Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Lhotse update

Ok do a super quick update: Acclimatisation Is pretty much complete- I've been up to 6700m, below camp3, turned back because of strong winds and inadequate clothing on my legs- a pair of leggings!!! In 50knot winds... Don't worry I have proper cold weather clothing at BC. Now it's the 1st May. Apparently at present (this can change at any time) there is no good weather (more strong winds) for the foreseeable future. So our team are deciding on what to do next. I personally am hoping for a trip to Sonams lodge in Pangboche (!) So what's happened since my last blog: First rotation up to camp1 was combined with 2 nights straight after at camp2 (6400m) it was an uneventful few days- a quick descent back to BC did however see us pass a body (RIP)being readied for chopper rescue. A few minutes after we passed the rescue party in the western cwm we came across a crevasse covered in his blood. It was a sobering and rather upsetting day. Just before going back for the second rotation to camp3 a huge search fell and wiped out part of the icefall route. We watched it happen from the safety of base camp. Our Sherpas- true legends In this case- we headed down through the icefall and saw the serac, they knew it was going to go so went back up to a higher camp, made some noodles and as they predicted it fell a few hours later. Their judjement probably saved their lives and shows we are in good hands. The next day we climbed through the icefall over the avalanche debris and through to camp2 with no problems. It was the next day as we sat in the mess tent that we hear the most almighty crack- rushing out of the tent we saw a huge avalanche cascade right into the western cwm and as the dust cloud exploded we watched as people- little ants in the distance- became engulfed in white. I was sure I was watching people be buried alive. The dust cloud was so big It dusted us as camp2 and our friends down in the icefall probably over a mile away. Incredibly not a single person died. A miracle. It was 10am and so a busy time in the cwm- camp1 was obliterated but amazingly no one was there at the time. We assumed a mass grave. We still can't believe that just by chance camp1 was unusually quiet. There was one casualty who was blown by the shock wave into a crevasse and got airlifted to hospital in kathmandu. Our Sherpas along with others found him and rob, our team doctor, was first on scene with medical help. After our jaunt up to the lhotse face in strong winds (I turned back pretty early from the winds) we made a safe descent back to BC (yesterday) and all feeling excited for what lays ahead. I'll say again- I am prepared to Turn back at any moment if the route is not safe. And will not take any risks with weather- if a window doesn't come then that would be pretty tough to stomach but if that's the mountains then I accept that they don't necessarily have the same agenda as I do! Lastly, our team is great- I'm in full health and everything is Going to plan. We just need the winds to calm and maybe then we can take a shot at the summit. Fingers crossed! We have to leave now and head back up from this little village with Internet access back to base camp before dark- thanks for all the messages of support. And family- if you are worrying please stop, as I keep telling you I am the most risk averse climber ever! If it's not safe I am Not going anywhere. Love to all, Bonita

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of you Bon. I wish you all the safety and success you deserve.
    Geordie xx