Dispatch 8 from Everest / April 5, 2012

O’Neill: Catching up…

Two Ascents, Both Seek Summit — Southeast Ridge Team to Focus on Education and Science; West Ridge Team of Anker and Cory Richards to Retrace Route of First American Ascent on West Ridge.

Climb to Be Covered Online Starting March 16 at natgeo.com/oneverest and www.thenorthface.com/everest. Real-time Updates from West Ridge Team to Start April 16 on National Geographic Magazine App for iPad

Today we are spending the entire day in Namche. Apart from a short hike above town this morning, I have been catching up on some much needed sleep and rest. The weather pattern seems pretty consistent so far, with sun and warm temperatures in the morning, eventually disintegrating to rain and wind and cold by the afternoon.

Knowing this, we headed out early for the village a Khunde, a few hundred meters above Namche. Since I am still waking up at 5 am, early is no problem and well worth it. Ama Dablam was clear as a bell as we topped out in Khunde. It is as incredibly beautiful as all the stories and photos make it out to be.

Mark and I are still planning on another 5-6 days before we reach Everest Basecamp and the rest of our group; Conrad Anker, Cory Richards, Sam Elias, Emily Harrington and Kris Erickson. They all arrived at Basecamp nearly a week ago and have been working to put the whole camp together. Namche seems to be crawling with lots of Everest climbers, seems that Basecamp will be a busy place this year!

1

Flying in the heli to Lukla, sitting next to Dawa who will, hopefully, be the first Nepalese woman to climb Everest as a working Sherpa.

2

A crazy hail storm that thundered down onLu’s for several hours. Thank goodness for tea houses!

3

An amazing view of Ama Dablam today, from just above Namche.

4

Just a cool chicken, hanging out.

Comments on this Dispatch