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We have worked out our summit window
At last everything looks ready for a good, safe, summit attempt. We expect the fixed ropes to be finished on 21 or 22 May and then a surge of climbers to summit immediately afterwards in what might be slightly windy conditions. We are aiming later, for what we think-hope is the best window, and without the crowds.
18 May 2011 - all in BC
Grant, Esther, Jim and Ken return to BC after a quick acclimatization and exercise run up to ABC. Everyone is feeling great. Luke, Ismail and myself have been hanging around BC pretending we will exercise enough here.
The sherpas are well rested now, so everything is looking good.
Conditions here at BC are colder than last year, there is still plenty of ice on the stream near our camp; the water is easy to jump across yet last year I fell in the stream on the way back from Alex Abramov's 9 May day party.
BC is virtually empty, only Adventure Peaks are here and a couple of Malaysians, one of whom is recovering form HAPE. Everyone else is up on the mountain, following the rope fixers up; even ABC is virtually empty. Some people would be nervous if we are virtually only the ones "left behind" but I (Jamie) make my own weather decisions, based on the best days for the summit, the safest for us, not the quickest summit. So we feel good with our plan.
On the south, Nepali side of Everest, Mountain Trip's team climbed to South Col, the whole team of eight members and 16 sherpas, all friends and relatives of our climbing sherpas. Unfortunately the weather was not kind, and so they are staying on South Col one more day on oxygen, and hopefully the weather will improve for a safer summit.
Kami baking fresh rolls in our gas oven - and his thin pizza really is the best too - Jamie
19 May - plans reconfirmed
We woke to a little wet snow on the tents. Although the weather forecasts have changed slightly, everything is still on track.
Communicating: Kenneth Koh on an iPhone, Esther on her Blackberry;
20 May - Interim
At last we are on the trail for the final time, on our summit push. Most of the sherpas are heading direct to ABC; we will stay at Interim, and Jamling will stay with Ken as personal sherpa, and Kaji as Esther's personal sherpa, trekking and climbing with them from now until the summit.
Moonlight shot of Everest - Jamie
This is our last dispatch until several days AFTER we have summitted, although you can follow Grant's and Ken's posts.
We plan to summit on the 27th of May, probably anyway, BUT will adapt as needed for the weather. We are likely to post on Ken's Twitter account and the Project Himalaya account, BUT NOT REAL TIME - it is both through friends. We will try also to post once we are at Camp 3, and therefore safe.
Grant dreaming high - Jamie