I just heard from Seth again – it’s just after 10pm on Thursday in Seattle and he’s back down to Camp IV. He’s exhausted but sounds great. Here are some of the details he shared with me, in no particular order:
* It was gorgeous at the top – more mountains than he’s ever seen anywhere.
* He’s relieved to be back to Camp IV but also spent, and he knows he’s still got a long way down. They have about 9,000 feet to descend to base camp.
* The ascent “went on forever” – he described being able to see headlamps moving up in the distance, and how far away they seemed. He was able to keep moving most of the time on the way up. He encountered a traffic jam on the Hillary Step on the way down, a more technically difficult spot on the climb where only one climber can ascend or descend at a time.
* Seth’s oxygen regulator was working well but the regulators that Damai and Kami had, as well as the extra, were not. Kami had to turn back a few hours above Camp IV because of this. Damai’s worked but was only pumping a limited amount of oxygen the whole time.
* It was incredibly cold and Seth was at points pretty worried about frostbite on his fingers and toes, but it sounds like he escaped that.
* His camera froze and refused to take any pictures at the top!!! Damai’s camera was working and he took several shots with that one, but back at Camp IV they were having trouble viewing some of the files; he’s hopeful they’ll show up when they connect the camera to the laptop. Not having pictures will be a major bummer… though I’ll just add an editorial note here that if the biggest problem Seth faces from this adventure is a lack of decent pictures at the top, I think we should all be psyched and grateful.
* As many folks probably noticed, Seth didn’t have the GPS Tracker turned on – he said he didn’t have anywhere to clip the device to the outside of his pack.
I’ll let Seth fill you in on more! In the meantime, I’ll keep updating about his progress down the mountain when I hear it. For now, Seth and Damai are working on deciding how long they’re going to stay and rest/nap at Camp IV before continuing down. It’s mid-morning in Nepal as I write; they’ll hang out for at least a couple hours, maybe more. They still have a lot of oxygen left.
Please keep your prayers and good vibes coming – this adventure is far from over!