Bill called a little while ago to check in after a calm night at Camp 2. The first night at over 21,000′ is seldom a pleasant one and everyone is feeling a bit slow and looking forward to taking a slow and easy day in camp. Today, they plan to do just that, and just let their bodies catch up to the rarefied air of this new elevation.
Scott has been battling a chest infection and, following a really rough night last night, descended back to Base Camp today. He departed early in the morning and is back in EBC already. He’ll check in with the Base Camp doctor and descend a bit to breathe in some thick, moist air and will undoubtedly feel much better shortly.
We had a comment posted asking how the climbers affix their tents so that they don’t blow off the mountain. Well, it really depends on what sort of terrain they are camped in. At Camp 1, they used stakes made of angle aluminum that we prefabricated. They drove the stakes into the compact snow on the ground to keep the tents in place. At Camp 2, they are camped among the rocks, so they tie the tents down to large rocks to keep them attached to planet earth. Both methods generally work well, although there were numerous tent casualties from the brutal winds at Camp 1 the other night, one of our cook tents among them. Our Sherpa team, living up to their amazing reputation, brought a replacement up to erect at Camp 2.
Bill expects to have their communication systems up and running today and will post when they get a satellite signal, which is just briefly when the satellites pass over the narrow sliver of sky visible between the tall flanks of Everest and Lhotse.