The team are back in namche bazar having walked out of basecamp this morning.
It already seems a while ago that we were stood on the summit of Ama Dablam, even though only two days have passed. It worked out well in the end, and the main priority of the trip being to return safe and sound with reaching the top a secondary bonus.
Starting from Camp 2 means a long day, we set off at 2 am, topping out at 11.30 and getting back to camp 2 at 5.30 in the evening.
Technical climbing in the dark up the Grey tower led us onto the Mushroom ridge which was just as spectacular as the last time I climbed the mountain. Steve P had to turn around at this point with a bad altitude induced dizziness spell. There was no way he could continue so after some rest Lombarbu Sherpa and himself headed back down the ropes to Camp 2. A real shame for Steve and we all felt for him after he had put so much effort into getting as far as he did.
It was cold and windy as we walked across the Plateau of camp 3 and I was very glad we didn’t camp there this year, with ice debris from the hanging serac on the snow and the wind whistling across the ridge, I was thankful we were there just a few minutes, let alone a whole night.
The final snow slopes leading to the summit are very hard work, and I had to restate our strict turn around time to the team which had the benefit of renewed commitment and we were on the summit just half an hour later!
It was completely different to my last time, almost a different mountain on the summit. We were there just 15 minutes before we started abseiling down the fixed ropes back towards our camp.
I’ve got more thoughts and writing to do, but for now just to say thanks for all the messages of support and well done to ALL of the team and Sherpa’s for a safe and successful expedition.