Dispatch 9 from Everest / April 7, 2012

O’Neill: Pheriche

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

Our pace towards Basecamp has been fairly steady. Yesterday from Namche was really snowy in the morning and very muddy by the afternoon. The general consensus from the Sherpas and other people we are meeting along the way is that the weather is unseasonably cold and wet. At any rate, a new coat of snow makes everything incredibly beautiful so it’s not so bad!

Today the sun was out but the temperature stayed brisk as the wind has been blowing pretty hard all day. We got our first view of Everest this morning, just the top and a bit of the south face peeking over the summit of Nuptse. It’s still a ways away but the walking has been so enjoyable. We never seem to walk more than a few hours a day and I’m pretty sure I’m spending more time eating than actually hiking.

Mark and I are working on consuming four meals a day. It’s hard work but with all the tea houses around we are getting fairly good at it. I need to put a few pounds on before the climb so the food and long nights of rest are going to help once we reach Basecamp.

Today, we are already in phrenic he for lunch. We will stay here tonight and then on to Lobuche, Gorak Shep, and finally, Everest BC on the 10th of April.


A local at the Hillary school above Namch


Prayer wheels above Namche


Dawa and I on our snowy morning hike from Namche to Pangboche.

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