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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
Lhotse Team Return after an exciting time at Camp1 and Camp2
After a short delay in departure as the ice fall doctors repaired the fixed ropes and ladders the Lhotse team departed base camp at 2.30am on 27th
April for their second rotation on the mountain. Aware of the dangers of the ice fall we moved quickly and silently, clipping each rope and listening carefully for any cracks or crunches of the ice we were standing on or that hanging from seracs above. As we topped out into the Western Cwm the atmosphere relaxed and we stopped for a drink and a bite of food, knowing another 3/4hr would see us tucked into our tents with a brew. Leaving slightly later meant that we would benefit from the sun as it hit our tents around 8.am. We had instructed Chongba our Sherpa who travelled with us through the ice fall to move on quickly through the danger zone and continue to camp 2 with his load.
By 9am we were settled in our tents , stoves were on and we relaxed as the sun warmed us through. Chatting away between the tents we all agreed that we were feeling good and were looking forward to catching up on the nights sleep. It was then there was a big whooof!! I poked my head out the tent . An uneditable word shot out of my mouth as I screamed for Ron and Scott to stay in their tents. Nuptse had released the biggest avalanche I have every seen in my life........... there was no time for any thoughts or actions. We put our backs to the main force and covered our heads as the snow flattened our tents and the down draught tried to suck us out. Powder snow entered through every open door and we were in a white abyss desperately trying to fight the crushing weight of snow. Time passed and eventually the tidal wave of snow stopped We shouted at each other … to ensure our team was OK. I grabbed the radio and notified Pemba our Sirdar at base camp “ Pemba Di Pemba Di we have been hit by an avalanche. We are Ok but where are our sherpas....” Excited radio calls in Nepali were transmitted and soon we knew all our sherpas had escaped the avalanche. More radio calls revealed that one sherpa from another team was injured in a crevasse above us, but there was a team already at his rescue. We shook ourselves off and with legs wobbling recorded the destruction of camp 1. Not wanting to stay around Camp 1 we packed all our kit and stared slowly up towards camp 2. Passing the huddle of rescues including Pasang and Pem Chiring from our Everest team I gave away our rescue rope and ice screws and continued. We were met by Chongba who relieved us of some of the weight and finally we arrived in Camp 2 very tired and shaken. Some members of the Everest team gave us a well needed welcome and soon we were being watered and fed in our new camp.
The following morning the Everest team left early and we turned over snuggled into our beds knowing we had a complete rest day ahead of us. General house keeping was order of the day and Scott moved house to one with a slightly more level floor. Our camp 2 cooks Lhakpa and Heme worked hard to make this high camp as comfortable as possible.
On the 29th April it was time to mobilise ourselves and we set off to gain height towards the bergshund at the bottom of the Lhotse face. The prevailing wind although not too strong made it feel very cold and and on reaching 6700m it was time to turn around back to camp. It was noticeable that many Sherpas and team members were fully clad in down suits. Perhaps we had misjudged the temperatures so the following day saw us take a walk out of camp dressed in full down. Feeling more comfortable in our suites we made good progress and returned to camp feeling much more acclimatised.
We had now spent four nights at camp 2 and it was time to return to the luxury of base camp. Leaving camp 2 early we made great progress down through the western Cwm back to camp 1 and then back through the ice fall to arrive back at base camp for breakfast.
Now the Lhotse team are catching up on some showers, washing and rest before leaving for their next rotation to sleep at camp 3.
Posted on 03 May 2012 by adele
Lhotse Team Reach Camp 1 6070m
At 2am on the 22nd April The Lhotse team left base camp to spend the night at camp 1 in the Western Cwm. The day before a Sherpa had fallen off a ladder into a crevasse and unfortunately had died. The mood was sombre and as we walked around the altar of the Puja our thoughts went to the Sherpa and his family. Today it seemed different, the sounds of the ice cracking made us jump, there was silence as we made our way higher and higher. Numerous Sherpas doing their daily load carries, mumbled prayers as they passed us on the route and as usual the politeness of travel in the ice fall continued. By 7.08 am we had reached camp 1 just five hours and 10 minutes after leaving base camp. A 40km/hr wind blew loose snow across the glacier and brought the temperature we felt right down to minus 20 degree C. Tucked into our tents we waited for the sun to rise in the Cwm to warm us through. Within the hour the temperature rose as we nibbled our way through our high altitude rations and slept the morning away. A few visits outside to take some pictures and to wander around the camp was enough for our bodies to acclimatise to this new altitude. After a very windy night we packed up and left Camp 1 by 6am. Against the flow of the up coming traffic in the ice fall we exercised British ( and American) politeness along with the Sherpas and made it back to base camp in time for a 9am breakfast.Now resting the Lhotse team intend to return to camp 1 and camp two later this week.
Adele, Scott and Ron
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by adele
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