November 1st Update from Baruntse base camp
It’s been a while since our last update and plenty has happened. Rumors around base camp were that the summit could not be reached this season due to a major new cravas near the summit blocking the way. Apparently ladders will be needed and we have none except by helicopter from Lukla at a cost of 5 thousand dollars. We decided against that. Full of optimism and great effort we climbed up to camp one at 6100 metres. It took two days to fully establish the camp. Remember that everything going to camp two including a second set of tents, food, and fuel must pass through camp one . Splendid weather prevailed but temperatures are well below freezing at all times. The sun keeps us warm during the day. Up at camp two at 6500 metres still under fairly clear skies, the full-scale of Baruntse is just now being revealed. Michael and Kuma made a dash for the summit early the next morning but Alex and I weren’t ready to go higher. They made the sub summit which is a considerable achievement but higher was not possible for a variety of reasons but mainly the snow conditions did not appear safe for strong anchors. We decided to abandon our summit attempt mainly to be sure everyone would be returning home. Teams from the UK, Poland, France, Spain and the Uranian National Climbing teams all suffered the safe fate as us being unable to reach the summit. Baruntse has bared her teeth. Even so other groups are trying to make the summit and may well yet establish a fate route. We are all safe and happy here in base camp today and getting ready to cross the high pass into the Khumbu the famous valley with Everest base camp. We will do some mixed trekking and climbing as we work our way back to Lukla and eventually home. There are even more stories to tell of course and details will follow. Achieving the summit was never our primary goal and we are all happy to be where we are and where were headed. Now that we are into November the home stretch is much closer. That’s it for November 1st from Baruntse base camp.