Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Stretching our Legs

Everest 2016  •  April 20

Nice night at Camp 1.  Clear night.  Very few avvys to disturb our sleep.  I got to watch an episode of Vikings with the Hesses.  All good.

Just as last year, our plan for today was very simple: walk about halfway to Camp 2 to stretch our legs and get a feel for the route.

The rollers just out of Camp 1 were steep and impressive.  Fixed lines allowed us to scale them with relative ease, but at about 20,000 feet AMSL nothing is easy.  Definitely tougher conditions on the route this year vs last.  Very safe, and fun, but slower than I recall from last time.

Everest towers over the cwm.
Everest towers over the cwm.
Kim gets her sleeping pad in shape. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Kim gets her sleeping pad in shape. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Mingma Sherpa in the Cwm. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Mingma Sherpa in the Cwm. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Justin Merle: King of the Mountain. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Justin Merle: King of the Mountain. (Photo: Kim Hess)
I labor up one of the roller faces. (Photo: Justin Merle)
I labor up one of the roller faces. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Me atop a roller. It took a lot of prodding to get my face exposed for this shot. (Photo: Justin Merle).
Me atop a roller. It took a lot of prodding to get my face exposed for this shot. (Photo: Justin Merle).
Cristiano loving the cwm. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Cristiano loving the cwm. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Kim rocks the cwm. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Kim rocks the cwm. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Kim must descend into a crevasse before she tackles this roller face. Nice. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Kim must descend into a crevasse before she tackles this roller face. Nice. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Siva atop a roller.
Siva atop a roller.
And heading up another one.
And heading up another one.
Justin Merle tops out on a roller.
Justin Merle tops out on a roller.
Kim makes this look easy.
Kim makes this look easy.
Having the route fixed makes this a much, much easier proposition. THANK YOU SPCC!
Having the route fixed makes this a much, much easier proposition. THANK YOU SPCC!
Me and Lakhpa Nuru, the amazing climbing Sherpa whom I worked with today.
Me and Lakhpa Nuru, the amazing climbing Sherpa whom I worked with today.
Ang Tshiring and Cristiano prepare to scale a roller face.
Ang Tshiring and Cristiano prepare to scale a roller face.
Nicky in her element.
Nicky in her element.
Bob makes this look easy.
Bob makes this look easy.
Lakhpa Nuru and I make progress up a roller. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Lakhpa Nuru and I make progress up a roller. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Looking up the cwm from our break spot. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Looking up the cwm from our break spot. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Closeup of Lhotse including the Lhotse Face.
Closeup of Lhotse including the Lhotse Face.
Panorama from near Nuptse Corner, our rest and turnaround spot for the day. Everest on left, then Lhotse, then Nuptse on right.
Panorama from near Nuptse Corner, our rest and turnaround spot for the day. Everest on left, then Lhotse, then Nuptse on right.
Panorama from the same spot looking down valley.
Panorama from the same spot looking down valley.
Looking up the cwm towards Camp 2.
Looking up the cwm towards Camp 2.
The cwm stretches on to Camp 2, barely visible atop the small dark stone mound in the lower portion of the image. (Photo: Justin Merle)
The cwm stretches on to Camp 2, barely visible atop the small dark stone mound in the lower portion of the image. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Nicky and Bob. Awesome.
Nicky and Bob. Awesome.
Selfie from Nuptse Corner, wearing my awesome MEE Barkeaters by Zee Goggles.
Selfie from Nuptse Corner, wearing my awesome MEE Barkeaters by Zee Goggles.
Looking down-valley at Camp 1.
Looking down-valley at Camp 1.
Closer view of Camp 1. Ours is visible at the top of the image.
Closer view of Camp 1. Ours is visible at the top of the image.
Self-timed group photo from Nuptse Corner.
Self-timed group photo from Nuptse Corner.
Ang Pemba and Kim contemplate the cwm.
Ang Pemba and Kim contemplate the cwm.
Two IMG Sherpa pause on their way down from Camp 2.
Two IMG Sherpa pause on their way down from Camp 2.
An SPCC Sherpa hauls two aluminum ladders up a roller with ease.
An SPCC Sherpa hauls two aluminum ladders up a roller with ease.
Cristiano hauls himself out of the crevasse after rapping the roller. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Cristiano hauls himself out of the crevasse after rapping the roller. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Life's a Beach. Like my umbrella? (Photo: Kim Hess)
Life’s a Beach. Like my umbrella? (Photo: Kim Hess)

Plan for tomorrow: Move to Camp 2.

Word of the day: Roll with it. 

16 thoughts on “Stretching our Legs

    1. It’s not the same without you both. we think about you every day! Enjoy civilization… we are jealous.

  1. Paul-the pics are amazing. Thanks for taking us all on your journey. Miss all you guys. Trish wants to thank Cristiano for taking such good care of me. Hoping for good weather for your days to come.
    Jerry

  2. Looking strong, Paul. I’m surprised by how much exposed rock you can see on Everest. Is there less snow up high than in other recent climbing seasons?

    1. Hey. Compared with last year, much less snow. BUT, this is a more typical season (last year was unusually snowy). This is how we do it… the summit pyramid does have snow in the lee of the jet stream, just hard to see it from our POV. Biggest issue may be the pure ice all the way up the Lhotse face. This will be epic….

  3. Dr. P2, please take care of yourself. We want you to be healthy and strong. I am glad you get to rest for the next four days. Shana says that she loves your facial hair. LOL
    I love your pictures.
    Missing you lots
    Josette

    1. Thanks so much Josette, you are the best! I hope work is going well, and that your family is thriving. Best to everyone in clinic!

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