Climbers from other teams are also preparing to leave base camp, and some climbers may wait for a few days before heading up.
Expedition Base team members are again taking 1,000m+ of rope up the mountain to assist the route setting process, plus we will have our personal ropes with us to do whatever we may need to do if things don’t go to plan.
On 11th, we will go directly to Camp 2, where we need to pick up some of our loads and take them higher up the mountain. Then, next day to Camp 3 and then Camp 4. We may hold up at any point in the process if the route is not set as per our plan, or we need to set the route ourselves, conditions are not as expected, or the weather decides to go against our forecasts. We are keeping things flexible as there are a number of factors that mean flexibility is necessary.
Our team is feeling strong. We are all packed up and ready to go. We will do our best. At this stage, we think we will be back down the mountain by 16th, at the latest. But, we are taking enough supplies to stay up longer, if we have to. We won’t, of course, have internet with us so not sure when exactly I’ll be able to post the outcome of this mission.
Good luck and safe climbing to all those making their way on their summit pushes on Kanch and other Himalayan mountains.
On a more sombre note, we received word at Kanch base camp some days ago that one of our climbing friends on Shishapangma, Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, was missing on his way to the summit. I wrote about Boyan in a blog quite some time ago (after Annapurna) describing him as one of the best mountaineers around, and those who have encountered him know him to be a very nice person. I remember him coming to mine and Lakpa’s tent at Camp 4 on Annapurna in 2016 just as he descended from the summit (we were ascending the following day) – he told us of his experience, the route, the conditions and wished us luck. Then, he descended as strongly as he ascended. I and others of his climbing friends here at Kanch remain hopeful for a miracle that he will appear soon and we send our thoughts to his loved ones.
Bye for now, Chris