Dispatch—Day 12: April 7, 2009
Fresh Snow and Bad News
Photo: Yaks moving up the Khumbu Valley
By Peter Whittaker
Photograph by Jake Norton
TwitThis

Lobuche, Nepal

Woke this morning to four inches [ten centimeters] of new snow. It was full-on snowing when we went to bed last night and Viesturs and I, like expectant little kids, peered out the window to see how much had fallen. Lobuche had turned into a winter wonderland overnight. Nonetheless, at 16,200 feet [4,938 meters] the sun is quite powerful, and by late morning the temperatures were balmy, with some of the porters staging snowball fights!

After breakfast, we received a bit of disheartening news that 22 of our expedition loads are still in Kathmandu. We were under the assumption that just four were there and that the rest were on their way to Base Camp. After a morning powwow, we decided to send Linden Mallory (Base Camp manager) up to base to get a physical count of bags and inventory what was there. Our agenda does not have us occupying Base Camp for two more days, but we must have adequate gear and equipment to make our move up. We should be OK but we’ll know more tomorrow.

The team is firing on all cylinders. It is an honor to be a part of such an accomplished group of climbers. We have a wealth of mountain experience and knowledge starting with Viesturs and Hahn, who have 16 Everest summits between them. Our climbing team will function the same way we do on Rainier when we are stacked heavy with experienced guides. Though there is an expedition leader and climbing leaders, all team members share in the decision-making process. Our production team rocks as well, as Gerry Moffat and Jake Norton have both stood on top of the “Big E.” This is a talented team, deep on experience.

Now, with a little luck our Kathmandu bags will find their way up the Khumbu to Base Camp and we can put our team’s mountain experience to work.

Uh-oh, it is beginning to snow again outside...

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