May 11 – 17: After having spent 10 days at the Base Camp, finally, on May 11 we walked uphill again 22km/13.75 miles to Advanced Base Camp at 6,400m/21,120ft. It has been a long waiting for better weather and especially, for the Tibetan team to fix the rope. Somehow, this time I was not as fit as the last time when we walked up the East Rongbuk Glacier. Maybe it was because of the long waiting period at Base Camp. Finally, after over eight hour hike, we arrived at Advanced Base Camp.
And, the waiting started again… This time it was because of the rope not having been fixed. There was a time, when the Sherpas got together and suggested that they would fix the rope to the summit. However, it is so politically sensitive in Tibet that this was not an option. One of the reasons was that the Tibetan team would fix the rope to the summit, and once this is done, they would take a Chinese team with them so that the Chinese would be the first team that would summit Everest form the North side. Too much politics for most climbers and expeditions, but there was nothing that could have been done. It is also important to know that each climber has to pay to the Tibetan officials $250 to use the rope. So, of course people got a little bit impatient when we were approaching May 20… The climbing season on Everest is usually until the end of May and up to now we have missed already some good weather windows.
During this waiting period, a rather unusual incident happened. One of a Western expedition leader accused the Sherpas of having stolen seven oxygen bottles from him. One oxygen bottle costs about $450. This almost ended up in a revolt. There were about 50 Sherpas in this camp and approximately 170 on the North side of Everest. The Sherpas are a very close community and they made him apologies for his comments in all details, including 0n the Internet. The Sherpas were also talking of not letting him work in Nepal anymore (he has an operation on the Nepal side as well). It was a rather unusual development to observe on Everest.
It was now May 15 and we were still waiting for the Tibetan team to fix the ropes to the summit. The Tibetan team leader did not want to expose his men on the top of Everest in bad weather and strong wind, which is understandable. So the decision was made to share all Western team’s weather forecasts with the Tibetans. Another few days passed… and we were waiting…
Tshering praying before we are moving up again.
The Sherpas waiting for an apology…
‘Dix’, the ‘luck bringer’ for the Tibetan Mountaineering team is moving me around at ABC.
There is limited space for tents at ABC.
Lhakpa, Rames and Pasang discussing the next steps.
Phunuru making another wonderful meal at 6,400m/21,120ft.
Lhakpa waiting to move up – When will the ropes finally be fixed?
Believe it or not: An Austrian did bring his Alphorn up the ABC…
What a surprise: Uli Steck, the Swiss Speed Climber appears one day in ABC.
When will the wind stop up there???