Camp 3 to BC and maybe another chance!

Where do I start?
I’m back in BC after stretching the legs to C3.
The others were able to turn the break in the weather into a successful, if costly, summit run.
Tom and Bonnie have frost bitten toes and Rick his fingers from helping Bonnie but they’re all back safe in BC.

The day has been filled with the sound of the Helicopter picking up climbers who, I’m guessing like Tom and Bonnie, are unable to walk out. 5 trips at last count.

I’m sitting here wondering if my chance is over. With the sinus infection I never had a real shot at that window but to think I was 2 days short of the summit!
As the dog in the ad says “Bugger!”

I’m now awaiting the weather forecasts for a chance on the 27th. It’s not looking good but I’m staying hopeful that the window will open for me. After that the weather shuts down completely.

So what happened up there?

2 days before setting off I had to see the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) Doctor, for the sinus infection had flared up again. Bottom line there is an underlying problem for which I’ll need to see an ENT back home particularly if continuing to climb big mountains.

Anyway, I was in bed for 2 days prior to this climb.
Dragged myself up to C1. 10 hours of “why am I doing this”.
3 hours to C2 the next day wasn’t much joy either but I did get the opportunity to observe 5 birds fly in from different directions and meet for a chinwag in the middle of the glacier. I can only imagine what they were discussing….were the spoils better at C2 now that few people were stopping at C1?….
A rest day in C2 allowed me to enjoy the sunset and watch the movement on the Lhotse Face to C3.

Once it became clear there was a summit bid up for grabs we practiced with the Os (mountain lingo for Oxygen).
Bonnie and I (tent buddies) performed a full dress rehearsal:
Down suit
Under clothing
Gloves hats etc
Boots
Backpack
And Os

Looked like a bright yellow Mitchelin man. Kenton thought I just looked plain scary. I’d better be careful if Yeti spies me……..

It wasn’t a great night’s sleep pre C3 day. Drowning in mucus isn’t fun at sea level! Try it at 6,440! Used the ipod to lull me into a few hours sleep.

Up and ready before the others for breakfast. Important to have the sleeping bag ready by 5.30 for the Sherps. They’re carrying and want to set off early.
6.30 we were to head off. Yep! 6.20 put on the harness (Victor calls it the high altitude laxative). First attempt in full down suit! Not a pretty sight nor was it successful!

I was feeling pretty good for the first couple of hours, up through camp 2 onto the glacier and up to the ice-wall onto the Lhotse face. I’d even given myself permission to imagine the summit phone call for the first time. I’ve always pictured the summit moment but never the call. I’d even thought about ringing Mum and Dad and getting my little brother to fly down.
I had like a motion picture running in my head:
I kept picturing Maggie (the wild magpie) running into the pool room demanding to be fed; Friends and family’s words of encouragement; rereading emails from the website etc
Anything to take my mind off of the task at hand – jumarring up the Lhotse face.

All the while marveling at the fact that me, Nettie, Lynette Trott, Trotty was on the Lhotse face. THE LHOTSE FACE.!! How cool is this.

Then things started to fall apart.
Topchin and I (Hermant has succumbed to a chest infection and I’ll be with Topchin from now on; Hermant will carry to C2 when he’s a little better)
As I was saying Topchin and I took the midday radio call and Kenton suggested I go on Oxygen, Topchin was carrying it, I might as well use it.

Right! We’re on steep ice! No truckie rest stops to pull into here. There are people coming up and down the rope.

I push my jumar as high as I can, plant my feet and sit/lie down so Topchin can access my backpack. As he gets the Os kit out, a tube hits the ice, in hindsight I don’t know if this has anything to do with the next half hour or if it’s purely the sinuses or we did suffer a malfunction but I think we got ice in the tube.
Ok….we get the mask on. Now it’s pretty claustrophobic but I’ve practiced before and spent a night with the mask on so it’ s not new but a stuffy head is.

I’m now back on my feet hauling myself up the rope expecting to feel the Os kick in.
No…. I’m feeling light headed “Topchin I think I’m going to faint”. Take mask off, instantly fine.
It now get’s really messy, trying to work out what’s going on. To add to the mix the 02 bottle is making a knocking noise Topchin has never heard (nor later any of the other Sherpa we talked to!), we make a radio call but all to no avail, in the end, with me nearly passing out again, we cont. off Os.

By now I’m way behind schedule. Rob passes me on the ice-wall before low C3 and says to try oxygen again at high rate and sit for 2 mins first to get used to it.
I’m now back down on the ice! But it’s now working. Which makes me wonder if we did get ice in the tube and it’s now melted.

It’s neither here nor there, I’m now so exhausted the oxygen is making little difference except to keep me warmer which in itself is important at this late point in the day ,still well shy of our goal.

We miss the 4pm radio call due to a flat battery so I sent Topchin on to catch up with Kenton who’s been ensconced at C3 for the better part of the day.

By 5pm I’m hoping someone realises I’m MIA and comes looking because I realise I’ve got at least 2-3 hours to go to high C3 and its now cold(er) and will be dark soon.

Topchin returns with a radio.
Discussion between BC, C3 and me discussing options. Bottom line is how am I feeling and do I have it in me to get to C3 by 8pm? Then C4 next day with no sleep leaving at 9pm for summit?

Answer “NO. This summit bid is over OVER”.
Kenton: “nice pun OVER”
Trotty not sure she’s seeing the humour but manages a smile.

So down? Or find a tent and make like a squatter?
I don’t have the energy so TopChin does a reccy and finds us a tent for the night.

From there things improved. The night on oxygen actually gave the antibiotics a foothold and I’ve been on the improve since coming down in two stages C2 then BC.

At C3 I took the opportunity to get photos of the Plan, Because I am a Girl and Westminster flags.

Coming down the Lhotse face was awesome! In a “I’m tired and any misstep could kill me” kind of way. But it was incredible to be there and to be doing what I trained for all these years. Abseilling down the ice-wall and almost sprinting down the glacier, though reality check when I clipped my crampons and much to Topchin’s horror took a tumble.

I spent the next couple of days listening to the radio calls and hearing the drama unfold up high. Bonnie being brought down to C4 by 5 very strong, brave Sherpa. They literally tied her feet and tied her hands to her side and dragged her on her back by her harness, having to ignore her cries of pain. At the same time Rob was fighting to save Anita’s life at C2. She had suffered respiratory arrest.

Both stories ended well. But something rather gruesome had happened at BC.

The Glacier on one day in 4 different spots at BC (one just across form my tent! Oooo so glad I was on the mountain) gave up 4 bodies. The bodies were flown out by Helicopter.

On my way down from C2 I witnessed the first Helicopter at C2. Technology is amazing. Only a few years ago this was impossible. It removed two bodies, then in what I can only imagine to be a training manouvre, it flew in with a rope dangling underneath and a man clipped his harness in and flew off the mountain under the helicopter. What a ride.

A sombre few days.

But I’m now at BC, well hydrated, well fed and now just crossing my fingers, hoping that I haven’t missed my one and only opportunity at a summit.

If they can get helicopters to C2 maybe they can invent a crystal ball for summit opportunities.

It’s slim but I haven’t given up hope yet!!

Namaste

Trotty

9 comments to Camp 3 to BC and maybe another chance!

  • Jacquie & John SG

    Trotty,

    We’re so glad to hear you’re OK and in one piece. Our best wishes to you and we hope you get the chance to summit. Travel safe and come back in one piece! (After all Jacquie is after your SACA card!).

    Love & Kisses
    Jacquie & John
    xxx

  • Sharyn

    I have everything crossed for you to get a successful summit. But it must be awesome to even be there in the first place. Good luck !!

  • Krishna

    Hi Lynette

    I think the door will open for you! Hope, you have recovered from sinus! Wishing you all the best.
    Krishna

  • Thanks Sharyn,
    Just to be accepted on the team was awesome. Being here is surreal. I keep pinching myself. Hiking in the Western Cwm….Telling myself “I’m in the WeSTERN CWM”.
    Climbing the Lhotse Face…I’m on the LHOTSE Face!!!

    It’s been amazing. Wish I could have gone all the way? Absolutely. But I’m pretty happy and seriously looking forward to a Shower!!
    Trotty

  • Ahh so Jacquie was the one not crossing her fingers and toes!!
    Be home soon

    Lots of Love
    Trotty

  • Thanks Krishna,
    No luck this time but I hope my climb has helped to raise awareness around the world about Plan and Because I am a Girl.
    I know every person I have met on this trip I have told them of the wonderful work that you do and they’ve been so impressed they’ve promised to look it up the website on their return home. I hope they all have.
    And I know from the wonderful emails I’ve received that the lovely people following my climb through this site have been moved by the work you do.

    Namaste

    Lynette

  • Robyn Kunko

    Hi Lynette, I am so so thrilled for you to be able to be such a positive woman and have a chance on or near the 27th. GOOD LUCK and The very best of the best to you. robyn kunko

  • Madeleine

    Hi Lynette,

    Wow what an amazing journey you have had – well done I am so proud of you and excited for you! You have an amazing ability to see things in a unique and positive light, I have everything crossed for your final attempt – may the mountain angels be with you and carry you to the summit :) .

    cheers,
    Madeleine.

  • Peter (Funk)

    Hi Lynette,
    Glad to hear you’re OK and I hope you get your shot at the summit.
    Good Luck and stay safe

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