Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

October 28 - Conditions appear to be improving

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

It’s a decidedly upbeat tone here at Everest Base Camp this evening, October 28. I’ll tell you why. It mostly has to do with absolutely blue skies, lack of any roar from the wind up high. And more importantly, direct reports from the mountain that things are starting to look pretty reasonable up there.

The Sherpas today went through the Icefall, reported some new snow and trail-breaking of course, fixed things up on the route a bit and came back down to Base Camp pretty happy about what they saw. There’s snow on the summit, I believe. And the excitement is beginning to build.

Camp 2 and the Lhotse FaceWe also talked to Shom, our Camp 2 cook, and for the second day he’s been luxuriously sunning himself, washing clothes and our Camp 2 is a pretty pleasant place right now. He also reports to me that what he sees on the Lhotse Face, where I’m concerned about pillowing snow build up avalanche hazard, he says it’s looking icy because of all the blowing wind having kept snow from accumulating.

I’ll be up there tomorrow to take a look myself. I plan to go up to Camp 2. All the Sherpas are going to go. Garry and David will probably move up as well.

We got our Internet back today, briefly. We lost it soon afterwards. But the sunspots or whatever worked in our favour long enough that we downloaded a few days worth of messages. Probably most interesting to me were all the old weather reports. Adventure Weather Explorersweb is reporting to us that they think November 1 there may be a drop in the wind. And I, this evening in Nepal time, in the middle of the night, I’ll talk to Michael Fagin in Seattle for his update via satellite phone.

And we’ve been watching these winds. They’re looking like they’re going to tend to drop the evening of November 1 we might well be on the South Col.

We’ll see. Fagin will have his report tonight and we’ll go up. I’ll take my look at the Lhotse Face. And the energy that we’re building down here in the sun at Base Camp will carry through. We’ll see what we find and make our shot, possibly on November 2, possibly the 3rd or 4th. After that, we may just call it a season. But we’re going to go up and have a look-see and we’ll certainly keep you posted what we, as a team, find at Camp 2 and above in the coming days.

Oh, one more thing I ought to report. Base Camp’s not all about steeling ourselves for the one last summit attempt. Tonight, and it just started up – I hear the sound coming out of the communications tent now – the Sherpas are all gathered and David and Garry are over there. Tonight’s movie is “the Matrix.” They all seem pretty excited about this. We’ll see, I may go and read a book myself and fall asleep. But “the Matrix” is tonight’s movie in the communications tent at Base Camp.

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