Dispatch - May 2: Due to
heavy winds and bad weather forecast that has wind chill factors down to – 40
degrees Celsius at Camp Lowe Alpine. We have not being able to move from our
current position at Camp Lowe Alpine at 22,250 feet for the last four days.
It is with great difficulty and
indeed sadness that we have had to make a decision to retreat to Base camp
Wyeth and make a further two adventures through the dangerous ice fall and the
Western Cwm, before our final summit attempt as we once again will try and
establish and sleep at Camp 3 at 24,000 feet, a challenge not relish ed.
Staying at this altitude at
Camp 2 for any longer would be fruitless. We have decided to return to Base
Camp Wyeth to recover from the hammering of high wind as Camp 2 and
deteriorating conditions on our bodies and have postponed our attempt to
establish Camp Spórt Corrán Tuathail on the Lhotse face for a few days until
we receive better wind forecast.
Above 20,000 feet the body
cannot recover, due to the altitude. This effects the body in many ways. Our
thinking becomes slower and impaired, our heart rate increases to 130 resting,
to breathe we burn 6000 calories and the oxygen we receive is down to less
than 50% of that at sea level. To stay knowing the bad weather forecast would
only be self defeating, so we have chosen to make the long descent in high
winds back to Base Camp.
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