This is a highlights selection of the photos I couldn’t post while we were climbing the ridge, showing how the climb unfolded day by day.
These are the sites of our camps, marked on the ridge. I can’t swear to the absolute accuracy of this, especially for 5, 6+7 and 8 July, our camps on the central section of the ridge. It is based on my best guess. Note: the nights of 6 and 7 July were spent in the same camp.
DAY 1: 2 JULY
Rick, Sandy and I left base camp 4900m around 07.00. The Sherpas had left earlier and they climbed straight up to the second camp. We headed to the first camp, at around 6150m. We’d used this camp already for acclimatisation, so we had a three-man tent in place there. We would leave that tent there, just in case we retreated back along the ridge. The climbing was along the ridge already extensively shown in the photos posted during the acclimatisation phase.
DAY 2: 3 JULY
The Sherpas climbed on from the second camp to break trail and carry loads onto the Mazeno Ridge. Rick, Sandy and I climbed up to our second camp at 6400m, and then carried a load higher up, dumping it at around 6600m, before returning to camp.
DAY 4: 3 JULY
We took down the 2nd camp and carried the tents with us. From now on all camps would be bivis, pitched at night, taken down and moved on in the morning. Now all 6 of us were moving together, as we would do for the rest of the climb. From the 6400m camp, we climbed up onto the Mazeno Ridge at 6800m and camped soon after reaching the ridge. The Sherpas and Rick then carried some loads ahead. This would be the last time we ferried loads. Thereafter we carried everything with us.
NEXT INSTALLMENT WILL FOLLOW TOMORROW.