Update from John #1 – Survived the Icefall!

Yesterday my dad left for his 6 day acclimatization trek on Everest which involves passing through the Khumbu Icefall, the most dangerous part of the mountain. There is a constant threat of ice shifts and avalanches from multiple mountains. At the bottom of this post is a short itinerary for where he will be staying. Here is a description from my mom after talking with John via satellite after he successfully made it to Camp 2.

“I spoke with John this morning.  It took 9 hours to make it to Camp 2 with 5 of those hours spent crossing the Khumbu ice fall.  He said there were 3 small avalanches off to the left but they were not affected by these. While in a narrow valley climbing up the slope to Camp 2 he looked over towards an adjacent peak, Nuptse, and saw a narrow avalanche start.  He said it fell right over the path behind them in a curly q fashion.  Because of the large snow “mushroom”, they couldn’t see all the people, but after a quick radio check found all of their team was safe.  Unfortunately a cook from another climbing company was knocked into a crevasse.  Medical personnel are trying to stabilize him and are going to try and arrange a heli rescue above the ice fall.

The temp there is a wee bit chilly at about zero degrees.  John says he is now wearing his Michelin Man suit ( that’s his full down suit) and they have moved dinner earlier and breakfast later to accommodate the cold and more snuggle time in the sleeping bags.

The altitude is not affecting him too badly yet.  He doesn’t have a headache (the usual first sign) but he said that even going to the bathroom is exhausting.  I , myself, experienced this the first 2 days at Base Camp, and it is surprising when the body responds this way.”

Itinierary:

Climb through Khumbu Icefall (see this post for more details and photos)

4 Nights at Camp 2 (21,500 ft)

1 Night at Camp 3 (23,600 ft)

1 Night at Camp 2 (21,500 ft)

Return to Everest Base Camp through the Khumbu Icefall

1 Comment

  1. Annette - May 1, 2012

    Thanks so much for the update! I’m Annette (Joe Martinet’s wife) and have been following your blog. I’m a bit confused, though – as a few of the itineraries have been conflicting…the original schedule said 2 nights at Camp 2, then the camp 3/camp 2 nights, then the note Billi sent out through Himex said 4 nights at Camp 2, but another blogger (Greg) said the other original schedule/dates of 2 nights at Camp 2. Any idea which it is? Billi said they would be back tomorrow at Base Camp, so hoping to hear from Joe then ;o)
    So glad you had a successful trip! It was great to meet your parents before they left.
    take care!

Leave a reply