@benjaminribeyre on the face of Pumori. At this point in the journey, @erinsmart206 said we decided to go down. Once below the bergschrund we transitioned into our skis and decided to make the most of the morning light and the incredible location with some photos. Within one turn, I knew it was going to be a loud and painful descent back to camp. My toes were frozen, lungs felt the lack of oxygen.... and it was perhaps the worst snow I've ever skied on. But we had come this far with skis, and ski we would, even if it was just back to advanced camp.
@erinsmart206 climbing the SW face of Pumori. With my crampons secure on the 55 degree slope, it was becoming clear that the face was un-skiable, at least with our conditions. Benj looked down at me and asked 'what do you think?' I hesitated a moment, looking past my axes secure in the frozen snow, the down past my feet. 'Maybe I could ski this...' but even through the lack of oxygen, I heard the maybe float through my head, and with the deathly exposure below, I knew the maybe meant 'no.' Link in bio for the full report!
The imposing South West Face of Pumori. During their expedition @erinsmart206 and her team were hit hard by the altitude; between the headaches and dizziness there were moments throughout the day when I could no longer understand french, which created some challenges with my french speaking partners. Fortunately, After a few days of acclimation back at base camp, we had a perfect weather forecast for a summit attempt. We made the ascent back to advanced camp in half the time of our previous climb, and everyone was feeling good when we went to sleep early in the evening.
Our acclimatization schedule was fast, and when we arrived at base camp (17,717 ft) no one felt great.... after two nights we moved to our advanced camp. We did not have porters to move our technical equipment, so we had fairly heavy packs as we made our way through the loose glacial moraine... we found a good spot for our camp (19,029ft) and set up as quickly as we could so we could get horizontal. @erinsmart206. Read the full expedition report on our blog, link in bio. Photo: @benjaminribeyre.