The settings for the electric blanket are marked in Chinese characters so I was happy to conclude that each represented some form of wonderful. At breakfast this morning the entire climbing team exchanged words of appreciation for the comforts of a bed and heated blankets and thick air. Then the attention turned to a fresh pound of coffee that was offered from a care package. There was talk of our plans in Namche Baazar and all the ways we would savor the next few days of relaxation.
A great night turned into the start of a casual morning then an urgent message arrived from Everest Base Camp, even before the coffee was brewed: Looks like good weather through May 15th!
So here is our plan:
May 8: Return to Everest Base Camp
May 10: Climb to Camp 2
May 11: Rest day at Camp 2
May 12: Climb to Camp 3
May 13: Climb to Camp 4
May 14: Night departure for Summit
May 15: Summit early morning and return to Camp 4
May 16: Return to Camp 2
May 17: Return to Everest Base Camp
The news transformed an otherwise relaxed and casual morning centered on heated blankets and fresh coffee to a sudden realization that we are embarking on our Summit Rotation days earlier than expected.
Although I have thought about and trained for the upcoming days for years, the news this morning was sobering.
I took extra time to enjoy the coffee this morning but spent the day intently preparing for a return to Everest Base Camp.
The stage is set.