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Arnot and Morton Push Beyond Camp 2
Posted on April 28, 2010

By Melissa Arnot

The sun doesn’t hit the ridge of Camp 1 until about 8 in the morning. I pull my buff over my eyes and groggily notice that my water bottle is frozen. I peek over at David, wondering if he slept any better than I did. He turns to me and inquires what I am thinking. I tell him that I had some bumps under me and that is why I didn’t sleep so great. David only laughs out loud and says “Oh yeah, I am sure it wasn’t the altitude!”
I feel defensive for a moment, and then laugh at myself. He is right; trying to sleep at 20,000 feet for the first night is hard! We make some tea and David attempts to boil some eggs (I stick to Pop Tarts this morning) before stuffing everything into our packs and heading straight into the Western Cwm.

After a few hours of walking in the hot, solar-reflected valley, we arrive at Advanced Base Camp. It doesn’t feel too advanced. We have a small dining tent and a cook, Childem, and for those things I am thankful. The sun sets at about 6 p.m. here, bringing with it the icy whispers of a really long night. I fill up my water bottle with hot water and tuck into my tent, ready for the 12 hours of rest that this camp demands. In the morning, I meet David for breakfast as soon as the sun hits our tents. We both slept better last night, slowly adjusting to the altitude. This trip up is all about letting our bodies rest and creating the right environment for going higher. Part of that is being active during the day.

Today, a number of Sherpa and a few Westerners have headed up the steep blue ice of the Lhotse Face to fix rope for all of the other hopeful climbers, including us. Since David and I don’t have any clients to work with, we grab some rope and stuff it into our packs, hoping to drop it 1,000 feet above Camp 2, at the base of the face. The traveling is really, really slow at this altitude for the first time; I am breathing hard with every step. I can see the dark pyramid that is the summit, and I can feel the weight of our impending journey to the summit settling into each step I take now. Before I know it, our packs are empty of the ropes and we are heading back down the gentle slope to Camp 2. After one more night here, we will head back to Base Camp to rest, acclimate and carry some of our final summit equipment up to higher camps. This has been a great rotation; we both are feeling strong and laughing at each other’s jokes. I am hopeful that a little time at Base Camp will allow me to redeem myself in a game of Scrabble with David because, so far, he is the Camp 2 champion.


Author: - Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

  1. Mack Hartwell

    Great writing, stunning photos – thank you Melissa, Dave, and First Ascent! Keep up the good work.

  2. Tom Wilcox

    Keep Up the great work Team First Ascent! Thank you Dave and Melissa and all your Sherpa teammates!

  3. T-Dawg

    Wow, at ABC already?!! Seems like you are going faster than last year’s summit run. Hope you and your team are getting rested up. Are you still focused on summit w/o oxygen?

  4. Nyima Tsering Sherpa

    Seems you guys are doing pretty good up there.Take care. I am waiting for the party time back in namche.All the best Dav dai,Melissa and nawang nuru dai.

  5. Audrey

    What beautiful shots and love hearing your voice through the blog Melissa. Wish I could still be playing scrabble up there with you two!

  6. Sarah Neenan

    Following your climb up the mountain is fascinating! The team from the Eddie Bauer in Duluth MN is pulling for you. The photos and updates give us something to chat, and the scenery looks stunning. I hope your scrabble game is not affected by the altitude!

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