Wendy's at Camp 2 - almost 22,000 feet, having successfully crossed the Khumbu Ice Falls just a few days ago. Trish, her publicist from Colorado, has been talking with Wendy via satellite phone and reports that they are doing very well. Here is an image of the route everyone will be using to climb the Lhotse face ... part of the southeast route up Everest ...
... a wall of blue ice that rises 3,700 feet from its base to the top. The Lhotse face must be ascended to reach Camp 3, which is about halfway up. Ropes have been fixed all along the way, and climbers get into a rhythm of pulling and then stepping up to ascend ... pulling and stepping up, pulling and stepping up. The climb is made without the use of supplemental oxygen, so it'll be slow going. Once they reach Camp 3 and get set up, they will sleep with oxygen.
When Trish last spoke with her, Wendy said that the final route to the summit from Camp 3 was not yet quite ready to receive climbers, but I'll bet that situation is changing even as I write this. The first summit attempts are now projected to be as early as tomorrow (!), so things are moving along quite nicely.
Do you remember my telling you about the Puja ceremony? That's the one which is conducted before every major mountain expedition where prayer flags are hung, there is much chanting with a lama present, climbing gear is rested against the stone altar and traditional food and drink are shared. Wendy described this ceremony in detail here, and I found a really neat video of one of these Puja ceremonies on Mountain Link's site.
Wasn't that interesting? I'll probably watch it again after I publish this. First, tho, I'll check back with Wendy's blog to see if anything new has been posted since yesterday ... ... ... nope, not yet.
Talk atcha later!