Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FTA Satopanth 2011 - Summit Bid Ahead!

From Stu in the USA office
Sept 21, 2011

Satopanth Update
Ben called in just a few hours ago from C2 at 6000m to let us know that they are in position to make a summit bid tomorrow!

The route has been fixed out across the ridge (which leads to a sometimes used C3 at 6400m) and they plan to make a push from C2 to the top along with a Dutch team that is on the hill. At this time we have Ben, Suresh, Sawan, Nicole and Scott ready to leave at 4:30am for the top! Gavin is down at BC and doing well and ready to cheer them on as they make the push.

As they plan to leave from the base camp on the 25th or 26th at this time they have some room for a second attempt but this will be likely their best moment. The weather is perfect and it has not snowed in some days so the conditions are quite stable. They have the steep part of the ridge prepared and have a strong number of climbers to push the route where needed!

C2 vs C3 for a summit bid?
Making a push from C2 on Satopanth is akin to making a push from C2 on Ama Dablam. The benefits include being able to move lighter on steep sections without tents, sleeping bags, food, fuel and sleeping a bit lower means a better night of rest before the push.  It does make a for a longer day and without a higher camp they may feel the altitude a bit more. So their acclimatization and fitness will be tested for sure but they feel that the effort to push all the gear up to a C3 is not worth it for them as they feel they have the speed and strength for a summit from C2. The Dutch team is feeling the same way so that is good!

Ben plans to call in at the end of the day and let us know how the effort and we'll post the news as soon as we have it.

Earthquake not felt at Satopanth
I asked about the earthquake and Ben said they never felt anything at all and had not seen any unusual avalanche activity. I shared the news of the event and the damage to life and property in India, Tibet and Nepal and he was sad to hear the update. He and the entire team share their condolences to everyone affected by the quake.

Next for FTA
Ben will come out from this trip and head right back to Nepal to lead our Oct 5 Khumbu Peaks & Passes trip and then our Nov 4 Ama Dablam. We have spaces on both trips still with last minute discounts available so let us know!

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