Tuesday, April 24, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Spent the past few days hanging out at ABC. Today we practiced some ropework then tomorrow up to the North Col! The correct day we head back to CBC.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Hiked up toward crampon point yesterday. Felt great! Today we chill out at abc, sort our climbing gear, and then practice some ropework tomorrow.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Firsr morning at ABC and feeling fantastic! The view of Everest are breathtaking. Brendan and i are doing well and thank you all for your support.

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inReach message from Patrick McKnight

At abc! Feeling awesome! ! ! !

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

Made it!

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Friday, April 20, 2018

inReach message from Patrick McKnight

We are off!

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Today we start!

Last night we decided based upon the weather forecast and potential for rope fixing to be done in a few days that leaving for Interm camp today and then ABC tomorrow made sense. We have a strong, well acclimatizd team so we all feel confident in the new itinerary.  Brendan and I plan to head out right after breakfast.  Our mission today is to take our time. Saving energy and strength down low on the mountain ensures that we have both on summit day.  We are off!

Expect updates via Twitter and Instagram along the way. When we return to CBC in about a week, I will post a full recap.  Thanks for following.  Have an awesome week.

Maybe tomorrow?

We were to leave for Interim camp but the fixed ropes are not set above ABC.  Given that situation, we decided to stay in the comfortable confines of Chinese Basecamp.  Today we hiked up to about 5500m.  Brendan and I climbed with our full packs - full with our gear we plan to carry up to ABC in the next few days.  Both of us took it easy and felt great.  Now we're back at CBC and lounging around after another wonderful lunch.  Hopefully we leave tomorrow.... fingers crossed.

Thanks for following.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tomorrow morning the climb begins in earnest

I am lounging around today at Chinese Basecamp doing very little other than walking about, meeting other climbers, playing cards, and eating.  I even managed a nap!  Who said mountaineering was difficult.  Oh...just wait.  Life gets way more interesting for me and the rest of our group in the next few days.  We leave for Interim camp (IBC) tomorrow morning.  After two nights sleeping at that altitude (5800m) we then head up to Advanced Basecamp (ABC) for several days.  As I explained previously, we embark on round 1 of our acclimatization process where we climb higher and sleep lower than we climb.  To many, these rounds don't make much sense but to mountaineers these are the common tool for getting used to the low oxygen.  So by April 22nd, we will be at ABC.  The 23rd we rest.  On the 24th, we walk across the snowfield and touch the headwall then return to ABC to sleep (and eat).  Then the 25th we do a little ropework practice.  On the 26th, we climb up to the North Col then back to ABC.  Finally, we hike back down to CBC on the 27th.  Those days up high gives our bodies a chance to get accustomed to the low oxygen.  We should all feel pretty good after our return to CBC - even better than we feel now. 

Today, I met many climbers when we toured Basecamp.  One thing I love about climbing with Brendan is that we are both social and largely uninhibited.  We just walked into the 6 neighboring camps and said hi.  We met Chinese, British, American, and Austrian climbers on our tour.  Climbers are often very friendly and those we met today didn't disappoint.  We also witnessed a black tie affair at CBC.  These folks aim to set the world record for highest formal dinner at the North Col.  Here they are during dress rehearsal...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhwCWSXFdmt/

So much fun!  These folks are from the UK.  Very nice and welcoming.  Cheer them on if you can.  Search for highest formal dinner on Everest. 

Thanks for following us.  We appreciate all the support.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

First round up the hill begins in 2 days

We are patiently resting in Chinese Basecamp or CBC and everyone is doing quite well.  Daily hikes, gear repacking and resting fill our days.  Here are a few items that you might find interesting or useful while you follow the climb.

  1. Sleeping at 5200m appears physiologically similar to my hypoxico tent simulated altitude.  My morning spo2 remains largely unchanged from the levels I recorded from my tent at home.  Pretty cool I would say.
  2. Communication method will change above CBC.  We believe WiFi will be spotty above this camp so my next blog post will be after the first round of climbing.  When I return to CBC, I will update my blog with the goings on above CBC. The best way to follow my progress is via Twitter (@pem725).  
  3. Brendan and I are both feeling great!  The training paid off so far and we both feel confident.  It feels fantastic to be with a good friend and wonderful climbing buddy.
  4. Our itinerary is slowly taking shape.  The yaks come to CBC tonight.  They will hang around our camp until the morning when they will be packed up with 30kg each and haul out gear up to ABC.  Meanwhile, we will sleep at CBC tonight and tomorrow night before departing for interim camp or IBC.  The walk to IBC should be between 4 and 6 hours.  Once there, we rest for two days before heading up to ABC.  Basically our climb starts in 2 days.  Today, we walk over to see the highest monastery in the world - the Rongbuk Monastery.  So the climb is taking shape.  
  5. Round 1 is now scheduled.  After we rest at ABC for a few days, we will walk over to the north col face, touch it and return to ABC.  The next day, we climb to camp 1 and sleep.  The next day I believe we climb to camp 2, turn around and descend to ABC.  That completes round 1.  I will post Twitter updates along with tracks so you can follow our progress.

That's it!  It is 5am at CBC on April 18th 2018 and I am comfortably snuggled in my sleeping bag.  Outside it is about -10C but toasty warm inside my tent.  Thanks for following along.  Will try to post right before we depart for IBC in 2 days.  Until then, have a wonderful few days.