Today we woke up with a wonderful weather, no white plume on the summit and very calm winds. We had our breakfast quite anxious to look at the latest weather forecast to be delivered around 10am. The largest Chinese Team has left the camp next to ours around 9am, doing celebrations, taking photos and getting blessings from the ones staying at BC, so we assume they are moving to IBC and getting positioned at ABC for the summit push tomorrow afternoon. Our Sherpas radioed good news: the Tibetan rope fixers have finalized their work this morning. I was organizing my blog notes and trying to get few things organized before going for walk, when Phil started to tell to everyone of us “we are leaving tomorrow”… We had a Team Meeting at around 10:15 and we all decided to take the following bet:
There are two weather windows opening before end of May. The first is on the 14th to 15th with 45 miles wind speed on the summit, picking up gradually after that, and dropping again around the 22nd to 25th to very calm winds. Our plan is to go for the first one, and considering only the Chinese team is getting positioned now, we’ll go very early tomorrow straight to ABC with no stop at IBC. That will give us the chance to go the Summit the following day right before or after that team, meaning we might be able to climb alone in the line without having to negotiate the difficult sections with other teams. Most of the teams have just finished their rotations, and back to BC. It is quite challenging for then to get positioned as fast as we’ll do, since we have had plenty of rest and we have everything arranged to leave at any time. We can also take the risk of going on a window that might eventually be too small and not as good as the second one in terms of wind speeds, because we’ve done only one rotation, and so if we have to abandon our summit push on this small weather window, it would count as our second rotation and we can retrieve to BC to have more rest before going for a second push on the 25th. Many of the teams here can’t take this risk , since they have already gone through a crazy number of rotations and sleeping at high camps. We are fresh but strong, and we are playing with the best cards 🙂
If everything goes as expected we’ll have the opportunity to summit as per the following schedule:
– Day 1 – May 11: BC > ABC
– Day 2 – May 12: ABC > C1
– Day 3- May 13: C1 > C2
– Day 4 – May 14: C2 > C3
– Day 5 – May 15: C3 > S > C3
– Day 6 – May 16: C3 > ABC (rest at C1)
– Day 7 – May 17: Rest at ABC
– Day 8 – May 18: ABC > BC
If the winds are higher than expected we might need to cancel our plan at a certain point, probably before moving above C1 (May 13th) and coming back to BC to wait for the better window on the 25th.
I’d love to have this blog entry posted today May 10th, but it make sense that we keep our plan “secret” for a few days. Therefore I’ll ask my brother to post it in two or three days. Lets hope that the weather prediction is quite conservative and we can climb with low winds rather than the scary 45 miles that we expect on summit day. It might not be the most beautiful summit push, and I might not even be able to take many photos from the top, but we all prefer to take the risk and having the chance to do a super-early summit this year, rather than going with about 80 climbers on the 25th.
Wish my luck, and see you from the Top of the World in 5 days!