October 14, 2006 – Holding Tight at Camp II

Kit walks through the icefall – photo by Jimmy Chin
Kit serves up some coffee at Camp II – Photo by Jimmy Chin

Well, this might be described as the tedious part of the expedition.

Everyone is still in place at Camp II.  Dave, Kit, Rob, Jimmy, Bryce, and the Sherpas – all are being fed by Ang Pemba our reliable, steady Camp II cook.  He makes Dal Bhat each day as well as an assortment of “member food”, or more Western dishes for the climbing team.

The winds are still up, but the latest forecast from Michael Fagin back in Seattle, which I read to the team over the radio this morning, gives us hope for more “variable” winds beginning in a few days.  Dave said to me when I read this, “that sounds like a crapshoot.” I replied, “Yes, it’s moving from no chance to a crapshoot, we’ll take it.”

So, the latest: Fagin and I will talk by phone at 5:00 AM, Nepal time, in the morning.  Then I will call Camp II on the radio at 6:00 AM. Based on the update, and their observations and gut feelings, the team will either move to Camp III tomorrow, or stall another day.  I sense the strongest of “this is it” feelings coming from them.  They are prepared; they just want to call the right day.  Nobody is talking about a "4th rotation”, or coming back to Base Camp.  There is no point now: months, years, of planning, training, commitment, this team is poised and ready to strike.  Stay tuned…

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