On Monday April 11th, we pushed from basecamp to high camp on Mt. Lobuche which is on a wide shelf at about 17,500ft - a trek of about 5-6 hours. We set up camp and cooked dinner "Back Country Pantry" astronaut food that theoretically you just add hotwater too - this was arguably the worst high camp food I have ever tasted. To put the taste in perspective I resorted to baby food at high camp in South America and actually enjoyed it. with only 3 mouth fulls fulls of this however John and I were reaching our power goos and power bars and then attempted to sleep until 2:30am to begin climbing.
Adorned with our our head lamps, mountaineering axes and 1 litre of water each we were started for the just over 20,000ft summit by 3:00am - it was very cold and clear. Difficult cruxy moves before the crampon point required me linking my ice axe with John's - a confidence building mountaineering move that nearly as respected in mountaineering circles as the Alpine knee. Upon reaching crampon point (18,500ft) we also roped up. At about 19,00ft the crux of the climb began - about a 2,000ft stretch of 50 degree blue ice that we pitched out. the consequence of a fall would bee 3,000ft free fall into the village of Labouche to the East. We summitted at about 7:30am and then downclimbed back to high camp and then back to lobuche. This was a real mountaineering treat as the larger teams from Everest will fix ropes on Mt. lobuche - climbing this without the fixed ropes or crowds was a lot of fun and real mountaineering.
John and I are having a great time and have plans for great photos and video over the next few days while we wait for Puja so we can start out to Camp 2. Feeling great acclimating well to date - enjoy the pics.