After about 12 days at base camp I am looking forward to going climbing again – even though it is only obuje East, a peak that I have already climbed eight times. I will be joining our Lhotse and Nuptse teams and will be going with my good friend Ellen from the States. We are both very excited to be getting out and moving again. “I cant wait to see the amazing views again,” said Ellen on her way down to Lobuje village.
Life at base camp has been interesting and busy. I met a lot of old friends and spent my time visiting other tents for cups of tea and nice chats. This year, Simone Moro, Ueli Steck and Gerlinde and Ralf are at base camp and it is always a pleasure to hang out and talk. The great thing about being here is that you have actually time to sit down and have good conversations.
The weather has been very kind to us with very little precipitation and the mountains around the Western Cwm look very dry. When I walked up to Pumori Camp I (that is where the planking picture was taken) I had a good look into the Western Cwm and could see the blue ice on the Lhotse Face. However, according to our guides it was in the same condition this time last year before we had a few snowy days, which made the face easier to climb.
This year there has been a lot of talk about the Khumbu Icefall as the Icefall Doctors (the team of seven Sherpas who prepare the heavily crevassed glacier for the climbers with ladders and ropes every season) have put the route very much to the left, which is very exposed to serac fall from the West Shoulder. “I have not seen the icefall in such a bad condition since I first came here in the 90ies,” our guide Harry said. However, looking at the glacier it seems that this is the best route as there is the danger of it collapsing further to the right. It can change a huge deal over the coming days and weeks but at this very moment, it is not ideal.
While I am writing this a big avalanche has struck the Western Cwm, coming down from Nuptse. Fortunately all our members, guides and Sherpas had arrived safely in their respective camps. I have no news about it at the moment but I am hoping that everyone, who was in the Cwm was safe.
I will be in touch again when I am back from Lobuje East but until then I wish you all a very relaxed and warm May weekend.