Things are starting to stir a bit. At this point everyone has had something for dinner and more drinks so as to be well hydrated before starting up the mountain. With two hours to go until start time everyone is starting final preparations. At 26,000 ft. it takes an amazingly long time just to put on a pair of boots. Add to that down suits, oxygen tanks, etc. and it really does take a couple of hours to get ready. Also before starting up the mountain we will have a special “ceremony”. When we had our puja blessing ceremony with Lama Geshe in Pangboche during our trek to Base Camp, he gave each of the climbers a special card with a copy of a painting of the “Birth of Mt. Everest” on the front. Inside he wrote an inscription to Myolangsangma, the “goddess” who lives on Mt. Everest, respectfully asking permission to walk on her. Each of the climbers will show the inscription to the mountain before leaving the South Col to go up into Myolangsangma’s abode.
It sounds like the wind that I mentioned earlier is slacking off a bit, so we are all hoping that the team has a peaceful night with minimal wind. We are also right at the dark of the moon, so we won’t get any natural lighting assistance. Everyone will be wearing their headlamps pretty much all night, and everyone has checked to make sure they have extra sets of batteries in case the first ones wear out. Dawn comes about 4:30am these days so it will be a long night climbing by headlamp. Anyone at Camp 4 will see a “glow-worm” of headlamps from climbers going up the fixed lines.
Hopefully we will have a “live” report directly from the climbers before they leave the South Col, so stay with us.
Ellie from Base Camp