The storm came and so did the winds. It snowed most of May 4th and the winds didn’t let up. I bet we got close to the 8-10 inches of snow but the wind spread it all over in drifts, crevasses, and in our tents. Both the front and back vestibules were filled with snow. We dug our climbing gear out and went for a short hike to get use to walking in our down full body suits. I had ordered my suit before the climb but never tried it on. I had been recommended XL by the sales agent. Turns out XL could fit Andre the Giant, I look 300 lbs in it, but it’s warm and it works.
We went to bed early to get up and try to push to camp 3. We were hoping the weather would change and we could push up to 23,500 on the Lhotse Face. Well, to our surprise the weather seamed nice so we geared up and started up toward the fixed lines on the Lhotse Face. As we got closer the winds returned and gave us a heck of a time. We would have been fine as you learn to climb in high winds and snow but the winds were blowing chunks of ice and rock down the face and Garrett made the call to head back as the Risk of injury increased.
We got close to 7,000 meters or 23,000 ft which was still a good push for acclimatizing. We returned to camp 2 and packed up most of our gear. We will store the stuff we need for the 3rd and final rotation (The Summit Push) at camp 2 and the rest we will take back down through the icefall to base camp. Once in Base Camp we need to wait for the Sherpas to fix ropes to the summit, but this could be awhile, as we have heard the winds are over 100 mph up there and could last 5-6 more days. Once the ropes are fixed we wait for our weather window to make the final summit push to the top of the world. Well time to get some shut eye. I make my fourth trip through the ice fall in 8 hours and I will need my rest! – Chad Gaston