17 October 2007: Highcamp-Pheriche

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High camp-Pheriche

We woke up before sunrise to check the weather. Part of the snow that had fallen had melted during evening and then frozen to a thin layer of ice. The layer was so thin that crampons didn’t bite on it. We were hoping for clear skies and sunshine, which could have melted the ice and snow from the rocks and given us hope for the climb the following night. The route above the rock face on the glacier was fixed with ropes and would be quite climbable except small danger of avalanche. Unfortunately the sky was obscured and it looked like more snow could fall during the day. After breakfast and long discussions and considerations we decided to pack up the camp and descend. We would not have the time to wait for two more days because of our flight from Lukla. Tuff decision, but the mountain will stay there for future attempts and we will certainly be back. The climb looked very inviting from the high camp with about half easy rock and then steep glacier up to the summit.

Even the descend was very tricky because of snow. We took a long time to negotiate the rock face towards base camp. Once there the weather felt warmer, we reduced our clothing and continued towards Pheriche where Malla would be anxiously waiting for us. We had our first beers for two weeks and they tasted great! Despite the slight disappointment of missing the summit bid the feeling was very good.

After Timo had gone up again the following days went the same way. I spent the mornings reading or writing and then in the afternoon travelers came to the lodge making the evenings interesting with their stories. The 17th I was very lucky to have a Finnish girl as company because she also had to stay at the lodge to rest for the day. We had just ordered a pot of mint tea and I was saying to her that the team is at the summit as we speak when I saw Timo through the window. You know the rest.