Major Andrew Todd rang this morning from Camp 2 to give an update on the team’s progress.
Both climbing teams are now together at Camp 2. They will spend tonight there and make their way up the imposing Lhotse Face to touch Camp 3 tomorrow then return to Base Camp.
The team at Camp 2 are all well and feeling fit. Three members of the team descended to Base Camp from Camp 1 — photographer Rodney Christian, Lance Corporal Shakti and Lance Corporal Maher.
The Lhotse Face is the gateway to the upper slopes of Everest and a formidable section of the route. It is a spectacular 40- to 50-degree wall of steep blue ice and the next major challenge for the climbers. They will climb from Camp 2 at 6,400m up the Lhotse Face to Camp 3 at 7,162m. It is a significant gain in altitude and a vital part of the acclimatisation process. Dual ropes are fixed on the route to help to avoid congestion when climbers are ascending and descending. These ropes are essential for the safety of climbers and Sherpa — a fall on this near-vertical face would be disastrous.
“The Lhotse Face looks dramatic,” said Major Todd. “Camp 3 appears to be perched on the side of the ice. We will climb the Lhotse Face tomorrow, touch Camp 3 then return.”
It’s an exciting time for the team as they continue to break new ground on their expedition. We should see some stunning drone footage possibly over the weekend when they have returned to Base Camp and can upload the latest film and pictures.