It’s looking less and less likely that a summit window will come this week. The weather forecast has the jet stream right above Everest until at least May 13. Some expeditions are talking opportunities on May 16, but the forecast still doesn’t look good until at least the 18th and some teams are openly musing that a real summit window won’t open until May 20 to the 25th. We need to keep active, and get to higher elevations, so today we climbed to camp one on Pumori, at 6100 meters.
“Pumori is right behind base camp,” explained Rob Hill. “It’s a quick and easy morning walk for us to get up high. Today we left just before 10 am, climbed up the slope to 6100 meters and then descended back in time for lunch. Today was really about stretching legs and lungs. It helps to get higher up, but to aid acclimatization – or at this stage of our trip to keep us acclimatized – we will need to stay up there longer.”
Every expedition is going to have to be careful to keep acclimatization levels up. Some teams, especially those on the three times through the Icefall climbing schedule, have been in base camp or lower for going on two weeks now. The mountain was open very early this year and teams, No Guts Know Glory included, took advantage of good weather early on to climb high and be ready for early summit opportunities. Those opportunities have not yet opened and now all teams must fight boredom and the effects of static altitude to stay ready for summit opportunities, whenever they should appear.
“If our belief is right, and we do have to wait another five or seven days before heading up for a summit chance,” said John, “we’ll likely climb to camp one on Pumori again and sleep a night there. When the jet stream is overhead, it usually means very dry weather and clear skies. It will be nice to sleep, perhaps out in the open, up on Pumori and enjoy the night sky. The stars here are truly amazing. There is no light pollution to block any out, just the surrounding mountains.”