Yeah baby!! We are here! The South Col, camp 4, high camp, 26,000 ft or 7,900 meters.
(Just want to touch on my blog yesterday, truly thank goodness for O’s. We cranked it up to three liters a minute and it saved us all!!).
Today we climbed up from camp 3 low camp. (To clarify there are two camp 3’s. High and low. They are about 500 ft apart.) It was cold and windy the first two hours but once the sun came out the bitter bite of the wind subsided. The climb was incredible. The views just kept getting better! After we climbed past high camp 3 we had about another 400 ft till we climbed back onto the Lhotse face. From there we climbed up and at a 45 degrees angle all the way across the face to the yellow band. (The yellow band is a slab of what looks like limestone rock and it has a section of about 30-40 feet high you have to scale straight up and over.) Once above the yellow band we continue climbing at a 45 degree angle to Lhotse high camp where the trail curved around and went up and over the Geneva Spur. Once at the crest of the Spur, you careen around the back side, on loose shale “like”rock ,then drop into the south cal.
Camp 4 is such a welcomed site. Since You have spent 8 hours at least climbing mostly vertical steps and your calves are shot, or traversing across the Lhotse face with what looked to be about a 70 degree slope that goes down thousands and thousands of feet. Believe me when I say, you really watch every single step you take!
Up here at high altitude every pound you carry is magnified, so my 30 lb pack felt like 50 by the time I got to camp 4. Another fun fact is your digestive track gets all out of wack ( even more than basecamp). You have no appetite, and what you actually eat is dehydrated meals that really mess with your ”regularity”.
Not to be gross but for everyone to understand what it takes to make this journey. There was zero place to stop and use a wag bag on the climb today. I hadn’t gone since camp two and was very worried about a full day of climbing. So you understand
why I was worried, I had been told many stories, where guys like in dumb and dumber, where they say, “ just go… man!” In your suit! What a nightmare. Well I’m happy to say I made it to camp four without a moment to spare. I dove into the vestibule of my tent to do my business. Even though I was in my tent, I think I still got a little frost nip on my bum!! It’s definitely sub polar up here! Camping 1 mountaineering 0! – Chad Gaston