I checked my radio worked and bade farewell to the guys at C2. I raced on down towards C1 but then got delayed for 20 minutes or so taking photos (hopefully some decent footage for a Mountainpanoramas 360°x180° I’ll be able to share in coming weeks). The views were spectacular.
Then on down in to the Khumbu Icefall where everything was nicely refrozen.
It was amazing to not meet anyone at all on the journey. It’s almost as if there’s something going on that I’m not aware of...
So .... if you haven’t heard already we didn’t summit Nuptse. We got tantalisingly close but, at 4pm, and with well over 3 hours to go, I realised that we were either going to be descending in the light or descending in the dark and both scenarios involved not summiting.
In actual fact, the crux was probably that we weren’t a big enough team. Myself plus three would have made such a HUGE difference. But as it was there was just the three of us.
If we were ‘merely’ jugging ropes then
But we were fixing as we were going and, when you’re not entirely sure where the route goes, the headtorch option for going onwards becomes a very tricky justification. Coming down with a light is entirely different to continuing onwards.
Anyway, the long and short of what I’m saying is that I decided to turn us back before we actually were forced to turn back. I decided that the pressure of continuing just because we were getting closer wasn’t the right avenue.
If I haven’t summited the first of the PROJECT 321 peaks surely that calls in to question the entire venture? Alas, time is now against us and I couldn’t quite make the first Everest window (which is happening today!) So that pushes everything back by a few days which, in turn, jeopardises the second Everest (N side) ascent.
So, potentially, I’m looking at Everest / Lhotse and that’s it (that’s it he says as if it’s a walk in the park ... which it isn’t).
My worry is that if I opt for Everest / Lhotse and I then go North and it’s too late / the weather doesn’t play ball / the season is over, then I feel the venture hasn’t achieved that much in the great scheme of things.
So, weather dependent, I’m probably looking at Plan C which is Everest / Lhotse followed by, you guessed it, finishing off on Nuptse. At least then there’s the potential of achieving ‘The Triple’ (as well as 3 panorama opportunities). And as I keep reminding folk only 20 people have actually summited Nuptse ...
So there you have it. A changing itinerary in a dynamic situation. I hope you feel that it’s a good choice.
Just finalising the plans for the next rotation which is hopefully going to be a MEGATASTIC SUMMITFEST.
Fingers crossed I’ll be finishing the Nuptse project followed swiftly by ascents of Everest and Lhotse. I say swiftly ... but at ultra high altitude everything goes in to slow motion.
I’ll have the tracker with me and will endeavour not to activate the SOS function (see previous post). Feel free to keep popping by to see where I am and how it’s all progressing.
The other thing I’ll have with me is the photo equipment for the 360°x180° mountain panoramas I’ll be endeavouring to capture.
Last year, I climbed the small knoll overlooking The South Col. At 8,029m it’s a reasonably high hillock and I’m still not sure if it was a ‘first’ ascent or not. Possibly, possibly not.
Here’s the highest high quality sphere which was created with the footage. It’s pretty relevant right now because there’s going to be folk staying at The South Col on and off for the next week or so.
08:59 Chilling out at C2 for the afty. Moving to Nuptse C3 tomorrow. We'll be breaking trail yet again as the route has disappeared. An intense few days ahead.
09:50 At Nuptse C3 with legendary Dorje Gyalgen. We'll be starting out around 3a.m. to get to the current high point to fix in the daytime. Fingers crossed.
23:48 Myself & Dorje setting off shortly. Glorious night. Let's see how it goes.
15:54 Alas there was new snow that covered the ropes and trail (again). Slow progress & energy sapping climbing proved too much for us. Tim&Dorje 0 - Nuptse 1.
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