Mt. Everest Expedition: Dave & Linden Getting Ready for Summit Push

Posted by: | May 20, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 26,000'

South Col - 26,000 feet

After the early dinner, and into the sleeping bag full of boot liners, socks, water bottles and miscellaneous items you don’t want frozen, which is another reason why it’s an uncomfortable place to be.

Wake up call 10:10 pm.
Some climbers get a couple hours of sleep, others not.  Lucky for the team, no interruptions during rest period.  Seems like the other groups are taking care of their own issues, or the South Col climbers are not yet aware of anyone in need of help.  Always a tough place to feel very relaxed, but in the tent and horizontal for a few hours will help get some strength back for the climb ahead.  I remember one time at the Col, a guy who had just come down from the summit the day as I arrived at the Col, he just opened up my tent, stuck his head inside and started talking to me and my partner for at least two minutes before he realized that he did not know who we were. Scary, I promised myself never to be that out of it.

They have been breathing oxygen while resting, so dry mouth and feeling a bit rough because of the extreme altitude, are par for the course. You just have to shake it off and start getting ready.  Fire the stoves for more tea, coffee, hot juice whatever you can choke down and don’t forget the calories, you are going to need them. It’s not optional, it’s mandatory to get some food on board, no easier way to make the summit almost unreachable than no gas in the tank. How many layers? Did I put new batteries in my headlamp? Are these my special summit socks I have been saving? Goggles, sunscreen, sunglasses? Top off the water bottles, lunch packed? Extra gloves, rip open hand warmers to get them started, knife in pocket? Did I pack my lunch and some treats in easy to get at pockets?  Camera, where’s the camera? Oh, right here where it’s supposed to be.  All this and more in under one and a half hours because it’s game time at midnight.

I wont bother them again until 12 a.m.  As news becomes available you will be the first to know.

This is so cool!  What’s next?

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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