May Day today and that’s the end of Ireland’s April showers. Yeah rite.
Good nights sleep up at 7am here at ABC PORRIDGE again black tea and 2 fried eggs.
Packed up all my super high altitude expedition kit made up of Head down
Windstopper mountain hardware pelican hat that covers my ears – Wind stopper OR balaclava – Cat 4 sun glasses and cat 4 4 is highest sun glare protection from UV as at 7000+ you feel the sun is sitting on your head its so close & with it penetrating on the snow and up into your face snow blindness is only 20min away at any stage. Factor 50++++ sun and lip cream. Top and bottom heavy base layer, Mid layer top and full pro expedition windproof and bomb proof shell jacket .
Today I went for my parimo bib bomb proof trousers – never let me down. Reason I went for them as today’s climb is going to have a mixture of hot & cold periods so the parimo bottoms work really well in both conditions, breath ability and warmth at different times.
Socks – light sweat wicking socks first with my heavy expedition socks over that.
Then the most critical BOOTS full millet 8000mts plus expedition boots, these bad boys are just bomb proof, double boots where you lace on an inner foiled wrapped for warmth. Liner boot then you step into the moon boots strap them up and they come the whole way to your knees – outer space job, on to the soles of these to fit your 12 point spiked crampons which act as your grips on the ice & snow and allow you to move over steep ground securely.
HANDS another really important area and a real bag of dolly mixtures – for me I use three types in warm high sun shine a pair of thinney’s from extremities basically a thin layering skin hugging liner glove works just above freezing – no more.
Then into my HESTRA expedition glove – 15
Finally into my black diamond extreme full on expedition MIT -40 and beyond.
Today I’m carrying a heavy load , I’m putting in place & leaving up on Mt Everest in my wee tent my high altitude food, ration packs stew – rice pudding – full breakfast – curry – dried fruit, all boil in the bag stuff. Taking up my -40 below sleeping bag and mat to lay on the ice.
My full mountain hard wear one piece down filled suit, without well I just wouldn’t survive the extreme cold conditions and breath taking winds on the ridge. Other stuff we split between us Nima taking the heaviest – super Sherpa.
So left ABC 10am and took us one hour of a steady gradual climb “nothing mad but still you knew it”  to reach base of the north Coll  of mt Everest . And then I just looked up man o man it was straight up ,well that’s the way we do it “on with the climbing harness &  we clipped into the safety line using a technique of jumaring, a device allowing you to slide up the rope and the jumar has small sharp teeth in the device not allowing the rope slide back down.
Anyway it was relentless digging your crampons in to secure your feet and step after step straight up and dam all air thinking my lungs were just on the verge of exploding, I took another step – 5hours later it took and I was tested to with in a hairs breath to get to the top – it was punishing beyond words.
The drop down was lets say very steep, bout the view – spectacular. We set up high camp at 7090mts hot noodle soup a welcomed sight and no joke straight to bed exhausted.