Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather rules on Everest!

The weather on this mountain sucks. I am getting really frustrated by the continued poor weather and we are running out of time. We have been pinned down by extreme wind here at E.B.C. for 3 days. It is also still very cold here. By May of each year we should be able to walk around base camp in just a fleece long sleeve shirt and pants. However, we are still bundled up in our down jackets and heavy clothing. The conditions on the upper mountain are even worse. We have had 4 tents (mine included) damaged (broken poles) by the wind here at base camp, several more at Camp 2 as well as Camp 3. Our Camp 4 supplies are hopefully safe but no one knows because we have been unable to climb up and see.

The weather forecast is not any better. Actually, the 2 main weather forecasting services are in complete agreement, which is rare. Extreme wind conditions are forecasted on the upper reaches of Everest until May 21st at the earliest. This can change but I am beginning to lose confidence. I have now been at E.B.C. waiting for the weather to improve for 16 days.

There is a small weather window developing for the 22nd – 25th. We are not sure but maybe that is when the jet stream will move off of Everest. We need at least 4 consecutive days of descent weather and manageable wind conditions to approach the summit and descend safely. The entire summit push will take 7 days but we can ascend/descend the lower mountain in less than ideal conditions.

All said and done the weather is out of our control. We just have to deal with what is given to us and stay safe. Thanks for following along. Hopefully, some good news to report in the coming days.