Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Forty-six: October 9th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Forty-six: High Winds; Plans Formed for Final Summit Push

This morning, we woke up to extremely high winds for base camp, reaching speeds of around 60km/hr. On the summit, the winds were predicted to be in excess of 100km/hr. We decided that despite the fact that the winds werenít forecast to be below 45km/hr in the foreseeable future, the high winds would be good for the snow conditions on the IŮaki route (if we are able to get that high in such high winds). They are also cleaning the ridge, reducing avalanche risk on the final slope to Camp III (there have been fatalities linked to avalanches on this slope in the past). My optimism fully in tact, I worked on securing my tent and building a wall around it to protect the entrance from the huge amount of dust and debris that is flying around base camp (one of the disadvantages of having a base camp on the dirt as opposed to on a glacier). In the afternoon, we received a visit from the Japanese Sherpas and we broke the news about the forecast to them. They said that they would try and go up with us, but they didnít think it was possible to get even to Camp I. I remain optimistic, despite being fully aware of how exhausting it is to climb in winds this high, that we will at the very least be able to retrieve our gear from Camps I, II, and III and hopefully have the chance to make one final try on the 14th for the main summit (winds on the 14th are predicted to be 45km/hr then shoot back up to 60km/hr on the 15th).

Photo: Left: High winds blast Shishapangma; Right: The Romanian toilet tent didnít hold up so well to the high winds in base camp


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