26 April: Spent the day at Base camp. A lot of movement happening with teams pulling off the mountain. It felt like we were in a Fire Support Base in Vietnam with the amount of helicopter traffic. A fair amount of this was ferrying teams to Camps I and II to recover equipment.
Regretfully, our summit attempt of Everest will not be going ahead. In light of the recent tragedy and the continuing instability of the Khumbu Iceflow, all expeditions are pulling out. We had a long chat with our lead Sherpa today, Panuru Sherpa (who has summited Everest 10 times) this afternoon. He said that no Sherpas would climb this season out of respect for the 16 comrades that tragically lost their lives last week. We absolutely concur with this sentiment and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the wider Sherpa community. In the short time that we have been in country we have been shown incredible hospitality by our Sherpa crew. The climbing crews are incredibly hardy and committed to their profession.
Whilst we have decided to abandon the climb, we are nonetheless going to take the opportunity to climb a smaller peak, Lobuche (6150 metres), to the south. In preparation for this we spent the afternoon honing our ice-climbing, jumaring (ascending) and abseiling skills.
We will continue to send a daily blog for the next two days before we head back to Kathmandu and fly home on the 1st May.
As a closing comment, our deepest sympathise go out to those magnificent Sherpas who lost their lives and their respective families.