The journey from basecamp to camp2 began at 3:00am on Thursday morning. It was a cold, clear and very windy morning that we made good time through the icefall for our first cycle arriving in 4 hours to camp 1. We had decided to not stay the night at camp 1 and go straight to camp 2 because we summitted Lobuche earlier and that was intended to eliminate camp 1 stay and an additional trip throught the icefall. The slog to Camp 2 was very difficult - even though there were some challenging ladders this is just a slog at about 15 degrees ice through the Western cwm and you can see camp 2 for 2 hours before actually arriving there - the key is not to look up - which I did and it was absolutely demoralizing especially in the high winds - accidently dropped my glove at one point but a sprawling dive saved it in the high winds - that could have been bad.
Upon our arrival we had some lunch and went to work saving the tents - The jet stream had settled back over the summit and we found ourselves handing onto the tents for dear life to keep them from ripping apart at the seams. The carniage the following morning in the other camps was incredible - tents were missing and/or destroyed being ripped at the seams. Our camp being slightly lower Camp 2 was spared some of the brunt of the 151km/h winds. The sound of jet stream is like a continuous jet engine overhead.
John and I deteriated physically at Camp 2 with a loss of my appetite and I also struggled with acid reflux issues - the acid reflux combined with my high altitude cough required everything I had not to vomit on many occassions I came very close a few times. The trip down back to base camp after 4 days up high required me to endure acid relux while climbing - we still made good time. Now we will climb at basecamp level just to stay active and head back up this time to camp 3 on the 28th or 29th.
The weirdest thing I've seen was yesterday; we saw a dog just below camp 2 at just over 21,000 ft? Which begs the question how did it get there? Did it climb the ice fall? was it traversing the ladders which were up to 5 ladders wide? did someone help it? If it did climb up for sure it couldn't climb down - very sad. Things that make you go hmmmm?