Saturday 19 May – AC DISPATCH: Balcony and beyond

It’s 1am here in Nepal and news just in is that Mike, Peter, Wilfred and Neil are nearing the Balcony, with Dean and Iza just behind. Ang Dorjee and Joan are storming ahead and are below the South Summit.

The Balcony is traditionally known as the ‘halfway point’ en route to the summit of Mt Everest. Having begun the climb by traversing the Blue Ice Bulge, the team will have then started their way up the Triangular Face. The route used today is well left of the original route taken by Tenzing & Hillary and makes its way up moderate angled snow slopes to a large rock, which is the site of an old camp, and than onto The Balcony itself. Many feel that this section of the climb is the ‘psychological crux’ of summit day; one is climbing in the dark and during the coldest part of the night. As it is can be difficult to get a sense of how much progress you are making it is easy to get disheartened so well done to the whole team for making it this far in good style!

At The Balcony the team will take their first ‘pack off’rest break. They will change their oxygen bottle here, and also cached one bottle for the descent. A quick snack and a drink and they will be off again!

The weather is still and clear and although the mountain is crowded tonight no problems have been reported.

Thanks for supporting tonight’s summit team and the next update will follow shortly.

Caroline

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