An update from Paul by satellite phone at 10.30am GMT (Nicky)
We awoke early this morning to make our way to Camp 3. We were all packed and ready to go when we received a call from Base Camp. One of the climbing Sherpas had been hit by a serac* and needed to be rescued by the other climbing Sherpas. We held back while plans were made for the rescue. We finally set off at 9am, by which time the temperature had risen from -20 to 40 in the Western Cwm. This unhappily coincided with the day we needed to wear -50 one piece down suits.
Today was probably the toughest day for me so far due to a combination of the heat, the new longer route to Camp 3, slower climbers already on oxygen on the steep part of the climb, and some muscle wastage. (Some, probably most, would say I didn’t have much to begin with!)
Tonight we sleep on oz** before leaving for Camp 4 with oz at around 5am. A number of people planned to summit on the 18th but given the recent accident I expect they will now also be trying to summit on the 19th. It could be busy…
* (Nicky: for the non-moutaineering among us: a block or column of ice formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier)
** (Nicky: oxygen)