Tough Days and Nights Ahead!

I am updating my blog prior to the intended final push to the summit. The past few days have encompassed rest, food and sleep with the last village being Gorak Shep prior climbing back up to Base Camp. Hopefully you will have heard my latest phonecast where I explained we had spent the last few days at Pangboche, a small village lower down the valley. We have been able to rest and build up strength for the higher mountain climb. There is an obvious increase in oxygen lower down the valley and as we were about 200m lower than at Base Camp it has been really good for eating and drinking and doing as little as possible.

The weather window is always an important topic of conversation and to date the forecast shows in our favour from 18th May onwards and that will hopefully stretch through to 24th May. This has not been confirmed yet and is only a prediction at this stage.

So at the moment, Sunday 12th May, rest day at Base camp and on Monday 13 heading straight up to Camp 2 which will be a long day as we bypass Camp 1. Tuesday 14 will be rest day at camp 2. Wednesday 15 climb to Camp 3 with rest day then onwards to C4.

Dependent on the situation at that time we may have a rest day at C4 as the mountain will be very busy with all the climbers, 300-400 who are all keeping a keen eye on the weather window. Some may want to go straight up or we may choose to do our attempt when it is quieter. Our summit attempt will start round about 9.00 pm where we would leave from Camp 4 then hopefully we would summit between 7.00 am-9.00 am the following morning which would make the climb an 11-12 hour upwards slog!!, then back down. This is only the predicted plan over the next few days but obviously we need to take this day by day. Fixing of the ropes at the South Col have still to be secured so this really is a busy time for all on the mountain.
All very surreal as it has taken me 2 years in planning and preparation to get this point and what an amazing journey this has been.

The weather is changeable on the mountain and at the moment at Base Camp it is cloudy and fairly windy, hopefully the wind speed will decrease and give us a good time for onward progression. The main issue for this final push is the wind on summit day. I know I mention the ‘window summit’ frequently and that is because severe weather conditions on Everest summit are experienced outside of May-June. Hence, we have an influx of climbers during the period when the jet stream which blasts Everest nearly all year is pushed northwards over Tibet before the arrival of the monsoon. Mount Everest is so high it actually sits in the jetstream where prevailing winds are unforgiving.

Thank you all once again for your ongoing support and donations to Global Angels. Your support really does make a difference and makes life easier on the mountain to know that people are donating to such a good cause. Thank you to all for writing on my facebook wishing me a happy birthday and I do apologise for not being able to reply but I will try and catch up on ‘admin’ as soon as communication links allow.
My focus now is firmly on the job in hand, that being summiting and returning safely to Base Camp. It will be difficult to stay in contact for the next few days but I am trying my hardest to be able to report from the summit.

This is Matthew over and out as I snug into my sleeping bag for a final nights rest at Base Camp