Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

October 19 - Maegan reporting from camp 2

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

Camp 2 with Lhotse face in backgroundHi, this is Maegan from the Everest Expedition. We are at Camp 2 at 20,800 feet and our whole team is strong, healthy and ready to go.

Today we just had a rest day and we’re trying to get some final fuelling-up before our three-day summit push starts tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’re going to be heading up to Camp3 which is at 23,500 feet and the next day we go to Camp 4 at 26,000. Then, at 1 am on the next day, we head to the summit. We don’t really get a camp at Camp 4 because there isn’t any time, but mostly we’ll be just stopping for a long tea break.

I plan to climb to the summit and then ski down to Camp 2. But the team will spend that night again at Camp 4 so I’ll be alone on the Lhotse Face. Probably the best turns of my life – I’ve got 5,000 feet of skiing at 45 to 52 degrees, which is steeper than more black diamond runs at ski areas throughout North America.

I’m feeling physically strong and hugely motivated. To tell you the truth, I’m a little nervous about a few sections of the 12,000-foot descent. I almost always climb the exact route I ski so that I know the terrain intimately, but here circumstances dictate that about three-quarters of the route I won’t have seen up close until I’m actually skiing it. I’ve inspected those sections with binoculars and they look really great. But I’ll also be carrying my crampons and ice axe just in case I need to rescue myself.

Maegan hands her skis up a steep section of the Khumbu icefallMany people have been asking about what kind of equipment I’m using on this ski, and I wanted to let you folks know that I’m using randonee or AT-ski gear, which is kind of a cross between telemark and alpine. But essentially, it allows me to climb up in the same gear that I ski down in. My skis are incredibly light and made by an Italian company called Ski Trab. My bindings are Naxo and my boots are Lowa Strukturas which fantastically mix skiing and mountaineering capabilities. Outdoor Research and Ortovox have been huge equipment supporters. My technical clothing is all by Arc'Teryx. And thanks to Feathered Friends, I’m standing in this incredible wind here at Camp 2 and I’m still really warm. I’m probably the only person on the entire expedition that has slept warm every night. So, Feathered Friends gets good kudos there in Seattle.

So, this goal of skiing Everest has always felt really huge. But being here in the Western Cwm right now, it’s as awe-inspiring as it is humbling. And fortunately, our team is incredibly supportive and we laugh far too often than we let the stress get to us. Plus our Sherpas make me smile all day long.

Crevasse between camp 1 and 2Things are really, really great right now but there’s sun on the Lhotse Face and we’re watching the winds come off the South Col and hoping that we won’t have too harsh winds when we’re actually going for the summit.

Mostly I just want to say thanks to all you folks for supporting us. And I’d like to ask you just to think some really good thoughts on the 22nd when we’re actually going for the summit.

Thanks a bunch, this is Maegan signing off. Bye bye.

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