October 17, 2006 To the South Col in 4 1/2 Hours
This is Wally Berg calling from Base Camp at 1:25pm Nepal time on October 17th. I just got the radio call from Dave Hahn with the very exciting news that the team has arrived at Camp IV, the South Col. It only took the team 4 ½ hours to climb from Camp III to the South Col, through the yellow band and across the Geneva Spur.
Remember that when they climb to the South Col it’s like they have already climbed an 8000 meter peak. Bryce, Rob and Kit have never been that high before, Jimmy has and of course Dave knows the place well. But I know this is an amazing experience for all of them to be there. The South Col is a vast and desolate place at a very extreme location where the wind almost always blows. Dave tells me that there is some light snowfall coming down now.
They still have a few thousand feet to go beginning tonight just after they get some rest. We just got the good news from our advance team Sonam Galygen and Ang Namgel climbed the balcony route today up the triangular face and reported good snow conditions. In fact Dave looked up at the triangular face and reported that it looked like spring conditions, in other words it looks like we can climb it.
Good news from the South Col as the team settles down to brew up and rest awhile before they begin climbing tonight.