Dispatch 27: Heavy Snow in Camp I

Mauricio, Nick and Badia in Camp I during a brief break in the storm

Today, we woke up at 5:00am and checked conditions. As we had feared, a large amount of snow had already fallen and it began snowing again shortly after we woke up. It appeared that the forecast that called for heavy snow was correct (the forecast called for 19cm in the afternoon alone). We decided to remain in Camp I to wait out the storm, hoping that the following day wouldn’t be too windy and that we could get to Camp II taking turns breaking trail through the new snow. We eventually realized, however, that we had already been to Camp II (but not slept there yet) and that if we couldn’t make it to Camp III the following day, it would be a waste of fuel and food to climb to Camp II to sleep this cycle (as we would have to climb to Camp I, sleep, climb to Camp II, sleep, and climb to Camp III and descend the following cycle regardless of whether or not we had a night in Camp II this cycle). We made the decision in the afternoon after witnessing non-stop snowfall all day that we would descend early in the morning the following day. We wanted to get down early as there were supposed to be high winds and combined with the large accumulation of new snow, we were concerned about avalanche risk on the route to Base Camp. In the late afternoon, I ventured outside my tent to remake the tent platform and reinforce my tent anchors in preparation for the week of high winds scheduled to begin tomorrow afternoon.