From Stu in the USA office
July 15, 2010
Fabrizio and Chris called in from C2 just a few minutes ago to lets us know that all was well for their group and that they are settled in for the night! After a day of very hot weather and snow balling up in their crampons they are having an evening of mild wind and if our forecast continue to be good they will have even more modest winds tomorrow for the move to C3. They hope to push off early tomorrow to avoid the heat of the day and to also give themselves the longest time for hydrating, eating and resting before making off for the summit early on the 17th.
The summit today, in contrast, was blowing very strongly as predicted and was likely above 70km/h. Over the next 24 hours we expect this wind to subside to less than 40kph and hopefully as low as 20km/h.
The two groups have a scheduled call coming up in the next few hours and Fabrizio or Chris will put of a gabcast after they check in with the group at C3.
At this time we have Ben, Taqui, Ghulam, Asgar, Meagan and Rob in C3 and Chris, Jo, Mike, Ian, Brian and Fabrizio in C2. Brian has been having a bit of GI trouble so stayed back to try to recuperate and hopes to continue on with the second group if he is feeling up to it in the morning. A very tough time to get a stomach bug as anyone who had the malady knows it can really sap your energy. Our guide Brad Boehringer managed to knock off Cotopaxi this past January in spite of a similar illness so we'll hope Brian feels up to it and has the necessary reserves.
We have Aziz and Farhad coming up tomorrow to C2 to be in reserve in case of any need of assistance for the summit push. They are well rested now and have been the fastest and strongest of our HAP's this season so should be able to move up as climbers descend if needed.
Coming along on the summit push are a Slovak team, a Basque team and a Norwegian team so there will be quite a concerted effort by many climbers to push the route through. Hopefully the warmer conditions of the last few days will make the sugar snow firm up below the col where previous teams have been stopped.
Check in to gabcast in a few hours for more and I'll be posting it to our site as well!
FTA Audio Dispatches at Gabcast