Although no firm plans have been decided we had our Puja ceremony this morning at Advanced Base Camp, followed by a meeting with all the team heads. The decision agreed was to re-convene on Thursday 30th and then decide on plans. High up in the mountains you sometimes have to make hasty decisions; here at ABC hasty decisions may not be in the best interests of anyone here or in Nepal – e.g. a decision to withdraw putting even more pressure on transport, accommodation and food than staying put at ABC where we are fully self-sufficient.
Personally speaking, however, there is something unsettling and uncomfortable about continuing a climb when so much tragedy has hit the country, although everyone has to make that decision for themselves.
18km away at Everest Base Camp, the situation is pretty dire and there is little doubt that Everest Nepal side will be cancelled for the second year running – 22 fatalities, 80-100 injuries and 120 climbers being rescued by helicopter from Camps 1 and 2 above the Khumbu Ice Fall, the latest information we have here.
Lhotse – my intended ‘double’ after Makalu, which shares the same Base Camp and route up to Camp 3 as Everest - is thus almost certainly off for me this year. Whether Makalu is too we will decide Thursday……..