Right now, our team and all the expedition teams are pondering the same question: How long will this week's weather window stay open? Will it be long enough for us to try for the summit?
The right guess will result in summit success and a safe return; the wrong guess will mean an expensive aborted attempt and danger.
Everyone pours over the same stream of weather data, then weighs other factors that might apply to some groups:
--Limitations of time (Do we have to return to our jobs or families by a certain date?)
--Money (Can we afford to pay for more of the very expensive bottles of oxygen needed for a second attempt?)
--Resources (Will we have enough food and fuel to continue waiting here for a second attempt?)
The teams also rely heavily on the instincts and experience of the Sherpa climbers, who know the mountain so well and are ever mindful of the spiritual influences that can come into play.
This week it appears that the winds will drop for just a few days. Some have chosen to seize this opportunity and go for the summit, others have chosen to wait.
Tom and the team are quoted today on the MountEverest.net website.
© McMillan Associates 2004-6. All rights reserved.
Ready for summit attempt--pray for good weather!