“Namaste everyone, this is Aboul, Doug and Bill at Camp 2 tucked inside a 2 person tent, but we slept last night and everybody’s feeling good. In my last post you could probably not hear anything I said the winds were blowing really really hard. It’s morning now, May 19 and no more wind but the weather outside is not good, really overcast. I understand there’s about 200 people below us at Camp 1, North Col waiting to come up and probably coming up today to camp 2, there’s going to be quite a crowd.
Our plan right now is to get dressed and to start up to Camp 3, high camp on the north side of Mt Everest, about 27,500 feet or something like that. And then assuming weather is good and assuming the Chinese have fixed lines as they said they would, we will make a summit move around 7 or 8pm tonight. So that’s the situation right now.
Yesterday was a brutal day. The move from Camp 1 to Camp 2 was up a very long and steep snowfield- it seems like you never get there, but its all snow, it’s not icy like the North Col and when you make twists and turns under ice seracs it is really quite hard and dangerous. So it’s a smooth but very steep and long day up from Camp 1 to Camp 2. And then you hit the rocks of the north face of Mt Everest. Move up about 3 or 400 feet and that’s where the tents are. The problem is yesterday just before we got to the rocks, probably an hour or so before the rocks, we got gale force winds, cross winds. It was really awful, the heaviest winds I can remember on the mountain and when the gusts hit it almost knocks you off your feet so have to put your shoulder to the wind and move up. A very difficult and very long day but we all made it fine and we’re safe and sound up in the rocks in our tents.
As I was moving up into the rocks I saw 3 or 4 sherpas trying to put up a tent, literally on the face of rock and I remember thinking “boy I am glad that’s not our tent” – well that was our tent, and so we’re sitting on a rock here. But we all got a good night sleep. Yesterday moving up to the tents the wind didn’t bother me that much, I am used to climbing in the wind, I just put my shoulder to the wind and took one step at a time I was feeling very strong and it didn’t slow me down but I was very concerned about frostbite because when your hands are exposed to the wind and it’s cold and blowing across snow it’s very easy to get frostbite so I was paying more attention to my fingers being numb and frozen more than anything else. So we’re ok and right now our task is to get ready and make a move up and then I will file a full report when we get to Camp 3 and we just have to hope and pray that the wind and the weather will be good and those lines are going to be up. Mingma is about an hour down the slope from us, he’ll join us and we’ll be off and running hopefully. So that’s it, God bless all of you and I will report in a few hours. It takes about 6 hours to get to Camp 3. Bye“