Day 46-47 – SUMMIT DAY (#47) CLIMB! Go Grant!
( through David Lim): Received this from Grant aroun 2100hrs Singapore time – which is about 2330hrs Nepal/Tibet time:
“Arrived at Camp 3 ( 8300m) tired and cold. Will try for the summit in a few hours”
David’s Note: My pal Jim WIlliams from Exploradus, has a team going for the summit. The news from the South Col at 1945hrs on May 26th was clear and calm – perfect evening for starting a summitpush. Hopefully , condiitons on the north side of Everest are also similar!
David’s note: The route to the top involves some tricky traverses and rock scrambling over a number of rock “steps”, themost notorious being the 2nd Step – near where Mallory and Irvine were last seen before the clouds covered them from view forever that June day in 1924. Grant’s route will cover the 1st and 2nd steps – the latter involving a aluminium ladder in place since 1975 and pretty creaky. The exposure to your right can be phenomenal, and it is totally different climbing than on the more open ridge on the south (Nepal)side. AFter teh 2nd step, the 3rd step is small by comparison, and then a just a few tricky slab avalanche prone slopes to traverse before the summit.
In crowded situations, there is a risk of being stuck behind a bottle neck of climbers coming up or down. Grant is likely to leave around midnight or a bit later – considering that there is at least 300 fewer vertical metres to climb than the south side start from SOuth Col at 8000m. However, there is a lot of horizontal ground to cover. So as I write this at 0030hrs, it is most likely Grant is already out of his tent, looking at a clear sky, and sucking deep on his oxygen mask as he braves the start of many steps to the top of the world. Go, Grant!