Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Return to Camp 2

Everest 2016  •  April 21

Excited to make the move to Camp 2.  The cwm is deep, long, beautiful, and could be punishing if I tried to move too quickly.  Patience is the watchword of the day.

The rollers felt easier than yesterday, and although I got a bit puffed on them, I felt strong overall.

Mingma Dorje and Nicky in an epic selfie. (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
Mingma Dorje and Nicky in an epic selfie. (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
At a break during our move to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
At a break during our move to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Justin always knows when to refuel. (GoPro Screenshot)
Justin always knows when to refuel. (GoPro Screenshot)
The long march to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
The long march to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Searing hot, yet also freezing cold. Tough to describe these conditions. (GoPro Screenshot)
Searing hot, yet also freezing cold. Tough to describe these conditions. (GoPro Screenshot)
We skirt the debris field that arises from Nuptse. Impressive, especially given the fact that the base of Nuptse is well below this elevation. (GoPro Screenshot)
We skirt the debris field that arises from Nuptse. Impressive, especially given the fact that the base of Nuptse is well below this elevation. (GoPro Screenshot)

Just like last time, the final half hour of the walk was the cruelest illusion, in which we passed other camps on our way to the top of the hill, the most auspicious spot which IMG calls home.  Arriving felt good, like coming home exhausted after being away for a long, long time, wandering in the wilderness.

Cristiano loving the route to Camp 2. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Cristiano loving the route to Camp 2. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Pasang Kami, Siva, me, and Kim pulling into Camp 2. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Pasang Kami, Siva, me, and Kim pulling into Camp 2. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Debris is a telltale sign that we are close to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Debris is a telltale sign that we are close to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Pasang Kami and Siva scramble up some of the ice adjacent to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Pasang Kami and Siva scramble up some of the ice adjacent to Camp 2. (GoPro Screenshot)
Camp 2! But... not our camp 2, which is at least 20 minutes farther uphill. (GoPro Screenshot)
Camp 2! But… not our camp 2, which is at least 20 minutes farther uphill. (GoPro Screenshot)
This really is IMG Camp 2. Best position on the mountain... There really is no one higher! (GoPro Screenshot)
This really is IMG Camp 2. Best position on the mountain… There really is no one higher! (GoPro Screenshot)
Pounding fists with Justin Merle is always a pleasure. (GoPro Screenshot)
Pounding fists with Justin Merle is always a pleasure. (GoPro Screenshot)

Things do look different this year, with so little snow on the ground and the slopes of Everest.  Being at the top of the cwm is a special occasion, because it is one of the most gorgeous spots in the world.  Comparisons to last year are irrelevant: this place is still amazing, and is still a lung-sucking 21,300 feet high.

I was giddy with anticipation when opening my rice bag. (GoPro Screenshot)
I was giddy with anticipation when opening my rice bag. (GoPro Screenshot)
Said Kim, " You look like a drunken pirate!" (GoPro Screenshot)
Said Kim, ” You look like a drunken pirate!” (GoPro Screenshot)
Success! My whole cache is OK! This R1 hoody smelled of kerosene... I kind of like it. (GoPro Screenshot)
Success! My whole cache is OK! This R1 hoody smelled of kerosene… I kind of like it. (GoPro Screenshot)
Andy Polloczek was not so lucky... We left the task of opening the stuff sack to his trusted buddy Justin. By Jove, it was ripe in there. (GoPro Screenshot)
Andy Polloczek was not so lucky… We left the task of opening the stuff sack to his trusted buddy Justin. By Jove, it was ripe in there. My vocabulary fails to find a socially acceptable description of just how bad this was. I have never seen mold grow in that formation or bouquet, and I am an infectious diseases specialist.  (GoPro Screenshot)

We plan to get lots of rest today, then take a short hike up towards the Lhotse Face tomorrow, to stretch our legs & lungs, and to scope our the potential route options to Camp 3.

Concept of the day: Drink it in.

4 thoughts on “Return to Camp 2

  1. Thank you for continuing this great blog and the pictures. Continue to be surreal! My favorites are of you. Love and continued prayers.

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