The Winds of Everest

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but not getting good service with the SAT phone, finally received it all today….

I quickly drifted off to sleep after the physical and mentally draining day, pushing up to camp no altitude was going to keep me awake. Apparently the mountain didn’t like that and whipped up a wind storm a day before the main storm was to hit. I woke about 2am with the side of the tent pressing down on my face. If not for the freight train sound of the wind, I would have thought someone was trying to smother me with a pillow. I realized the winds were very strong, looked around the tent to to assess the structural integrity, all looked good so I slid farther down into my sleeping bag, turned up my music, and chuckled to myself…well ya big idiot, you wanted more adventure!?

When I woke again, twilight had broke and the winds were as severe if not worse. I pulled on my different down layers and popped out of my tent. Camp was pretty beat up and I could see our cook tent was 60% collapsed along with several other tents. I thought, “there goes coffee for the morning!”

It was quite difficult to walk in the severe gusts and I estimate the winds were blowing around 40mph with gusts above 50mph. With camp in shambles and no coffee in the near future, I dove back in my tent and fell back to sleep. About 2 and a half hours later I was woke by Garrett saying, they were able to make some coffee and oatmeal. We all piled into the dinning tent but it was too loud to even talk. After eating we all retreated to our tents to wait out the wind storm. The winds calmed to a breeze from 3 pm to 6pm then started howling again, if not stronger this time. We ate dinner and then retreated once again to the safety of our -60 degree sleeping bags. The snow storm has not arrived yet, but Im sure it will come in the night. The temps and wind chills pierce the skin and in seconds exposed skin is numb. The best I can do is slide deep into my bag, crank some Frank Senatra, and wait for sunrise! – Chad Gaston

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