The idea today was to clear all our gear from the mountain and get to EBC with enough time to pack for an early departure to Namche tomorrow morning. The challenge is that we have 10 loads and three people. Pemba and Kame are super sherpas, but not supermen! Our expected help did not come, so we had to improvise, or, should I say, the sherps had to improvise. We had 15 oxygen tanks, 4 tents, 3 sleeping setups, cooking gear, food, personal gear, etc… that needed to go to EBC. I took 1 load and Pemba and Kame both took triple loads. These #Q&#$* are utterly crazy, especially when crossing ladders with 60-80 kilos. I meant to say that I appreciate them making it happen. They found some goon to take the final two loads and he in turn too a load off of us, if you know what I mean.
About 15 minutes out of EBC I plunge through the ice up to my knee and got water into my boots. EBC never felt so good, especially knowing that we didn’t have to climb through the icefall anymore. We were the first summiters back to EBC from the May 19 group.