An oxymoron if ever there was one ‘active rest day’!
Everyone is feeling quite fatigued and lethargic, the cold seeps into your body in Camp 2 and we shiver in the dining tent at breakfast, a few people with possible illness coming on, others a little demoralised and generally its quiet contemplative breakfast on day 2 at Camp 2.
Sabrina and Alastair left camp at 7am to hike to Camp 3, they need to get much more elevation than the rest of us as they are attempting to summit (Everest and Lhotse respectively) without oxygen, two amazing strong determined individuals, they will return to Camp 2 in 9 hours time, exhausted and tired but mission accomplished.
The rest of the team head out up the hill in the Western Cwm at 9am, a slow weary troop coughing and spluttering, leg’s letting us know they aren’t enjoying the exercise as it starts to snow as we leave - icing on the cake! The hike isn’t fun and I spend a lot of time looking up the route picking a spot where I think it might be a stop and turn round point but we keep going past each one, eventually we more grind to a standstill than stop and stand there looking at Pem our guide Sherpa with expectant eyes willing him to say that’s it for today fortunately before he can suggest ‘another hour’ the snow gets heavier and he calls it and sets off down the slope towards Camp 2, relived isn’t the word!!!!
We return in time for lunch of fried chicken, vegetables and potatoes and then everyone drifts off to their tents to lay down and rest, the last few days have been tough, the cold is taking it’s toll and tomorrow will be a huge day to Camp 3 high up on the Lhotse face, the camp is virtually silent as the snow falls outside.
Dinner comes round quite quickly and I eat and return to my sleeping bag with initial fuss, I just want to close my eyes and sleep praying my energy will return for tomorrow.