RMI Team at Basecamp Resting and Waiting

Posted by: | May 10, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575 ft.

Hi this is Seth at Everest Basecamp. The entire group is down at Basecamp now after a successful final rotation on the upper mountain. Everyone is happy and healthy as we begin our resting phase. We are fortunate that everyone has made it through the acclimatization rounds without suffering any illness. The cycles we go through up high are meant to stress our bodies so that we adapt to the extreme altitude, but the trick is not to stress yourself too much and become ill.

We’ve made it through the prep and our next step is to recover from this latest effort and then to begin the summit push. We must be patient and wait for the weather to shape up. I find that to be one of the hardest parts, mentally, of climbing here. There’s always the temptation to push for the summit when your body is ready, but maybe too soon for the weather. Everest’s height, 29,038 ft, is such that it sticks up into the Jet Stream. It’s actually just a few thousand feet shy of the cruising altitude of a trans-continental airliner. The winds at that altitude can exceed a steady 160 mph when the Jet is over the mountain. We’ll be waiting in Basecamp until we get a favorable forecast that tells us that the winds will be managable enough for a summit attempt.

When will that be? Well, that’s the big question. As for now the winds are forecasted to be high for the next several days. But that’s ok. We have a great setup here. There is plenty of food and plenty of things to do to keep us occupied so we don’t waste precious energy stressing about weather forecasts. Our current diversion of choice is hosting inter-expedition card games. ‘Texas Hold-em’ is our game of choice and of course the RMI crew tends to dominate the winnings. The games are fun but most of us are already chomping at the bit to get back to the climb. We’ll be sure to be rested, healthy and mentally charged up when the opportunity to go back up the mountain arrives. Until then we’ll be doing our best to lighten the loads of the other climbers by taking some of their money.

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