The team did not call in yesterday, but we did hear from the guides, who reported that they spent the day keeping warm in their tents, eating, hydrating and doing repairs to the snow walls that they constructed to protect their tents. Wednesday night was a rough one, and the team had to get out to do some wall repairs in order to stave off the wind’s attempts at sweeping their snow blocks off the mountain.
Each block of snow that the climbers cut from the firm surface of camp and stacked to build their walls weighs anywhere from 10 – 30 lbs. From the comfort of home, it is hard to fathom a wind that might move such a chunk, but it has been howling pretty fierce up high and blocks began to tumble off and slide away during the night. In a windchill somewhere below -20F, it takes a good reason to get out of your sleeping bag at 2 a.m., bundle up in four to five layers of clothing and go outside!
Today, they will awaken and start looking for any signs that the conditions might be improving. If they see sufficiently encouraging signs, they will give the summit a go!
Let’s think warm, calm thoughts and hope that the winds start to abate. We’ll keep you posted on what happens!