18 May 2008: That should put us on the summit around first light on the 22nd (5 AM)...
Today is my last rest day before starting up the mountain. Again this morning there were many folks moving up through the ice fall. Winds were light here at base camp and it was mostly clear. Temperatures continue to warm up. Nothing in the tent froze up last night and our small pond behind the dinning tent only had some light ice on some of the surface.
After breakfast it was time to shave, cut my hair and shower. Follow that with clean clothes and you feel ready to go up. We are very fortunate to have two kitchen helpers that are more than willing to do our laundry. Some of that may be due to the fact that we pay them, but it is really nice to know they willingly do it. The Sherpa’s also did their laundry and have it hanging out to dry around the kitchen tent.
After lunch I laid out and packed my gear for what I hope will be my last time up through the ice fall. Even the Sherpa’s are getting more uncomfortable going up and down the ice fall. With all the warm weather it continues to move downward changing portions of the route daily. At the bottom there is a two ladder section just to get over one of many streams flowing on the surface of the glacier ice.
Before dinner Steve, Anna and I walked down to the bakery and got some chocolate cake (warmed up). Tonight I will be early to bed for a 3 AM wake up tomorrow. Ngima, Pemba and I will be off by 4 AM to get through the ice fall before the sun hits it. We will get to camp two tomorrow. Than weather permitting we will carry on to camp three the next day (Tuesday 5/20). Also on Tuesday Kame and Mingmar will come up to camp two. On Wednesday (5/21) Kame and Mingmar will come up to camp three and join us on our way up to the South Col.
Our plan at the South Col is to rest for a few hours and than carry on to the summit leaving the South Col around 6 PM. That should put us on the summit around first light on the 22nd (5 AM). We should also have some good light from the moon since the full moon is on the 19th.
This will be our last update for the cyber cast until we get back down to base camp after May 23rd.