Thursday, May 20, 2010

At the base of the Lhotse Face!

Bill just checked in to say he was standing at the base of the famed Lhotse Face, a 3700' (1125m) wall of ice and snow that marks the western flank of Lhotse and is a challenge for climbers headed to the South Col of Everest. Fixed lines provide some protection as climbers scale this 40-50 degree face and negotiate bulges of 70-80 degrees.

The team will spend the night at Camp 3 tonight, sleeping on oxygen at just shy of 24,000'. There appears to be a slight lessening in the fierce winds that have been whipping the upper mountain and our crew wants to be in position to make a summit bid if it actually occurs. A large cyclone to the south looked threatening, but now appears to be headed a bit to the east of Everest. We are watching it closely, however.

I've re-posted this so as to keep it in chronological order with the team's ascent. Posts from the mountain are sent out in batches, and the two previous posts came through after I had originally posted this update. Sorry for any confusion!

Stay tuned and think warm thoughts!

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