Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Moving On Up

Baxter and crew (Adventure Consultants Team) are now on their second acclimatization hike through the Khumbu and resting at the base of the Lhotse Face. Their goal for the week is to spend a couple nights at Camp 3 (23,500ft) on the Lhotse Face without oxygen, and then descend to a more oxygen rich environment prior to their summit attempt.

Last week, the climbers were relaxing and enjoying the “thicker” air at Everest Base Camp, after taking a four day hike up to 22,500 feet. Their environment is extreme and there are continuous avalanches and shifting of the icefall, which can look very different going up as it does coming down. In addition to the acclimatization, the team also has “normal” ailments to contend with, including, colds, flu, cough (sometimes severe enough to crack ribs) and just the general intestinal bugs that come with being in a foreign country. It is incredible they manage these issues while continuing to climb and power through the conditions.

Baxter has mentioned the gear on several occasions and it is so incredible that everything is exactly what he needs. As many outdoors enthusiasts can relate, a person is setup for failure if they don’t have the right equipment. From his Marmot 8000m pants and jacket (which he sleeps in at Camp 2) to the Petzel ascenders that keep him from falling off the Lhotse face, he wouldn’t change a thing. I even found that a “short” trek still requires a North Face Base Camp Duffel to fit all the gear.

I am fortunate enough to be leaving the Wasatch today to join Baxter in the Himalaya for his trek back home. We will continue to provide the updates from the road as the adventure continues.

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