Waiting time was taxing. You are not sure how long the waiting time will be and how to plan your schedule. You worry if the summit window will come before Monsoon arrives. You worry if the icefall will still be safe to pass when we finish the climb. You are worried about getting weaker while waiting (don’t forget our base camp here is as high as high camp on most high mountains on other continents, if not higher than its summit). You worry about getting sick from any random factors, you worry about getting injured…

Now it finally is time to go up, and you can stop worrying about a lot of things that kept you awake. Yet, you know how reliable the weather forecast is for more than a week away in the city, not to mention on a mountain like Everest! One day, the forecast was “confident” about a summit window in mid May; the next day, it said the “forecast model is jumping around.” Everest is a big mountain, and the summit push takes

  • You just can’t wait until you see a clear forecast to start going up, or you would risk missing that precious window. It’s a hard gambling game here!

Thinking of Ed Viester’s “No Shortcut to Summit.” It’s so true on Everest! Every step is so hard! No shortcut! I’m little nervous, so many things to finish, and I need to pack and rest!

Like a soldier training for war, I have gotten bored waiting for the big time. Now all of a sudden, we are moving and I am scrambling around and barely have time to finish off the list of to-dos. While waiting, we worried about getting weaker by sitting around, so we tried to do some exercise every day.

Now time to move, we worry about not resting enough, and realize that we have been so spoiled for so many days— sleeping till daybreak every day, no torture moving in midnight frigid temperature or baked under brutal sunshine at midday. Time to get used to not sleeping well in the night; time to get used to planning every visit to toilet, day or night; time to get used to going to sleep in the clothes that you would wake and walk in; time to nervously calculate when sun will cast its brutal heat on the glacier slope… More this time, need to learn to calculate how many hours I have left on that bottle of oxygen…