Bill Allen, Camp 2 21,500ft/6550m
We moved up to Camp 2 on Friday, after a couple of very windy days down at Camp 1 (20,000 ft). We had winds over 50 mph for much of the night of the 21st and it wasn’t a pleasant night. We and our tents all survived, but our cook tent sustained a bit of damage, and yesterday morning we awoke to diminishing winds and had a great day to move up to Camp 2. We were thrilled to see the jet stream move away and the winds die down after a couple of tough days. Today we had a beautiful morning, with clouds building and light snow this afternoon. The forecast is calling for similar weather (maybe a bit more snow) for several more days.
Camp 2 is sometimes referred to as “Advanced Base Camp” (ABC) and we supply it to create an essentially smaller version of our base facilities. We have a kitchen tent with 4 Sherpas working hard to keep us fed and camp running smoothly, and a smaller version of our massive SlingFin dome that we’ve set up for our dining tent. The rest of the Sherpa team keep delivering loads of food, fuel, tents, and oxygen up here every couple of days to stage for the upper mountain. This morning they showed up with a dog following them. The dog crossed all the ladders with ease apparently… We’ll try to track down a photo of the dog on the ladder and post it later.
We’ll spend another 2 nights here at Camp 2 acclimating before heading back down to the relative luxury of base camp. At this point our job is primarily just to spend some time up high getting acclimated. We all definitely feel the altitude here, with minor headaches, not sleeping well, and general lack of energy. It’s all part of the fun of high altitude climbing, and it gets a little better every day. This morning Scott descended back down to base camp with a pretty bad cough. The doctor at BC gave him a diagnosis of the “Khumbu Cough” and he’s resting and healing up for our next round up high. We expect him to recover fully in a couple of days, but miss him up here.
That’s about all from Camp 2, tomorrow we’ll take a hike up to the base of the Lhotse face to get a little bit of exercise.