from stu in the USA office
11th September, 2009
Chris call in a little while ago to let us know that the members and HAP's had reached BC at 4700m and that they are all doing well but not without a bit of an epic day. Snow has fallen quite hard for the last day and they arrived at BC with nearly a meter of snow on the ground. Just two days ago arriving teams were setting up on grass and hopefully the snow will melt in short order!
The challenging conditions made it impossible for the porters to safely travel and they stopped about an hour short the BC. To travel from where they stopped to BC requires a glacier crossing and cliff traverse and with a meter of snow hidden crevasses and slips on steep slopes had become a real concern. Tomorrow Chris and the HAPs will go back and begin the process of ferrying up the remaining supplies up to BC. The staff and porters are still back a few hours the team was kindly taken care of by an Indian Army group and we thank them for their generosity and hospitality.
The reports are for more snow in the next day or so and then clearing so we hope that the team will be able to make some progress in a few days. Clearly they will need to let the snow settle before getting onto the slopes!
The slowed pace of arrival has had a very positive impact on the teams acclimatizing and they are all feeling excellent with the altitude and should be ready to get on the route as soon as conditions permit. They are looking forward to their first close up of the mountain which til now has been hidden by the snowy weather. They have had great views of Shivling and in general have had some good afternoons for views after rainy and snowy mornings. After a very demanding trek in they are finally able to begin thinking about the climb itself and we look forward to hearing about some progress in the next few days!
More news as we have it!