Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Everest 2008- Camp 3 (7150m)

A 2 am start on the 9th of May , saw the team move up through the icefall with the aim of reaching Camp 2. Half way up the icefall a thunderous crack indicated a huge collapse/avalanche. Since it was dark all we could do was stay where we were and hope that we were not in the firing line. Fortunately we were not but frightening all the same. The ladders across the crevasses don't bother me, but as we approach the monsoon and the temperatures increase more and more serac collapses are likely and that is what is slightly unnerving each time we venture through the icefall. The good news is that, hopefully, we only have to venture through twice more.
After a brief stop at camp 1 to pick up some kit, we moved up the Western Cwn to Camp 2 and got caught in some real heat. Most people would imagine Everest to be a very cold place and it is but when the sun is out the Western Cwn is like a solar oven with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius.

We had 2 nights in Camp 2 before setting off at 2 am on the 11th May for our climb to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. With very little precipitation this year so far the face was a very steep blue icey place, which required lots of front pointing on our crampons and jummaring all the way. With the ice so brittle people climbing above would shower ice down onto you, I took a few lumps onto my well justified helmet but unfortunately Ian took some ice in the eye and is seeking medical attention as I write this.

After a semi comfortable night in Camp 3 we descended to camp 2 in windy conditions where we had another night before making our way down here to basecamp this morning. James, Ian and myself were first down and were met by the film crew at the edge of the icefall where we shot off a bit of footage.

So that's us finished our acclimatisation cycles and are hopefully ready for our summit bid. We will now rest up here at basecamp or drop down the valley for a few days. The fixed lines have been fixed to camp 4 but the tents and oxygen have still to be moved up. So we wait for that to happen and keep studying the weather forecasts before deciding on a summit date. I will let you know as soon as we decide.

1. A birthday shout out to Davey Boy out in Cairns Australia. All the best Amigo.
2. Good luck to Glasgow Rangers for tomorrow Night.


Anonymous said...

Great to hear your preparatory cycles have gone well. The trips through the ice field sound pretty nerve wracking. Everyone has their fingers crossed for a favourable weather window and good conditions for your summit bid. All the best mate.
Graeme and family

Yvonne said...

Hi Martin,
I thought I saw you in Largs today which prompted me to check your blog - I take it it wasn't you then!! It all sounds very exciting and just a little bit scary ( maybe that will put Colin off any plans he might have to follow in your footsteps). I can't believe you're nearly there - amazing. Nothing but respect for you. Good luck and be careful. See you soon!
Yvonne x

dave casey said...

again - congrats on getting this far. Those ice fields sound awesome, yet pretty bloody scary!!
It has been quite bizarre how many Everest docos have been on the TV here over the past few weeks. Plus, we watched two dudes who were marching across Antartica in a recreation of Morson's ventures. I told Wendy that we would lend you Gigi if you wish to make this your next adventure lol.
Thanks for the birthday wishes buddy, I actually got a wee bit emotional - must be getting old.
Fingers crossed for the Gers tonight - I will be recording it anyway, so there will be a copy here incase you get home only to discover an episode of Coronation St, sorry Phylis!!
Until the next update - take care, be safe and may the force be with you.


Anonymous said...

Hope all goes according to plan and you get a good summit window.

Watching the footie at the moment 42 min in and still 0 - 0. I am sure Rangers will pull it off, but as a West Ham fan what do I know!!

Today Basecamp Film Fame, tomorrow the Cannes Film Festival, keep filming, smiling and doing what you do well climbing.

Take care
Donna x

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear everything is going according to plan so far. Shame about your team last night;)

I am at this moment in Melbourne visiting Susie and its boiling...although the Aussies are kicking about in hats and scarves! It's very bizarre.

Anyway, Its not long now by the sounds of it until your final push to the summit. I hope you are having an amazing time and Im sure you will be home safely soon.

The very best of luck is winging its way to you from Oz right now.

Take care amigo, I know you can do it.


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