November 23 - Snow at Base Camp

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

It’s Tuesday the 23rd of November and this dispatch for the Berg Adventures Ama Dablam team is coming to you from Base Camp.  It’s a very grey and snowy base camp.  Ama Dablam as seen from our base campTwo days ago on Sunday I saw the high clouds and thought while we were getting our acclimatization in at Camp 1 that we might see some deteriorating weather by today and in fact we did.

Yesterday on Monday we came down in bright sunshine on that day, early in the morning to Base Camp.  Jennifer in particular was fast; she got down from Camp 1 to Base Camp in an hour and forty five minutes.  She had heard on the radio that a note from her husband Greg who you remember is climbing Cholaste with a team from Colorado , a note had come to Base Camp.  Jennifer was eager to see Greg’s note and got down in an hour and forty five minutes.

For the rest of us it was more like two and a half hours.  Monday we spent taking showers at Base Camp and enjoying the sun, being back at lower elevation where we belong before we go back up.  As I said today there is a very different scene, there is a lot of snow.

There are Korean teams on the mountain, one team went to the summit yesterday and made it back to Camp 1 today and one team we don’t envy at all is still sitting at Camp 2 at that tiny, little camp.  They are hoping the weather will clear tomorrow and they can continue to the summit.

We are going to go back up to Camp 1 tomorrow.  On Thanksgiving Day in the United States we hope to move to Camp 3 and reach the summit on Friday.  If you wonder what we are going to do about Thanksgiving dinner, one of our favorite high camp meals is stove top stuffing and we have a couple of cans of turkey from Canada to put in it.  So we are looking forward to Thursday and hopefully a summit day on Friday.

The entire crew, Don, Joe, Jeff, Grant, Jennifer, myself and all the Sherpas are doing great.  Of course we are anxious to start climbing and we are thinking about heading back home after this expedition.  Right now we have put a lot of time and work into this and we feel like we are right where we need to be.  I’m looking over at the juniper fire which the Sherpas always keep burning for us at the chorten here at Base Camp.  Soon we’ll be going in to have one of Bal’s excellent meals.  We’ll sleep cozy tonight at the relatively low altitude and head up tomorrow.  We’ll give you a report from Camp 1 when we get up there.

Our objective:

Ama Dablam
Nepal Himalaya

22,494 feet
6857 meters

First Ascent:

March 13, 1961
Barry Bishop
Wally Ramanes
Mike Gill
Mike Ward