At the request of many here’s what happened on day 45 during the Everest expedition. After completing the entire acclimatization program or what climbers call "rotations", and after a 14-day wait at base camp for the window, the moment we all had been waiting had finally come.
I was going to make my summit attempt in the next 4 days. This was it! I was getting into the most challenging and toughest part of the entire expedition. Satyabrata, my leader guide kept telling me that he was going to take me to hell and I had only one shot at it. I tried to tell myself that would be only 6 days of hell where I would go through mental and physical torture. I was so excited that the time had come; and things only got better when my friends called and wished me all the luck of the world.
Anxious & Excited
I was excited as well as nervous - what if I had left things undone? So, I emailed my children asking them to take over the torch and become my legacy and help the other kids that are still in the slums of Dhaka.
I was aware that when you venture yourself above 8000 meters you are playing with death. For those who are not mountaineers may seem to think what’s big deal - all I had to do was go from base camp all way to last camp; then leave your tent around 8pm try to summit and then return back to the tents before night. Easy isn’t it?
That night I couldn’t sleep with so many thoughts racing through my head, it was finally the day we all had been waiting for. I was not keen to go up the icefall again as this was my fourth time but I thought that this time would be different as it would be last time I was going to climb it if all went according to plan. When Sangeet the Sherpa came to my tent to tell me it was time to leave I was already ready, we had breakfast and he took me to a Puja place and prayed and asked for protection.
Satya left me with Sangeet. I didn’t want to hurry because the last time I was at camp 2, I had altitude sickness. So I took my time, but after 14 days at base camp I struggled to get back into the routine and felt I had totally lost my acclimatization since body didn’t seem to cope well. However we reached camp 1; took a huge breakfast break. It took me about 9 hours and 45 minutes to reach camp 2. I don’t think Satya was very happy with my performance however I was thrilled to reach camp 2. Later I saw more climbers arriving who had taken about 11 to 13 hours to get there.
Hungry again I ate dry instant noodles with some powder in it. I was thrilled to see many of my climber friends. Jorge and Juan had always put me under their wing. Juan used to call me Everest tourist. They briefed me with the dos and don’ts of the summit. I was feeling great but I knew deep inside I had to wait until next day to know if I would be affected by altitude sickness like the previous time. So I went to sleep and woke up I had no felt well. So went to sleep keeping my fingers crossed. I will post about day 46 later.