October 3 - Update on Nima Tashi after avalanche
It’s the evening of October 3rd and I’m watching a beautiful, bright, half-moon come up over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. A fantastically high continuous ridge all of which is over 25,000 feet, which connects Lhotse and Nuptse.
We’re still in the Western Cwm of course, our third night up here.
An update on Nima Tashi, one of the three Sherpas involved in yesterday’s avalanche. He had a consistent throbbing pain in his ear. It puzzled us since there was no head trauma, everything else checked out on him. Maegan noted that when she had been in a pretty serious downhill ski racing fall a few years ago and had snowpack in her ear, that she had acute pain in her ear drum for days afterwards. And we’re wondering if this isn’t what happened to Nima Tashi.
Anyway, we started him down to Base Camp to continue on to see the doctors at the Himalayan Rescue Association and ultimately I’m sure at the Khunde Hospital, where Jean is, which is the hospital the Sherpas always prefer to go to. But he’s fine this evening.
It took longer to get him through the Icefall than we anticipated. We started him down this morning with a group of our Sherpas. The Icefall Doctors started up. But there’d been a couple of new collapses, and all together 2.5, 3 or actually by one account nearly 4 hours of work to replace ladders and re-establish the route in the Icefall.
But at any rate, Nima Tashi’s down safely at Base Camp this evening and he’ll see a doctor tomorrow.
There is no wind tonight, which is quite surprising. We’ve listened to the roar of what we began to call the freight train years ago those high winds across the top of Lhotse and Everest and through the South Col. We’ve heard it quite a lot, but now it’s gotten quite calm up there and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
We’ll go back up, take a look at the Lhotse Face, try to advance that route again. And get through the section that’s lead, replace that at least, and take it a day at a time.
So that’s the report from the Western Cwm, October 3. We will definitely be cautious as we push the route as we can. We’re on our own here this year. You know, a lot of people are saying, “Is there more activity in the Icefall than usual? Or more avalanches” and that sort of thing. But I think what’s going on here is that we are one team. We’re facing all the challenges, the judgements upon our own. And that’s the way we wanted it it’s both a privilege and a challenge. We’re just getting started in terms of the real climbing.
The group of five of us walked up to the base of the Lhotse Face and felt awe-inspired by the sight. And we also knew the real climbing is all still ahead. And October holds a lot of challenge for us.