News is somewhat sketchy but I spoke to Scott last night (Utah time) – it was the morning of May 16 in Nepal and they were still at camp 4. They had not gone for the Summit because the predicted drop in wind had not happened. Winds were gusting at over 80km/hr which is fearsome with an ambient air temp that is already 40 below! Instead they had waited at Camp 4 (the last camp) using up their precious supply of oxygen. Scott told me that it was likely that he and Mingma would descend to camp 2 and leave their oxygen for Karina and Pemba to make a summit bid today. Meaning that Karina and Pemba are climbing as I type. This is Karina’s expedition so this was a logical outcome. Scott doesn’t mind as he’s already climbed Everest but I fear Mou Mou will be devastated. Maybe not. According to Alan Arnette’s blog, both Karina and Scott abandoned their summit attempt but I think that with today’s settled forecast – plus with Scott’s and Mingma’s 02, she will have gone for it.
Our man at Basecamp, the hugely affable Wally Berg has called me three times in the past 24 hours with updates. Bless him. His latest call at 8 this morning informed me that Scott is indeed back at camp 2. On descent Scott came across a Nepalese woman climber who was wandering confused and disoriented. She was well into pulmonary edema and Scott escorted her (with difficulty) to camp 2. The woman’s oxygen saturation was at 54% – essentially incompatible with life – and this woman would have died if Scott had not found her. Again, I haven’t spoken to Scottie and neither has Wally – so this is 3rd hand info from the BC medical team, but it would seem that Scottie has performed some heroic action high in the Himalaya.
I will update this blog as info comes in. Wally and Scott are not on the same team so it’s a tricky business. Alan Arnette is good for additional news: http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2013/05/15/everest-2013-delayedsummits-and-more/