Today was skills day, where we learned basic glacier skills - walking in a rope team, ice axe use, how to ascend a steep slope on a fixed rope, and belaying.
Only a few of us have been on a glacier before, so we spent a couple of hours honing these skills before retiring to the dining room for a cappuccino and lunch.
The afternoon was spent with crampon instruction and a briefing of our summit day.
We are off for the glacier tomorrow and our last camp, Mera La, at approximately 17,100 feet. We hope to get to Mera La by lunchtime, eat an early dinner, get some rest, and be up around midnight for our summit push.
We are preparing for a gruelling day of around 10 hours round trip - we hope to summit (21,400 feet) around sunrise (around 7:00 pm central time), where we hope to see Mount Everest and 4 other 8,000 metre peaks “close up”.
The weather forecast for our summit day is still a bit unsettled - 40 km winds and clear. The wind is at the outer acceptable level, so we are hoping for it to dissipate by tomorrow night.
We won’t be in contact until well after our summit, so this will be the last post for a couple of days.
Here’s hoping for safety and success for our group!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain