April 8, 2010
The drive to Zangmu on April 6 was not so bad. We spent the night in a lodge and departed for Nyalam the following morning. Today, was a rest day in Nyalam, and tomorrow we leave for Thingri. We did an acclimatization hike in the local mountains this afternoon. Despite what I heard, the lodging in Zangmu and Nyalam was quite acceptable with clean rooms and okay beds. The food is pretty bland–lots of rice and noodles. I wish I had my hot sauce!
We have quite an international group. The team includes climbers from Spain, Italy, Mexico, Lithuania, Japan, Belgium, Ireland and Bangladesh. I am the only American.
My Sherpa and close friend, Mingma, was given a promotion by Asian Trekking and is now the Sirdar for the North side climb. This means he is in charge of all of the Sherpas and support staff and is pretty much the expedition leader. This is a huge honor for Mingma, and I am so happy for him and proud of him. He is doing a great job. Although he is now the Sirdar, he will still climb with me on both sides.
For those of you who are detail oriented, set forth below is a day-by-day itinerary for our climb, which David and I worked up and got approved by our Sherpas and the Base Camp Manager-North. Only David and I will be on this schedule because we are the only climbers attempting a double summit. I am pretty sure the North side climb this year will be a lot more difficult than my South side climb last year. First, the weather is typically more severe on the North side. Second, climbers spend more time high on the mountain on the North side than they do on the South side. So, if trouble develops up high, it takes longer to get down to the safety of high camp. Third, our climbing schedule is more compressed this year because of the double summit, so we won’t have as many rest days as I did last year.
06-04-10 Bus to Tibet; drive to Zangmu (7710 meters). Hotel and meals.
07-04-10 Drive to Nyalam (12,303 ft) Hotel and meals.
08-04-10 Rest in Nyalam (12,303 ft). Walk around the local hills. Hotel.
09-04-10 Bus to Thingri (14,245 ft). Hotel.
10-04-10 Rest in Thingri
11-04-10 Drive to Chinese Base camp (17,060 ft). Camp.
12-04-10 Rest in Chinese base. Organize equipment and supplies. Camp.
13-04-10 Walk gently in the hills surrounding Chinese base.
14-04-10 Rest in Chinese base. Organize equipment and supplies. Camp.
15-04-10 Walk with the yaks halfway to advanced base to interim camp (19,028 ft).
16-04-10 Walk with the yaks to advanced base (ABC) at 20,997 ft. Camp.
17-04-10 Rest in ABC.
18-04-10 Rest in ABC.
19-04-10 Walk to Camp 1 North Col (22,966 ft). Return to ABC.
20-04-10 Rest in ABC.
21-04-10 Rest in ABC.
22-04-10 Walk to Camp 1 North Col (22,966 ft).
23-04-10 Walk to Camp 2, sleep at ABC
24-04-10 Rest in ABC.
25-04-10 Rest in ABC.
26-04-10 Rest in ABC.
27-04-10 Walk to Camp 1 North Col (22,966 ft).
28-04-10 Walk to Camp 2, sleep there.
29-04-10 Explore route to Camp 3 (27,231 ft), sleep camp 1
30-04-10 Walk Down to ABC.