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Epic Everest – Update 16 Acclimatisation Rotation 1

Apr 30 2018 Written by: Brad Horn Photography: Brad Horn

Acclimatisation Rotation 1 now complete

Everest Acclimatisation Phases and Camp 1 & 2 Update

Brad at Camp 1 looking up the Western Cwrm - Everest acclimatisation rotation 1

We have just returned to Base Camp after completing our first acclimatisation rotation on Everest.

In preparing to climb Everest, or any reasonably high mountain for that matter, the key is to give your body the time to adjust to altitude.  Because Everest is “ the mother of all mountains”, the acclimatisation process is the most acute of them all.  The process is ordinarily undertaken in 5 phases:

Phase 1 – the trek into Base Camp itself.  Normally completed over 8 nights, the trek in involves ascending 2560 metres. The profile of the trek allows for altitude gains of around 300 – 500 metres per day which allows a reasonably gentle acclimatisation process.

Phase 2 – once climbers reach Base Camp they are afforded a few days rest (normally around 5) to enable the body to recover from the trek in and further adjust to what for the next 6 weeks or so will be “the norm”. Rest is very important in acclimatisation. Giving the body the ability to recover is vital. During these days climbers undertake gear checks, do a couple of acclimatisation walks a little higher to around 5700 metres and rehearse climbing and traversing ice faces and practising ladder crossings.

Phase 3 – this involves the first acclimatisation rotation up the mountain. In our case, we spent 2 nights at Camp 1 (6100 metres immediately above the icefall) and 4 nights at Camp 2 at 6500 metres. During the time at Camp 2 we climbed a little higher to the base of the Lhotse Face (at just under 6800 metres). We then returned to Base Camp.

Phase 4 – We are now back at Base Camp for 5 days rest. Most of the climbing team have some niggling coughs etc so the rest days present an opportunity to get over these before heading up for the second acclimatisation rotation. We are lucky to have a doctor as part of the Adventure Consultants crew so are in good hands.

Phase 5 – this involves a second acclimatisation rotation up the mountain. This will take place in a couple of days and involve 3 nights at Camp 2. We will skip Camp 1 this time and pass directly through to Camp 2. It will be a big day. We will then have a rest day before heading up higher to “touch” Camp 3 at 7300 metres. We will spend a last night at Camp 2 before returning to Base.

Everest Summit attempt

From this stage it is a waiting game for our summit attempt. Obviously weather is a big determinant when this will happen. The fixed lines also need to be secured to the summit. This is undertaken by a team of Sherpas and is obviously weather dependent as to when this will be complete. Hopefully the fixed lines will be in place sometime in the second week of May. This of course is in the lap of the gods.

The mountain is pretty busy at the moment with the various climbing teams at different stages of their preparation. There is also a lot of Sherpa movement on the mountain establishing and resupplying the higher camps. It is a complex logistical exercise.

There have been a couple of minor incidents in the icefall which has facilitated adjustments to the route. Being an active glacier this is pretty much the norm.

Personally I am happy with where I’m at. I am over my chest infection but still have a nagging cough. Hopefully the next few rest days will help me to get over it.

Given the rest days ahead there will not be a lot to report. So, I will be in touch again as soon as I have anything newsworthy.

Keep well and best regards,

Brad

Ladder crossing in the icefall - Everest acclimatisation rotation 1

Icefall between Camps 1 & 2 - Everest acclimatisation rotation 1

touching the Lhotse Face - Everest acclimatisation rotation 1

Camp 1 looking up Western Cwm - Everest acclimatisation rotation 1

View Everest Update 15

Read the latest Adventure Consultants 2018 Everest Expedition dispatches and view the Everest Expedition map.