Tuesday, September 25

Whether the weather...

Hoseman reported that he was back at ABC. “Unfortunately, we’re not having favourable weather – has been snowing for days now. The weather forecasts that there is a low pressure system over the Bay of Bengal and the fear is that once it clears, strong winds will blow and that they are going to increase in intensity – especially at high altitude. Therefore, the indications are not positive and it is not an ideal situation”.

He said it had been quite warm and comfortable at Depot Camp but he had decided not to cross the Penitentes because he did not like the sound of all those avalanches. Thus, after spending last night at Depot Camp, he had returned to ABC this morning.

He feels a bit worried about his stuff at Camp 1. If the snow piles on too high, it could crush the tent poles and possibly damage the contents.

All the higher climbers have already come down and there is no one left at high altitude. He has now met Andrew Locke who has also decided not to venture beyond ABC at present because of the adverse weather. In reply to our question Mark explained that Camp ABC was not really crowded – there is a lot of space for everyone to spread out. The Sherpas are fantastic but, like everyone else, there is nothing else for them to do but to sit it out.

There now appears to be only two options:
Option 1: Sit it out and hope weather conditions will improve;
Option 2: Cut now. Go back to Base Camp and wait for a jeep to get back home.
Mark is not yet prepared for latter option – says he has too much stuff up the mountain.

This is really the difficult part of mountaineering – it’s so difficult to predict what’s going to happen. The best idea now seems to be to hang in there for another two or three days. Hopefully the sun will come out and one can then see what happens. Unfortunately, he says he has not packed enough novels to read while waiting!
Claire is due to fly back home tomorrow – he has kept her fully briefed. In fact he has suggested that she may call us if ever she needs more information. Mark said his week’s summary should now be on the blog for us to see. He has also sent us an email (There was nothing last night and we haven’t checked today’s mail yet). Finally, Gromit is nice and dry and both are as fit as fiddles.

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