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.

David, out.

Posted on May 27, 2011, in Everest 2011. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Stay warm. Stay safe. Xxx


  2. Hope stay safe. Grant!

    David, thanks for your valued information!


  3. Grant,

    Sorry to hear the weather got in your way, but glad to see you’re playing it safe. All you can do is give it your best shot. We are all proud of you whether you summit Everest or not.


    Thanks very much for the insight.



  4. greg and yoke

    Good call, you and your team are making great decisions under pressure!don’t forget even until now what you have achieved is simply incredible! Stay strong!


  5. Iain and Nicki Ansell

    Sounds like you made the best decision to head down- can’t do the job with a blunt axe (or no axe!!) Hope you don’t get a frostbitten butt!

    Fantastic effort to date-intriguing- going to work this morning and trying to reconcile that you are up near the top of everest? I got scared up the top of the hydroslide with the kids on the weekend!

    We really appreciate being able to share in the journey with you_ albeit somewhat easier at this end! Kia kaha! IAin and Nicki Ansell


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