DAY 9 – 3rd May 2013
Woke up in the morning & went off to the alpine rental store, Himalaya Rental to get the gear for our climb to Island Peak.
We hired boots, crampons, jummer, descender, ascender, harness, helmet and some ropes for the rest of the group.
Before lunch we proceeded to the hill behind the lodge to practice ascents and descents with our guide Lhakpa. We tried a couple of times & headed back to the hotel. Its hard work kicking into a hillside at this altitude so I wonder how we will go when we’re a full vertical kilometre higher.
We had lunch & left the lodge at around 3pm for the Island Peak Base Camp.
Island Peak is a very historic peak and has a lot of heritage which makes it a very popular climb in the Everest Region. It is the same peak that Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Norgay Tenzing climbed as a practice and acclimatization route before their attempt on climbing Mount Everest. Many climbers come here to climb this mountain as a sign of respect and to pay homage.
It was a 3 hour walk to base camp so we reached around 6pm. Bibas, our porter was already there with the tents pitched. We got into some warm clothes & packed our day packs in preparation for our summit attempt later tonight.
After a quick dinner, we went to sleep at 8.30pm.
Lhakpa woke up at 12.30am and told us Stefano was not well. He was throwing up and wouldn’t be joining us to the trek to summit.
Lhakpa suspected that Stefano was suffering from altitude sickness and advised him to stay back instead of trying to get higher up and risk deteriorating further.
Manoj and I got ready whilst tea and apple porridge was brought to us in our tent prior to leaving.
At 2am, we started our trek as soon as we got out of our tent and put on the climbing shoes we had hired that morning.
Manoj and I had no concept of how hard today was just about to get…