May 2, 1999
Hi, this is Pete Athans. Its the 2nd of May in the afternoon. Im giving you a quick buzz here from 23,700 feet (7,230 meters) up on the Lhotse Face. Its been an interesting day just on a meteorological level. The clouds have been kind of passing in and out of here. Weve been getting a little bit of precipitationno more than two inches or so, and weve been steadily watching the wind very high up, above 26,000 feet (7,930 meters).
The good news with the increased precipitation is that the route is actually filling in a little bit. Its getting a little snow underfoot which actually makes our job of climbing quite a bit easier. But looking out to the north, through the diaphanous clouds, we see the Southwest Face which is certainly looming large above us, but not nearly as much as it was down in Camp II.
The winds as I mentioned earlier have been dropping off, and its our intention from this point to go up to the South Col tomorrow, and then begin our climb by roughly midnight. We hope to be on the summit on the 4th, so please stay tuned and climb with us.
Im hoping that were going to be able to go to the [South] Col early tomorrow and redrill a couple of our GPS stations, one of which I drilled in 1994. Were going to be doing a retrofit of that, and also putting up the weather probe for MIT and The Weather Channel. So it should be a pretty exciting day, and were hoping to actually get some data downloaded telemetrically to Dave Mencin in Base Camp.
But at the moment, were kind of basking inside of our tents. We have these small North Face mountain tents here that are just perfect for Camp III, and were taking it easy this afternoon. Bill is kind of taking over the [cooking] job here and is melting some snow. As I look to the summit from the door to the other tent, I can see clouds kind of happilyI think happily. So stick with us.
Pete Athans, Expedition Leader