Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Waiting for the weather to clear...

Since the last posting it has continued to be very quiet here in Base Camp. Russ was right about the weather and the few teams that did try for the summit all had to turn back at the South Col (camp 4 at 7,900m) or earlier due to high winds. We learnt this morning that there has been some slight damage to tents at some of the camps but nothing that can not be replaced fairly easliy. Our Sherpas who were given a few days off by Russ are back this afternoon and the final load carrying up to the various camps will be completed over the next 48hrs.

The one good thing about the bad weather (light snow and cloud) for the last 3 days is that the additional moisture in the atmosphere seems to have helped my cough and so I am now raring to go!

The Himex team which started at 28 clients is now down to 22 (5 withdrawls and David Tait summitting). Some of the other larger teams here have lost similar percentages or more. Hopefully everyone that is now left has a realistic chance of summiting.

I have to say that, personally, I can feel the pressure mounting and am very keen to get going. A few more days and we should be off......fingers crossed.

Photo1: Base Camp under full moon.

Photo2: Russ with Lachu and Tashi his two main staff around camp. Lachu is in charge of Base Camp and has been on 26 expeditions with Russ. Tashi is Lachu's No.2. Both are great and can never do enough to help.

Photo3: Weather has now cleared but you can clearly see the very strong winds on top of the ridge leading to Nupste.

Replies to some of the comments left......thanks for all of them.

Paul and Linh: Congratulations on your news, how fantastic. WELL DONE. Hope I might see you if you are over in the summer and if not maybe later in the year in Dallas. Keep the comments coming there are great.

Alain: Arms and legs seem to be fading away to nothing, it is amazing how quickly the body seems to eat itself up here! Pity it leaves the beer gut in place!

Mum: Thanks for comments. Feeling better now and as ready as I can be to get to the top. Being with Russ should give you some comfort, he is a strong leader and has the total and absolute support and commitment of his Sherpa and Guide teams. He is a class act.

MarkO and Sarah: I am slowly getting through the tunes, particularly the green chill-out i-pod. Will try and take the red one to the summit and take a picture although I have been warned that they can crash above 7,000m.

Tamsin: Another couple of days yet. By the way all the guides, Mark Whetu, Woody and Dean either know you or have heard of you. Apparently Tim used to work for Mark and he stole you from him!!!! Dean - I think you had your first Himalyan trip with years ago. Mark has now summited Everest twice I think and the other two 5 times each!

Catherine and Phil: Great to hear from you both. Thanks for the comments. Pls send love back to parents.

Peter and Nikki: Thanks for the comments, Montrachet sounds very good. what I would give for a nice glass of wine now!

Mark Seaton: Great to hear from you. Last time I was in the Himalya you guided the North Face of the Eiger. Anything as exciting this time?


Paul M said...

Glad you are feeling strong and ready to go Chris. It always makes me smile when I think where you are..Where we live it is flat and pretty much at sea level. Whenever I see an aircraft fly overhead I think, blimey! that's how high up Chris is! We pray the weather is good this week so you can crack on and summit.. Hell of a place to spend your birthday! Many happy returns and continued good luck.. Paul, Linh and Julian xx

Chris M said...

Have a great Birthday up there. What a way to spend it. We are all thinking of you and rooting for you. We are saving a special bottle of wine to share with you to celebrate your success when you get back.

It sounds like it could be any day soon that you go up. It puts my current Management course at Henley into perspective.

Apologies for not blogging sooner - if this is what its called - its my first time!!

We are all thinking of you and good luck.

PS(I think now we have worked out the blog Allison is also going to send you somthing)

Anne P Smith said...

Just found your latest comments. Fingers crossed for weather clearing for you. Nice pics. Keep strong, good luck and hope to hear next you have conquered the summit.
Regards to Russ and lots love to you MUM - hope 15th is a good birthday!

ukbasque said...

Chris - good to hear you're feeling strong and anxious to get going - all good signs. I'm sure Russ will sort the weather out for you - he's a past master.

Now all those monster sessions we put in in the mountains will serve you well - Verbier and Chamonix several times - those all day pub crawls will have given you the same sensation as being at altitude!

Good luck and stay safe.


jdovell said...

hey Chris many happy returns u old git for 15th. Thinking of u as i sit here on Bishopsgate between 3 screens !! I don't think u will experience another birthday like this one...have some special bubbly waiting for your return [ bought for my 40th...but hey u can have it !!]William/James and charlotte ....hello Uncle Chris are you as high as a plane? James and i are playing cricket every week , would you like a game when you get back ? charlotte says it looks cold and her teddy would not like it ! Lv from us all on your Birthday
brother-john xx

Tony Gray said...

Chris, great pictures, kids loving the updates. Hope you get your chance soon. Good luck.
Tony G

nicole bushey said...
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Tina said...

Hope weather improves...raining in Essex! Good luck Tina x

Tamsin Dovell said...

yoohoo!!! and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY big brother.... hope you are eating cake...!?! Glad to hear the cough has gone and you are ready to go.
Ha Ha, yes I remember Mark Whetu - of mountainworks many moons ago...and Tim used to work for him!! Also, Dean, woody... the NZ world is small...
We're off to the Blue Mountains this weekend for some climbing action, trying to get 'climbing' fit before Italy - only 3 weeks to go - yeehaa!
Well, enjoy your birthday - a truly memorable one... and if you set off before another update GOOD LUCK and I'm praying that the weather gods are smiling...
lots love
Sis xxx

Sarah/Steve said...

Hi Chris, Good luck for your push to the summit. Stay safe and don't take your gloves or goggles off when you get to the top!! Can't wait to watch the Discovery DVD next year!

Happy birthday, love Sarah, Steve & Jasminexxx

Francis said...

Happy Birthday! Seems like we are in opposite situations - as we are waiting here for the promised rain to arrive - yet still we are out each evening watering the garden as it fails to materialise once more! Hope that the window opens soon for you and good luck!
Francis and Maggie
(ps - had a great few days with Mark in Cham, Walter even joined us for one of the days!)

Linh said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!! It's the 15th today, 9.45am Dallas time. Hopefully the weather's cooperating so you're either on your way or off climbing soon.
Can't believe I've missed a couple of posts and now behind on silly commenting. Sorry about that, I've been a bit uncomfortable in this pregnancy but nothing serious.
So glad your cough's gone, feeling strong and raring to go. Julian's been asking for a Batman cape, I will also get one adult male size and Fedex to you to help you fly to summit.
While you wait, I think you should stalk David Tate, Mark, Dean and Woody...just follow them around so you can absorb their multiple summitting vibes.
I've been taking friends' children who are quiet and cooperative and rubbing them on my belly hoping that will work.
In addition to asking for you to realize your dream and keeping you safe, I'm also asking Buddha, Allah, Jesus, Elvis that the wee one in my belly will have Daddy Matthews' temperament. If this one turns out to be another mini me, Paul will join you in the mountains.
Well mon ami, anxious and excited for you. Take care. Hugs, Paul, Linh and Tornado Julian

Sophie said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chris!I hope your trip goes well. We are thinking of you all the time. In London, everything is fine. We hope to see you soon. Good luck for the rest of your trip.


Rachel said...

GOOD LUCK Chris and enjoy every second - we'll be blog-watching over the next few days and are getting super excited for you! Wonder where you are right now.
We've got the after sun ready and waiting...
Rachel & Jarrod

simon said...

We are all very much enjoying the updates and superb pics. We may not be quite as sleep deprived as you but Eleanor and Archie are working on it. Fingers crossed for a break in the weather. Stay strong and safe and best regards to Mr H. Hope he is behaving. Tell him to save his energy! The Warrens