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First Lead in Vallee de Claree
Today although the weather dawned a little bit cloudy we all left Vallouise to take to the rock in Vallee de Claree.
After warming up on some easier routes Sam Malone took hist first lead on Suzinox 5a
Sam age 10 after his lead on Suzinox
Posted on 06 Jun 2012 by adele
Lhotse Summit 6.15am 25th May 2012
The days had passed since the 19th May which saw five fatalities on Everest and one on Lhotse; the next weather window had developed and again it was to ascend through the ice fall to camp 2. This time I travelled with the Everest team, joining in the banter and feeling more secure than travelling between camps alone. The rest day at camp 2 passed uneventfully and soon we were back at camp 3. It was evident that we were not the only members in residence as other teams slowly filled the remaining tents. Early in the morning our Sherpas called and I met Kilu who was going to be my Sherpa for Lhotse.
Kilu went ahead and I left in front of the crowd to make my way up the rest of the Lhotse face, up across the yellow band to the Lhotse Y and then up to our camp four. Now with Oxygen it felt more pleasant and I played with my oxygen flow with Top Out Ted’s new regulator. Perhaps you could say I was dawdling, and yes I was; the views were stunning and the feel that you were now high in the sky a reality. At the Lhotse Y I could spot the Jagged Globe tent and Kilu waved, obviously proud of his tent platform. In no rush I wandered up to be greeted with hot sweet black tea. Feeling good Kilu and I tested the oxygen cylinders and discussed our plans. This year it was known that the Lhotse Couloir was very dry and stone fall was a real issue. Getting ahead of the rest of the climbers was important and we sorted out our equipment knowing that the route had not been properly fixed. In addition to Kilu and myself we had given up some spare space in the tent to Kinga who was now on her second try.
At 10pm Kilu started to put the stove on but then we realised we were two hours premature. Lying back in our sleeping bags we snoozed but too excited we got up in an hour. With the stove humming, we pulled on our boots and down suits. Everything is a real struggle at this altitude (7800m), but eventually we were ready and we shot off up the slopes towards the couloir. We were alone in the dark, only our lights were visible but as we turned towards Everest the line of many torches snaking up to the balcony made for a stunning sight.
As we reached the rock band we traversed right; crampon scratches marking the footsteps and then we saw three lights above. Not too worried we continued and as the couloir narrowed we caught the group up. Frustrated we moved slowly behind them, with no chance of passing as the sides of the couloir bounded by rock narrowed even further to an extent were each side could be reached by outstretched arms. After another 100m the gully opened up, a mixture of scree, rock and snow we broke free and passed sneakily on the right side. Kilu now in front looked disappointingly down at me as I failed to find any power.... going SLOWLY ... I was and then it dawned, I was on Oxygen and it had been several hours since we left camp. Kilu smiled as he looked at the regulator signalling empty and soon we had changed the cylinder and we were back on turbo. Unfortunately another team had zipped by us and we could see them making the final 50 m to the top. There were sections without rope and sections with a mass of frayed rope and also a body totally preserved which unfortunately we had to step across as we made the final steps up to the tiny summit.
Waiting just below whilst the other team basked in their glory we looked in awe at the corniced summit ridge of Lhotse. After a 20 minute wait we then took our place on the 5th highest mountain in the world. The wind was blowing hard and I wanted to descend as quickly as possible to avoid any danger of stone fall. Kilu and I smiled at each other and nodded through our masks and then off we went.
Adele on Lhotse Summit
Quickly and efficiently we used the ropes to guide us down, each foot placement was positive and not daring to abseil on the dodgy fixed lines we carefully retraced our steps passing the odd climber who had made a late start. Within an hour we had reached the traverse and taking refuge under a lip of rock we bit into an energy gel and shared some juice; the first since leaving camp. Now more relaxed we made it back to our camp to be welcomed by Top Out Ted and tea.
After an hours rest we gathered our personal equipment and camp supplies and started back down. It was hot and with heavy sacks and down suits we would travel a couple of hundred meters and then slump into the snow. Legs braced as we hand railed the fixed lines we eventually dropped onto the glacier towards camp 2. Heme our camps 2 cook and Chongba came to greet us with congratulations and juice. Not being too proud we gave them our loads and made our way to our camp two which was now exhibiting some excellent water features. Lhakpa then provided us with the customary Dhal Bhat before we both retired for exhausted sleep knowing that there was only one more journey through the ice fall to make.
Again at 4.30am the alarm went and slowly we packed our bags, tried to force down breakfast and started out through the Western Cwm. Sherpas were busy carrying loads and dismantling camps. The ladders across the huge crevasses barely touched the sides and wobbled furiously as we clanked across them. The radio then started to babble excitedly, first HRA and then Adam... “Adele, Adele from Jagged Globe base; There has been another collapse in the ice fall Where are you” .... “Above camp 1 I replied” only to hear the sense of relief in Adams sigh. Kinu and I looked at each other and as Kinu recited his prayers my heart bounded as we again went through the danger area. Recent debris covered the trail and ladders had disappeared into the chasms. Luckily there was a route through and soon we were back at the foot ball field. Taking off layers of clothes we had sight of base camp. Loads back on we continued to the bottom and just as we were about to rest we saw Pemba and another Sherpa waving. Fizzy Sprite in hand; we laid on the ice knowing that we were now safe and had taken Lhotse as our prize.
Posted on 26 May 2012 by adele
Rescue on Everest 20th May
Lhotse Summit Push Aborted but Not Over.
Quietly on the 14th May Adele left base camp with Chongba to take what she thought would be the last trip through the ice fall. No time for chatter Adele and Sherpa repeated this journey stopping once for some drink. Just before the top Chongba stepped across some popcorn ice in front. Following one step behind Adele suddenly disappeared with a “pop”. No harm was done and both Sherpa and Adele giggled as she was pulled out of the little hole. Not even stopping at the site of Camp 1 the journey was completed in 6hrs. After breakfast Adele enjoyed the peace and tranquility of camp 2, dozing eating and watching time passed away until dinner which she shared with Heme in the Sherpa Kitchen.
Phil on ladder through icefall
The next day the sun rose over Everest and warmed the tents as the Everest team arrived in camp. Gerlinder the Austrian Lady who has completed all the 8000m peaks without Oxygen and her partner were observed on the slopes of Nupste and Sherpa’s gathered to finalize the fixing of the two neighbouring mountains Everest and Lhotse. The first summit window was approaching and camp 2 was slowly filling up.
The Jagged Sherpa’s were packing with their loads to take to the South Col and Adele was making her final preparation to move to camp 3 and hopefully to push on for her summit attempt.
At 3am on the 17th May, the sound of the kerosene stove woke Adele as the Sherpas departed. Knowing she had another couple of hours in bed she lay awake thinking of her summit push. At 5am she forced herself out into the cold air, desperately trying to keep fingers warm as she packed the final essential items for her summit bid. Planning to travel alone to Camp 3 she was relaxed and ate as much of Heme’s porridge as she could. It was then there was another “Whoof”, further away than the last whoof she had heard Adele continued with the task of porridge eating until her radio went frantic with Sherpa conversation. The only word intelligible to the foreigner was RESCUE. Soon Pasang came flying out of his tent, busily making excited conversation. Very quickly the story unfolded... Pem Chiring had been hit by a falling serac above camp 3...Pasang and Adele looked at each other with that fear of what was to happen. Within minutes the camp 2 stretcher was located; Phurba and Pasang were on their way to assist as David and Adele tried to make sense of what was happening. Base camp were notified of the incident the rescue started to take place. The Sherpa’s at the incident site communicated with the doctors at base camp whilst Rob Casserly a doctor known to the team was mobilised. David set off to fetch important medical supplies and make his way to the Bergshund to meet the Sherpas and Pem. Adele followed David as Ian (one of the Everest clients used his mountain rescue background ) to man the radio. Walking as fast as they could Adele met David made their way up the glacier. Moving more quickly David and Rob reached the casualty as he was lowered down the final section of the Lhotse face. Adele soon followed; armed with syringes and needles. It was unclear of the exact injuries Pem had and the Sherpas had done a fantastic job of immobilising his suspected fractures and had lowered him hundred’s of metres . Rob managed to get a drip in to deliver essential fluids in case Pem had bad internal injuries. Unfortunately the narrow tube froze . Team work from everyone at the site enabled Pem to be transferred onto a stretcher that could be sledged down the snow. Adam in base camp and HRA were alerting the helicopter, but unfortunately there was going to be a delay as another rescue was taking place.
Juice for the rescuers was brought up to the stretcher site by Heme and as one stretcher team drank the other moved Pem slowly and gently down the glacier. Swapping roles Pem was finally taken to the Adventure Consultants tent so we could get a better idea of the extent of his injuries. Two doctors in camp 2 were there to help as well as Damian Benegas. Relieved to have this expert help Adele assisted and chatted to Pem as he relaxed knowing he would soon be safe and evacuated to Kathmandu. After another 40 minutes the helicopter was on its way. Flying to such heights is dangerous and truly amazing. Still disturbed by the noise of helicopters after her Makalu incident Adele smiled at Pem as tears welled into both their eyes. “you will be OK “ she whispered as the stretcher bearers took him to the helipad. Hot tired and exhausted Adele tidied away the mass of first aid kits and thanked the doctors, and eve3ryone who had helped. David manned the helicopter site with HRA and saw Pem off. Relieved and exhausted the Jagged globe team members who had now assembled and helped bring sleeping bags and alerting the doctors at camp slowly made their way back to their own camp. Laid out in the sun Sherpa’s and team members debriefed each other in their own way. Within a couple of hours we had good news Pem had a few broken bones but he was stable and in hospital.
An amazing rescue ; well done to everyone involved and a special thank you to Rob, Adventure consultants, the doctors in camp and Damian.
Our future plans of a summit bid had been pushed into insignificance and all that was important was that our Pem would be OK. Tomorrow was going to be a rest day for all and new plans would be made once we got the updated weather forecast for the next few days.
The following morning the team members, Sherpa’s and cooks all lay in as the hundreds of people made a human snake on the Lhotse face. Astonished and happy to be in Camp 2 we monitored the progress of those crawling up the face. Surely this was too many people to be climbing on one day.
Reports came in that the fixing Sherpas reached the summit closely followed by a Chilean team.
Little happened in the Jagged Globe camp except for a visit from Top out Ted who was also deciding when the right time to climb Lhotse would be. Adele also undecided as the Lhotse fixing team had been involved in the rescue, the wind speeds were forecast to be high and the rescue had taking its toll. All in all it did not feel right;
At 2pm our radio call with base to confirm the forecast made the decision and on the 19th May everyone descended to base to watch the Everest summit picture unravel.
Masses going for Everest
Posted on 20 May 2012 by adele
Waiting for the Summit Window 12th May
Today Adele left base camp for the day to communicate with the outside world.
With Russell Brice one of the main operators pullingf out of climbing Lhotse the mood at base camp has been tense. Adele has been busy coordinating with a number of other teams the fixing of Lhotse. Sherpas team leaders and fixers are on standby for the 17th /18th May when we think the winds will drop and allow us to prepare Lhotse for climbers to summit.
If the mountain is safe and the weather allows Adele hopes to make her bid around the 20th to 23rd May
Posted on 12 May 2012 by adele
Lhotse Dispatch 9th May
It’s been a difficult time for the Lhotse team following their reminder at camp1 of how brutal the mountains can be. On the 5th May Adele left base camp very early in the morning with Chongba Sherpa, to make her way to camp 2. It was snowing lightly and Chongba and Adele were excited as today was the day Chongba’s baby was due. Moving quickly they reached the remains of camp 1 in four hours. From here the cloud rained with snow and the Western Cwm felt very early. Small powder avalanches trickled of Nupste as we carefully followed the disappearing trail. After a 2 ½ hour slog we were met en route by two Sherpas bearing juice who walked us into camp 2.
With the Everest team in residence waiting for a weather window to ascend to camp 3, there was much uncertainty as every weather forecast predicted heavy snow fall. Although the snowfall was needed to help establish a safe route on the upper slopes of the mountain, we also wanted our chance to climb higher.
Climbing on the Lhotse face
At 4.30am on the 6th May the weather was perfect ; Chongba left for base camp anxiously waiting for news of his baby and Adele joined the Everest team to make an ascent to camp 3. It was cold and dressed in down from head to toe the going seemed hard after the efforts of yesterday. Head down and moving slowly the bottom of the Lhotse face was eventually reached. “ Steep “ was not as word to describe the first 25m of the route. Jumaring up the blue ice was incredibly hard work but soon a rhythm was gained and step by step height was gained. .Sherpa’s passed us as we rested and the temperature rose to make us feel very overdressed as we gained height. Luckily clouds took away some of the sun’s heat as we crawled into camp 3. The Sherpa’s had made an excellent job of cutting a platform for five tents. Perched on the edge of the Lhotse face the Jagged Globe tents were heaven and soon the stove was on and we lay outstretched recovering from the efforts of the day. Soup, biscuits, tuna, noodles, cheese, tea , coffee; everything was consumed as Adele and her new tent buddy Phil wailed away the afternoon. Snoozing , chatting and listening to music the view out of the window was stunning and reminded us of where we were! By 5.30pm it was time to pull out the sleeping bags have our last cup of hot chocolate, pop on our oxygen masks and settle down to a night’s sleep at 7200m. Before we knew it Adele’s Nepali speaking telephone was chanting its 5am its time to get up. Slowly we rose from our slumber and got the stove on. Dressing inside our sleeping bags to ensure the cold of the morning didn’t seep too much energy from our bodies, we got ready for the descent back down the Lhotse face. Coffee, flapjack and biscuits were breakfast and soon we were moving quickly down the fixed ropes back to the comfort of camp 2. Everyone pleased with their efforts and that we had had the chance to make this acclimatization cycle rested at camp before yet another early start the following morning to descend to base camp.
For Adele and David Hamilton ( Everest leader ) there was little time to rest as base camp leader meeting and gossip were instantly put upon them. For Chongba a healthy baby boy.
Today the 9th it was time for the base camp manager Adam’s hair cut as the Jagged Globe base camp is hosting a meeting at 2pm to establish a plan of establishing camp 4 for Lhotse and fixing the ropes up the Lhotse Couloir to the summit.
Posted on 09 May 2012 by adele
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