After having our Puja, the team including our Sherpa were excited and pumped up for the trip again. Everyone was in high spirits, that is until the second earth quake (aftershock) hit the area. Of course, once we established that everyone in basecamp was safe, we quickly turned our thoughts to friends on the south side of Everest and of course in Kathmandu.
Yesterday evening we got the news that the CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association) is going to shut down the mountain. They claim that scientists in Beijing have predicted a massive earthquake to hit the region in the next 10-14 days. Contrary to the USGS whom say predicting an earthquake with any real certainty is impossible. The USGS is forcasting the probability of more earth quakes, however, they aren’t as specific with times or intensities.
Allegedly the head of the CTMA is coming to basecamp tomorrow (was supposed to be today) to have a meeting with all the groups to give us the final decision. It seems inevitable, but I suppose there is still a miniscule chance that we could still climb.
In the spirit of keeping that hope alive, we went on a hike up to 18,600ft to get the blood flowing and continue with the acclimitization in the event we should be able to keep climbing.
We’re all doing well today after a rather disappointing evening last night. We’re trying to keep from focusing on the trip being over and instead think about the successive camps & route technicalities. It still is a possibillity, however dim it may seem.
Thanks for all the support – we’ll keep everyone posted.