When Pemba called me this morning to say that we would be foregoing the usually rest day and heading to C3 today I didn't complain one bit. I simply said a doubtful yes because I wasn't sure of this plan, although it was created by me. Our thought process is to try and summit on the May19th to avoid the big teams coming after. So, off to C3 we went wearing down suits. I felt very good for the first half of the hike to the base of the Lhotse and then ok for the rest. At the middle of the climb I was out of water and dehydrated and moving very slow. At this rate there's no way that I can rally for the climb to the South Col tomorrow. Even if i did, I still need to be ready for the summit push just a few hours after getting there. Hmmm... get to C3 and figure it out.
I knew Kame and Pemba wanted to do everything in their power to get me to the summit, but when Pemba offered me Oxygen for the climb to C3, I really had to look at him crooked and asked if he was serious. Well, out came the oxygen bottle and the mask and I just flatly refused. He and a sherpa buddy tried to get me to take it without success. I really wanted to climb without Os and more importantly to acclimatize more. Close to camp I wished for a fleeting moment that I had taken the oxygen.
Once at C3 I relax and drank water faster than Pemba could manufacture it and in no time I was feeling a bit better.
Kame will be staying at C2 tonight and meeting us at C3 tomorrow morning for the climb to C4.