Day 47- Summit Day Pullback
From a few SMS from Grant this morning:
” Pulled out of summit bid at 1am due to the cold. Other team members still heading up in strong winds”
Then another shortly after
” All team members turned back from the summit in strong winds not forecast in the weather reports. Very cold here. Strong risk of frostbite. A storm is scheduled for the afternoon”
” Freezing my butt off at camp 3 (8300m). Not sure of plans for the next day. maybe retreat today. Need to discuss plans with Jamie (Jamie McGuinness, expedition coordinator). WIll update you”
From David: That’s it for now. Sadly, C3 is not a good place at all for either getting some rest or waiting out the weather. Unless well-stocked, C3 usually has only enough food and 02 for a couple of days, and possibly not enough spare stuff for a 2nd summit bid. It really depends on how much redundancy a team wants to build into their plans, and also the physical condition of the team.
In my experience from two previous Mt Everest expeditions, including the 2001 north ridge expedition, there are few options now but to descend to at least North Col. However, time and supplies are probably running out for the team, and a 2nd attempt will be dependent on 1) the weather and time/return flights, 2) 02 and supplies at C2 and C3, 3) mental and physical shape of those wanting a 2nd go at the summit.
Also , if Grant wants to catch his June 8th return flight from Kathmandu, the absolute latest he’ll have to bag the summit is June 1st. If Grant makes it down to ABC by this evening, and has a rest on the 28th, then heads up again on the 29th (North Col), 30th (C2), 31st (C3), Summit June 1st – a second attempt is still possible. But looking at his present journey, and strength, it is all very mathematical at the moment
Pray for a safe return.