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Entries from Everest

Final Rotations Coming to an End

The final team is at Camp Three for the night. Just got off the radio with them and all is well. With great weather, all members... getten er dun! While the vast majority of the teams here have now finished with their acclimatization runs, RMI is wrapping it up in the next couple of days with great conditions and no crowds on the ropes. Our group has been working to support all waves in a very calculated way. This type of approach has proven itself time and again. In this extreme environment there is not much room for error. Here at Basecamp (17,500 ft) life is no picnic in itself, let alone these guys at 23,000 ft camped on an ice ledge with a couple of thousand feet of steep ice pulling at them from below. It's comforting to know our guys are some of the best in the business. Some of the other teams are going way down valley where things like trees grow. Man, do I miss the color green. Unless someone is a bit sick we will probably stay at Basecamp and rest here before the summit push. There are many different approaches about what to do at this pivotal point in the expedition, it's tough to second guess what is the right decision for each individual. Many an hour has been spent on this debate. In the end you make the call and hope for the best.
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Acclimatizing at Camp Two

Chad Peele reporting from 21,000 ft Casey, Scott, Rob and I moved up from Basecamp yesterday. We woke to clear skies here at Camp Two. After a nice breakfast we walked up to the base of the Lhotse face for exercise. We are preparing to climb up to Camp Three on the face tomorrow and spend the night, weather permitting. At Basecamp today, Tuck and some of the RMI Basecamp cook staff, along with a group from the HimEx team, helped build a second heli pad. Word on the street is that four more people stood on top of the world at 6:00 am today.
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Team’s Final Rotation Begins

This is Casey and team checking in from ABC, Camp Two. Today the team awoke early, had a quick breakfast and headed out the door at 4:00 am. The team did a great job climbing all the way through the icefall, past Camp One, and arrived safely at Camp Two. The weather was quite nice today with all the members feeling good and in high spirits. Our goal for this rotation is for all the climbers to reach and possibly sleep at Camp Three. If weather continues to cooperate the first wave will push up to Camp Three tomorrow.
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First Summit of 2010 from South Side

This is Seth checking in from Advanced Base Camp (Camp Two/ABC). Today and tomorrow the teams will start their third and final rotation for acclimatization. If all goes well with the weather, tomorrow all teams will be at ABC getting ready for a climb up to Camp Three with hopes of spending one night there. We have been receiving several inches of snow over the past three days and conditions on the upper mountain have improved, infact today marks the first summit of 2010 from the South Side of Mount Everest! Nine people on top from three different teams.
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Kaji Sherpa Carries to South Col; Team Hangs Out at Basecamp

The day began under grey and overcast skies, as opposed to the pattern we've all come to accept of sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons. Nothing much has come of those grey skies, so far, and in fact, Kaji Sherpa made a carry to the South Col at close to 8000 meters and reported calm and easy weather conditions. We expect Sherpas from several of our neighboring teams to fix rope from the Col to the summit in the next few days if the weather stays calm, which would be a huge benefit to all teams, naturally. We have just started to focus intently on our daily weather forecasts since we'll now be poking our noses up to heights where it all matters. Other than Kaji, the rest of the climbing team took it easy in basecamp, playing cards and horseshoes and packing for the coming rotation up the mountain. We've all been amazed, fortified... and simply stuffed by Kumar's culinary wizardry in the basecamp kitchen.
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Sherpa Fixing Route to Summit

A little snow early but a beautiful evening now. All climbers and most Sherpa are here at Basecamp, eating, resting and taking showers. We had a meeting with the other teams about the final fixing of the route and helicopter landings. Tomorrow we hope the fixing team will go as high as the Balcony then to the summit the next day, keep your fingers crossed for good weather. We have been having some helicopter landings at Basecamp that are non-emergency, we are trying to develop a plan for usage in a responsible manner. A new breed of helicopter is now being used that is much more powerful than in the past, so the safety margin has been increased. The community here is working on a win, win for commercial and rescue operations.
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Climbers Back at Basecamp After Second Rotation

The winds picked up during the night and brought four plus inches of snow to Mt. Everest. Our plan was to move up the Lhotse face to Camp 3 for a day climb/acclimatization and then back to Camp Two for another night of sleep. But after breakfast the weather had not cleared and snow was still falling so we decided to join Dave and Leif (who had climbed to Camp 3 the day before) and head back down to Base Camp ending our second rotation on the mountain. We will start a rest "block" while we wait for better weather and head back up to Camp Two and then to Camp Three once the weather settles.
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Second Team Heading to Camp 3

All is well here on Mount Everest. Most of the climbers are up at Camp 2, tomorrow the last wave will make a push up to Camp Three and back to Camp Two for acclimatization if weather and route conditions allow. If all goes well all teams will be safely back to BC by Monday. Thanks to Jim Whittaker and his Sherpa climbing partner Nawang Gombu for paving the American way to the summit on this day 47 years ago.
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RMI Team to Camp 3

We woke up this morning at Camp 2 (Advanced Basecamp-ABC) to a few inches of snow and thought it would be a tent bound day. However, the weather cleared and it turned out to be a great day. The teams were able to move about the mountain in very nice weather. Dave, Leif, Michael and I climbed up to Camp 3, after enjoying the view and a snack or two we returned safely to ABC for another night. Casey, Scott, Rob and Chad ascended from Camp 1 for their first night at Camp 2. Currently, the whole climbing team is together at ABC getting ready for dinner.
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Sherpa Team Carries Supplies to Camp 3

BIG NEWS OF THE DAY (Dave Hahn to Mark Tucker via radio) Our sherpa team carried everything needed for Camp 3. Tendi and the boys made it up in two hours from Advanced Base Camp (ABC) to Camp 3. We watched other sherpa going all the way to the South Col. The two halves of our team, the climbing members, met at Camp 2 for breakfast before Casey's team of four returned to Camp 1 for their final night. My four ventured up to the base of the Lhotse Face for exercise. We reached 22,000 feet in our acclimatization effort. I was stunned to see such dry conditions on the upper section of the Western Cwm. The weather continues the normal pattern of clear in the morning and snow showers in the afternoon. We are excited to have the entire climbing team sleeping at ABC tomorrow night.
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