If it isn't the weather, then it's lack of food that can thwart an Everest
attempt. After waiting out a day and a half of wind-driven snow, Conrad
Richards and Thom Pollard are
still at Camp V, but they are running out of food. If the weather improves,
as the forecasts have predicted, the team will move up to Camp VI tomorrow.
has volunteered to carry a pack full of food up to the
North Col. Our Sherpas, Dawa Nuru and Ang Pasang, will then carry the extra
food with them to Camp VI, where they will meet the climbers tomorrow. "We
have enough food to last us until then," Anker reassured us over the radio
from Camp V. And there's plenty of bottled oxygen to keep the climbers
relatively rested. On a two-liter flow, at 25,600 feet,
the oxygen can
bring the climbers down to the physiological elevation of approximately
This morning, mists of evaporating moisture rose ominously from the East
Rongbuk valley below. It marked a change in the weather, the sun burning
through the thin clouds below us. The snowstorm had stopped, but the winds
were still marginal up high. "I do not have a lot of concern about my team's
ability to handle itself up high," said Eric
Simonson in an interview last
week. "I'm more concerned about other expeditions on the mountain, having to
get involved in a rescue, beyond our own expedition."
Ascending through the fog.
The plan is to conduct a simultaneous summit and search attempt: All of the
climbers will move up to Camp VI tomorrow, weather pending. Andy Politz and
Thom Pollard will be the search team. They will make a carry up to Camp VI
to support the summit team, then they will move out in the direction where
we believe Irvine may be, with Thom Pollard filming. Politz and Pollard will
return to sleep at Camp V and then try another search attempt the following
The summit team, Conrad Anker, Jake Norton, and Tap Richards, with Dave Hahn
filming, will begin their summit attempt tomorrow night, if the weather
permits, leaving the high camp around midnight. Eric Simonson and the film
crew (Ned Johnston, Liesl Clark, and Jyoti Rana) will remain at Advance Base
Camp to film the radio communications with the team high on the mountain.
Check back daily to learn more about the team's progress and their gamble
with the weather.