It's the decision we've all been waiting for. David Breashears, Ed Viesturs, Pete Athans, Veikka
Gustafsson, Guy Cotter, Dave Carter, Tashi Tenzing, and Jangbu Sherpa will all be moving from
Camp II to Camp III tomorrow. Although the weather forecast for the next five days projects 40-50
knot winds, the window of opportunity on Everest is closing. All Everest expeditions must be off
the mountain by June 1, as the expedition permits are only good until that date. The Sherpas that
maintain the Icefall must pull the ladders and ropes off the mountain at that time. Because it
takes time to move people and equipment down off the mountain, the last possible day for an Everest
attempt will be the 29th. It feels like a race against the clock for those of us who have been here
for nearly two months.
Last night, John Tinker's summit team was turned around two hours after leaving Camp IV for the
summit due to high winds and snow. All are now back down at Camp IV and will try again tonight.
Luckily, they have plenty of oxygen up there for this delay. We have also received news that the
all-Nepalese expedition, a total of five climbers, is up at Camp IV ready to make a summit attempt.
Word just came in over the radio that there was a successful summit attempt on the north side last
night. We will report on what we can find out from the our Base Camp (on the south side) as the
news comes in.
"It's time to get this show on the road," said David Breashears during a radio call about their
decision to move up. Each day, twice a day, the climbers call in to Base Camp with data on their
oxygen saturation levels, pulse, respiratory rate, hydration, nutrition, and other miscellaneous
data on how much they've slept, the ambient temperature, wind speed, altitude, and barometric
pressure. This data will be compared with their performances on the neuro-behavioral tests we're
conducting on them via radio. Production for the NOVA documentary covering this research, and the
climb itself, continue in full force as the climbers move up toward Everest's summit.