Yellow Band


I’m back at BC with all my fingers and toes and a sunburnt nose.

No summit, but I did reach the Yellow Band and got my Because I am a Girl Flag out for a photo op!

Details are still a little sketchy but the details as I currently have them for the 12th are:

Margaret summitted
1 of only 6 to do so
The rest including Milosh were turned around due to weather.
It appears the forecasts for the 12th & 13th were completely around the wrong way. I guess no one gave Mother Nature the memo.
I believe there was a death at/near C3

I can confirm:
I had a slow day to C3 without O2 on the 10th.
AJs has strict cut off times for C3-C4 the next day
Upon my arrival at C3 I was greeted with “If you can’t make it to C4 in 8 hours you’ll endanger everyone”

I would have preferred a little encouragement, something along the lines of, “Tough day Trotty but you’re on O2 tomorrow. Get a good night’s sleep and we’ll assess you tomorrow”. Oh well.
Ang Gelu and Dorjee gave me the pep talk & we calmly discussed times. 3 hrs to Yellow Band, 2hrs to south col (C4) etc. If I fell behind the Yellow Band would be the goal.

C3 –C4 is a tough day and the heaviest backpack. We’re both carrying an O2 bottle and Ang Gelu’s got my sleeping bag, meds etc. So I’m carrying my water which he usually has. The following day to the summit would be lighter as the bags etc stay at C4.

From High C3 it’s straight up the Lhotse Face (with “We’re all going on a summer holiday” in my head the whole way !!) and then a left turn across (but still up) the Face. At this turn Dorjee checked my Os. Too low to make C4. I’d lost the summit.

I kept myself focused on reaching the Yellow Band with my flags.
I didn’t just reach it, I climbed up onto it to get the photos.
I kept telling myself “You’re on the Yellow Band”

Then the long journey down to C2 passing people slower than myself. No Cliff in my head now. Ang Gelu estimated these people would get into C4 at 5pm. Some would head out at 7pm others would spend the night.

Going down was also tough physically (just look at the blisters on the balls of my feet and big toes). Last year it was sheer ice which I thought was brutal and you had to concentrate on every step. This year there was also soft, thick snow, which would give way under your crampons.

At one stage I found myself sliding 4m to the next anchor point. 1 foothold had given way but my unbalanced backpack (the O2 bottle sits to one side) whipped me around off my other foot. Not GOOD!!.

A night at C2 and then my final trip through the icefall. The highlight? The 5 ladder crossing and a kind Sherpa who filmed it.

Back in BC to awesome food and lots of H2O and Ang Gelu and I ran through my strengths:

1. Slept well at C3 (no O2)
2. Ate well at C3 (more than him!)
3. Ladders (if there’s a 7 ladder I’m allowed to do it!!)
And weaknesses:
1. Fitness (the big ? is: was it the cold before I left, the sinus infection on the way in or just my body at altitude?)
2. Thin Blood (my fingers got cold several times but haven’t in the past and I had new gloves this year…Hmmm)
3. Coming Down (has to improve in technique, Ang Gelu’s setting exercises)

AG: My suit: IN the BIN, too bulky around my waist and chest.
ME: Hairclips; my fringe under the balaclava kept getting in my eyes
AG: Grow hair long
ME: Stronger underwire.

The team should arrive in the next hour. Then they have 2 days rest before departing BC.

Ang Gelu and I are thinking of leaving earlier. To take more time but to also check out a school that he and his brother (Kama) work with and try to get sponsors for kids that would otherwise be kept out of school.

It will be interesting to see what they’re achieving. And then maybe what we could do to help.

But the plan for today (never set in stone here at BC. You should see what the Glacier does to stones. Throws them around and turns them to dust) is:
1. Greet the team
2. Lunch
3. Shower
4. Visit Jen and Rach at HRA (Everest ER)
5. Finishing packing for trek out

Sounds like a plan



4 comments to Yellow Band

  • Mal W

    Trotty, very glad that you are back safe and still have all your fingers for typing :-) . Sorry for you and others that it was ‘no summit’. Looking fwd to seeing all the photos. – Mal.

  • Stephen Kennedy

    What an awesome acheivement. I am looking forward to seeing the photos and hearing the stories


  • Mr Darcy Misty & Snowy

    Wow Yellow Band is a significant achievement indeed.
    Well done. We are so proud of your tenacity
    and inspiration to others. Travel safely.

  • mostyn swain

    Well done. Can’t wait to see pics. Very proud.

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