Everest South: Camp 4 action!|
May 29, 2005 07: 14 EST
"Ten hours after Camp 2 ... Gav is at S Col," reported Gavin's home team minutes ago. "Unfortunately he has lost his glasses - but still has his goggles. You can really tell in this message that the lack of oxygen has kicked in - he sounds exhausted!"
Excitement is increasing on Everest’s South side, with climbers mostly on every section of the route. Whilst some teams – Brazilians and Valencia among others - are leaving BC today, aiming for the summit by June 2nd, some others are reaching C4 at South Col today! Some of them may be setting off for the summit in a few hours.
MM and Gavin: Tonight's the night
Gavin Bates on't be alone today in the moon-like SOuth Col camp. Mountain Madness group headed up for the same spot earlier this morning. Both Gavin and MM group will set off for the summit tonight.
Big teams in C2
Exploradus team is slightly behind the head group. The planned to reach C3 today, C4 tomorrow, and to go for the summit on May,31st – June,1st. Latest news from the huge Alpine Ascents and Adventure Consultants groups located them in Camp 2 as well. AC guide Luis Benitez has previously reported he plans to “stay away from the crowds, wait for them to pass, then take a shot.”
This morning local time, the winds were reported by several expeditions to have calmed.. The jet wind was forecasted to weaken and move away from Everest Sunday, but the conditions were expected to remain breezy, with winds around 15 m/s.
Camp 4 sits on a plateau resembling a moonscape. You are at the edge of the atmosphere and the sky owns a strange, dark blue color. It is surely the closest you can get to space on earth.
Only a small climb above camp, you look down the Tibetan plateau with it's vast brown plains, white glaciers and the other alpine giants - Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu -in the distance. It's all magic and unreal.
Yet, this is also the place were the media, fame and fun of BC definitely are gone. Only fear remains on everyone's face. People don’t talk a lot. Resting in your tent, feeling weak already, you try to get some sleep as night falls outside. In a couple of hours you will start to put on your gear for the final part of the adventure - the summit push.
The wall towards the summit is steep and dark, you are in the death zone and you can´t help thinking that within the next 48 hours, there is a very real risk that you might not live.
Image of Camp 4, ExplorersWeb files