Storms during the night, but at 4:30 this morning it started to clear, we ate breakfast and hiked up to the Lhotse Bergschrund, descended into it and climbed it’s 90 degree pitch, crossed a narrow snowy ledge and then continued to climb the very steep rock solid blue ice of the Lhotse Face to C3. It is 3000 feet of rock hard old glacier ice that your crampons can barely bite into. Sometimes, you need to stab the steel points of your crampons several times before you feel secure enough to make your foot transition. It is very exciting climbing. This is what we are here for.
In the thin air, it is a challenge to keep your heart rate under control. The physical endurance at high altitude. You have yourself roped-in, but any error can be fatal. We all check each other’s harnesses as a standard precaution.
This will be our highest point so far, 24,000’+, and important last step in our long acclimatization process of almost 6 weeks, before our summit bid.
There are 2 C3’s, lower and upper. At lower C3, I was hanging back from the group trying to resolve a problem with my helmet-mounted camera, when bad weather came in. Mike thought it best that I descend back to C2 for the night. The rest of the group continued up to C3 and slept. The following morning at 4am I re-climbed up to C3 passing the team on their way down. In the end we got acclimatized differently.