At 5 AM today, 4 climbers (Andrés,
Alejandro, Luis and Tom) left towards Camp 2, where they
will spend the night. I have already talked with Andrés,
he said they arrived with no problems to Camp 2. The
plan for day after tomorrow, May 5th, is to get to the
South Col and touch the 8,000 m. It is not a summit
attempt, nor could it be, because the wind will only get
down enough during the day. They will have to get back
quickly. The weather forecast for today confirmed the
weather of yesterday and it's even better, it looks very
proper to go up to 8,000 m. on the 5th.
Richard will try to join them leaving early tomorrow morning and getting also
to the South Col on the 5th (day after tomorrow).
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
On May 3, 2004, Andrés,
Alejandro, Luis and Tom left for Camp 2 (21,300’), where they will spend the
night. Camp II is a smaller version of Base Camp, with a cook tent, dining
tent, and individual sleeping tents. Most of our teams rest time above base
camp is here.
Upon arrival, via radio,
Andrés confirmed that they arrived safely with no problems. Despite the high
winds over the weekend, the camp was intact. Martin and Richard will try to
join them leaving early on May 4th.
The plan for May 5th, is to
get to the South Col. Camp IV, the uppermost camp, is situated here at
26,000’. The South Col is higher than all but 17 of the world’s highest peaks,
placing it in the “death zone”, a poorly defined but easily recognized
altitude where our team know they must limit their time as their condition
deteriorates fairly quickly above this altitude. Here, three tents will be
erected, but until the night before a summit attempt, Camp IV is little more
than a place to store oxygen, if required and equipment.
As we are getting close to
the time when a summit attempt might be possible, let me tell you what will
The day before the summit
attempt, the team will climb from Camp III to Camp IV, arriving there in the
early afternoon. They’ll rest for a few hours and “brew up”, rehydrate
themselves before departing around midnight for the summit. They should reach
the “Balcony” at the base of the southeast ridge around sunrise. From there,
they will continue along the ridge to the south summit. They will then
negotiate a traverse to the Hillary Step, a 40-foot high wall of rock and ice,
which, when climbed, puts them within one hour of the summit. The team must
leave the summit by 2:00pm, arriving back at Camp IV before dark. It is an 18
So, that’s where the team is
right now. Weather is getting better. The Jet Stream is moving north, away
from the mountain. The “window” that the team has been hoping for is near. A
summit attempt is close!