After drinking and eating a bit
the team leaves Vicks camp 3 at 02.15hr. They follow the trail made by the
Sherpa's two days before. From the rockband (10 meters almost vertical rock)
it starts getting difficult. The Sherpa's don't know the way exactly and there
aren't many old fixed ropes. This is one of the reasons the team is very slow.
During the night I have several radio contacts. After a few hours Joost says
that they are too slow. They discuss it with each other. They keep on moving.
There is not much wind, the sky is clear, this is a very good summit day. At
08.00hr Greg says that they are slow but that they have passed the difficult
part. They hope be on the summit in 3-4hrs. I tell them that they are very
slow and that they have to speed up.
All have very cold feet but from 08.00hr they climb in the sun, warming up a
bit. During the morning they slowly progress over the snowfield under the
summit rock ridge. They reach 8.000 m. At that point we have a new discussion
about their speed and climbing schedules. With my binoculars I can see that
they still have some meters to go. Joost says that if they now are at 8.000m
they need at least two to three hours to the summit. It is now 12.00hr. They
decide to go light and leave the backpacks with the skis.
After half an hour they are still on the same spot. Greg calls and says they
cannot go any further, they are too tired. They decide to go down. The
Sherpa's are very very disappointed (they say they are not angry ...).
Then the descent starts. Joost walks down the snowfield feeling very tired and
therefore not feeling like skiing. Greg makes the ski descent from 8.000 m.
The Sherpa's follow.
After reaching Vicks camp 3 they make a ski descent to Fugro camp 2. There
they will spend the night. They have left Vicks camp 3 in place as they will
take another shot at the summit in about 7 days.
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Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
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