - the "yellow band" is just a strip of yellowish rock that lies not far above Camp 3. It's supposed to be quite arduous to climb.
Again, that's all for today.
Hope everyone out there is well, Fiona
Posted by: Dad & Mum H on May 15, 2006 11:45 PM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul, & Mary,
Let's hope the favourable forecast continues or improves over the next week or so. We'll be with you in spirit all the way. Do you know if anyone else is planning to make their assault at the same time? Let's hope too that the footwarmers work ok.
Mary, thanks for the updates and good luck with them when F & P are "up there".
all our love, Mum & Dad H
Posted by: Jeremy Geale on May 15, 2006 11:51 PM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul,
I dont know you, but have been following this website since the day you left Aust. As you are about to leave I want to wish you the best of luck and most important, make sure you get home safely.
Posted by: paula stout palo alto, california on May 16, 2006 03:41 AM AEST
how perfect! you'll be summitting on mark tucker's bday. happy day to all of you and big hugs. paula.
PS: have you seen apa? we haven't heard from him in a week or so...just curious. thanks!
Posted by: MC on May 16, 2006 05:51 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
Well, if all goes as planned; it is "show time". You have done everything possible to ensure a successful and safe summit. (I truly hope that the weather will hold out.) It's great that your meals are so simple to prepare and no dishes or pots...love it. Do the meals you will be taking to C-3 and C-4 taste pretty good?
I also wanted to give you a heartfelt "thank you" for all of your updates, photos and this amazing web-site! (Also, thanks to Nick G, site admin.) I feel honored to be a small part of your unbelievable support team. It is wonderful to read the messages from your family, friends and people you do not know from around the world. And to top it off, Mary (BC mom) is there to support you in person! What a tremendous effort by all. And thank you for always answering our questions and comments when the two of you have a mountain to climb!!! Good luck; climb strong and climb safe! MC
Posted by: Stephen Humphries on May 16, 2006 06:35 AM AEST
Sorry to hear that the iPods don't work at that elevation but I hope that your "mental jukeboxes" compensate! (Just whistle Diana Ross's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough.")
I have read Michael Crichton's excellent "State of Fear" which is highly entertaining and does an admirable job of exploring how the media + a few environmental organizations traffic in scaremongering about global warming - even though the actual science doesn't support their exaggerated claims. It's a subject I've long been interested in. (Good book to check out when you return is "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg, which Crichton praises in the appendices of "State of Fear.")
Anyway, I sure hope that you and Fiona stay warm, and I hope the hotronics stuff comes together so that you and Fiona aren't cooling your heels while on the summit!
Posted by: Steve on May 16, 2006 08:03 AM AEST
Paul & Fiona
I and my colleagues have been following your daily updates with growing interest and admiration. All the best for the summit push. Steve & the team at Sherpa.
Posted by: Sara on May 16, 2006 09:05 AM AEST
I have been following your adventure since before you left! I eagerly check my computer each day in hopes that a new update is posted!! Good Luck to the both of you!!
Posted by: Daryl, Melb, Vic, Aus on May 16, 2006 09:13 AM AEST
Hi guys - nice to see you both looking so well. All the best, dj
Posted by: Phil - Sydney on May 16, 2006 09:30 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
Good luck on your summit day. I really hope the weather holds and you are able to make the top! Will eagerly wait for news.
There must be hundreds of people like Sarah (and I), checking their computer daily and riding in your backpacks in spirit, and I'd like to say - thanks for the ride.
After all your hard work you deserve to
realise your dreams!
Go, go go!.
Posted by: amelia and danny on May 16, 2006 09:44 AM AEST
fingers crossed for the weather window. good luck!!
Posted by: Maddi, Melbourne Australia on May 16, 2006 10:08 AM AEST
Good luck for the next week or so. We can't believe you are so close and we have all our appendages crossed for great weather so you get a clear shot at it. We are just so excited that you have got this far and so thrilled to be sharing your dream with you (we are constantly bragging about your achievements to friends and family!). Good luck and lots of love
Maddi and DP xxx
Posted by: Sara, Magnetic Island, Aust on May 16, 2006 10:56 AM AEST
Wow - this is certainly the business end of the trip! I read this morning that 2 groups summited Everest yesterday (Sydney Morning Herald) Do you know if they are the first this year? Thinking of you over the coming days and praying for good weather.
Posted by: Scott on May 16, 2006 11:09 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona,
You mentioned that you are using a digital camera for the shots you are posting. I am wondering if you intend to use this at summit also or if you are taking a backup manual camera or one with a different battery source for higher up and the summit shots? What cameras do people normally use for the summit?
Many thanks for your time.
Have been following your progress on the site after coming across it on the Everest page.
Best wishes for the next couple of important weeks.
Posted by: Donna Thomas on May 16, 2006 11:40 AM AEST
Have been following your fabuluos adventure from when you left Melb.It must be so exciting for you,your reports are so informative,your photo's amazing. Best wishes for a safe climb,keep healthy, take care of each other.
Donna and Family.
Posted by: meals and danny on May 16, 2006 02:36 PM AEST
i just read an article in the age about a guy who is a double amputee and just made it to the summit. he is a new zealand guy and the article was pretty interesting. not sure if you can read it but pretty inspirational! thinking of you lots, meals
Posted by: Mark R -- Mountville PA USA on May 16, 2006 04:14 PM AEST
Hi Fi & Paul
Well mates, the time has come. I've been following along since before you left Melbourne on March 20 (wow, almost 2 months?!). During that time I think we've all been made to feel as if we're part of your support team -- a big "Thank You" for acknowledging all of us Team Adler members spread all over the earth. You climb in the footsteps of legends; we get to ride along in your backpack. How thrilling for us all!
Knowing you two have done everything right up to this point, I feel greatly assured you'll have success in your bid for the Top Of The World. The prayers of my family and I will be with you every minute, for safety and success and good decision making.
I have great confidence that Mary will keep us well-informed after you head up. Go Mary -- my kids say you rock too!
Your photos along the way have been stunning. I know you'll be rather preoccupied once above C3, but if you could : Please take alot of pics. I'd especially love to see more detailed and panoramic photos of: Camp 4 and the entire South Col; the Balcony; the South Summit; and the Hillary Step.
Nick, we'll be needing some super Hi-Res shots of all those later for our desktops and screen savers!
Warm wishes for success,
Posted by: Carlinea & Josh on May 16, 2006 04:16 PM AEST
Go guys - we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that the good weather holds out for you as you head to the top.
Thinking of you both, Josh and Carlinea
Posted by: Dena Lasater on May 16, 2006 06:34 PM AEST
Dear Fiona and Paul,
The best news in your May 15th posting was that Mary will "carry on" as you head to the top. Now we won't miss a chapter of your amazing journey. Please let Brenda, Dennis, and your Sherpas know that I'll be with you every step!
I'll be praying for the safety of everyone on the IMG team, all the way up and all the way down. I'm so in awe, and am so glad that I was able to share "the beginning" with you.
With sincerest and best wishes,
Dena (trekking team)
Posted by: Dena Lasater on May 16, 2006 06:49 PM AEST
Thanks so much for continuing this great website after Fiona and Paul head for the summit of Mount Everest. I look forward to reading your postings and will be "checking in" several times a day.
Since I also did the trek to Base Camp, I have found some of your descriptions to be quite amusing (especially what you wear to sleep in at night!)
My best to you,
Posted by: Chris & Bridget (Bergen, Norway) on May 16, 2006 07:43 PM AEST
Hey guys, best of luck for the summit!! Have you decided not to take the Ipaq with you? Whether to get to the summit or not I think everyone will consider the trip an amazing achievement, and one that has successfully filled the imaginations of heaps of people all around the world! We can't believe how much climbing you've already done since we left you. It seems like ages ago, you've been on the mountain a long time! Best of luck breaking new ground up to Camp 4 and above. You've done all the prep so well, fingers crossed that all the external factors fall into place for you.
We are about to go for a walk in Bergen up to the top of the local hill (approx 350m!!).
Stay healthy, we're thinking of you
Chris & Bridget
Posted by: Dad A. on May 16, 2006 07:44 PM AEST
Well, so this is it; all things going to plan this will be the last set of messages you two will get before you set off to summit! What can I say that does not sound repedative, and yet let you both know how proud I am of all your achievments. One day you will know what it is like to be a parent, and have children that set such high goals ....to be both amazed and excited by there deeds, but also aware and concerned of the risks involved. All I ask is that you be careful, take care of each other up there, and remember that if conditions turn against you the mountain will always be there to revisit. Finally, as I am sure that Mary will also have some things to say to you both in person I'll just add that I will be thinking of you both ALL THE WAY!!. Good luck, and love, Dad XXX
Posted by: Jody Cray, Melbourne, Australia on May 16, 2006 08:16 PM AEST
Hi Paul & Fi..
I guess you've already heard this over and over again, but congratulations on your achievments so far. I just cannot fatham what you are both going through right now. The memories you will have to share with your children in years to come will almost be unbelieveable. You have achieved more in your past weeks on the mountain than most will achieve in their lifetime. Best of luck with the comming weather window. I'm sure you will make the right decision when the time is near.
Take care & good luck.
Posted by: Benno & Kate Claydon, Melb Aust on May 16, 2006 09:13 PM AEST
Hello there Paul and Fi,
Seems like it's all falling into place! Fingers crossed the weather does what it should for you.
It seems, from what you write, that you two are responsible for deciding when to attempt the summit, even though you're climbing with a well-organised group. Do they not advise/suggest/tell you when go, or when not to go? How far does their responsibility extend, I guess is what I'm asking.
All the very best, will be following your steps from here! Thanks Mary and also Nick for helping us share in your adventures.
Stay warm, and take care of each other,
Kate and Benno
Posted by: Dame and Beck (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) on May 16, 2006 09:35 PM AEST
Paul & Fiona - Wow, time to give the summit a go! The time seems to have gone so quickly (although not from your perspective I am sure). I think that we have become so absorbed into your adventures each day that we have lost track of time. Well done on getting this far - you have done a great job. We will be thinking of you all the way and sending your way as much good luck and good weather as we can find. We hope you are savouring every moment of your deam as much as we are.
Mary - Glad to see you are well settled in and must be warm with all those layers. What a great acheivement hiking into where you are. It is amazing to think you are now 2 and half times as high as the highest mountain in Australia. Well done! It is good to know you are there with Paul and Fiona. We are proud of you.
Lots of Love, Dame and Beck
Posted by: Lea Lea on May 16, 2006 09:39 PM AEST
Dear Fiona and Paul,
I wish you both the very best for your climb. Please be safe and make sure you cherish every step of the way. We are all still behind you pushing you that extra step.
Many friends/family and myself constantly check your updates and all all very impressed with what you have already achieved. Remember to stay like Dad's bood type: B positive!
You are both greatly missed by all back home, good luck, love Lea Lea xoxo
Posted by: Rose, Sydney on May 16, 2006 09:45 PM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi,
Good luck with the preperations, both physical and mental. I hope the weather does all the right things. The 22nd is my mother's (Sue's)60th birthday so that would be fitting for her!! Trust your instincts and your extensive knowledge and pick the day that suits you. My whole family will be sending positive thoughts over the next few days.
Posted by: tam - Florida Keys, USA on May 16, 2006 10:32 PM AEST
To all of you,
From all of us around the world:
You make us proud! Your journey has touched our lives and our hearts. Let us all remember that the ascent is only half of the climb...........It is the descent that will bring you home to us.
Climb safe, climb strong and know we are here cheering for you. Special thoughts and love to Den.
Posted by: Ross Wagstaff, Melbourne, Australia on May 17, 2006 12:27 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona,
Your approach to the research, preparation and training for this expedition and your attitude on the mountain is very much an Adler characteristic that has led to the success of your goals up to this point and put you in a great position for the next challenge. Good luck with the summit attempt (when the time is right).
I think that it's awesome that you have led your own expedition to BC to be there with Paul and Fiona. The experiences and achievement must make it worth all the training and trekking up a mountain in freezing conditions.
Enjoy your time on the mountain, and keep warm!
Posted by: jan tozer on May 17, 2006 10:45 PM AEST
Hi Mary, It has been great following your trip and quite rivetting hearing Paul and Fiona on their decision making. Was great to hear the amputee guy reached to top, what an effort ! We Brighton Icebergers are missing you, and it is getting really cold but warm compared to you guys. Bye now and I watch daily the lives of Paul and Fiona.
Cheers and take care all of you from Jan Tozer.