It was a very windy and cold, but clear this morning. Lakpa started our stove and brewed up tea at 4 AM. We both stayed in our sleeping bags – reluctant to get up and dressed. The wind was still blowing hard when Pasang arrived later than planned at 6 AM. Pasang sat in our tent while we had more tea and finally decided to give it a go at 7 AM. We packed up and headed up towards Lhotse Camp IV by 8 AM. It turned out to be good timing because the wind died down shortly after we left out tent at Camp III.
Today was similar to the previous day as we climbed the fixed lines leading up to the Yellow Band and our Lhotse Camp IV. There were few climbers and we were able to move up the fixed lines on the Lhotse face fair4ly quickly. Just below the Yellow Band we caught up with a small group of climbers and didn’t get by all of them until the top of the Yellow Band. We got up to our Camp IV at 2:30 PM. There was still wind, but it didn’t start blowing hard again until we were moved into our tent at nearly 26,000 ft.
I had been on oxygen since leaving Camp III. Now all three of us at Camp IV were using oxygen except when eating, drinking or trying to carry on a conversation. The process of eating and drinking all you could started as soon as we settled into Camp IV. By 7 PM it was time for sleep or at least rest. I certainly got more of the later (rest) as I tried to sleep with the oxygen mask on my face. The hissing oxygen along with your nose and mouth covered do little to promote good sleep. I did rest fairly well considering that I will be up at 1 AM and leave by 2 AM for our summit attempt. The wind continued to blow hard most of the evening which didn’t help me relax much. I continued to wonder if we had made the right decision about a weather window for our summit attempt in the morning.