In our last update, we reported how Saray had made it to Base Camp and had attended the famous puja ceremony. Since then, a lot has been happening as Saray and her team prepare for the defining moment of the expedition—Everest’s summit. Here at Vaimo, we’re incredibly proud to be sponsoring Saray as she attempts to scale Mount Everest and transform the lives and aspirations of young people in the process.
Key to Saray’s final preparations are what as known as ‘rotations’. These involve climbing successively higher up the mountain over time to let the body adjust to the increased altitude, reduced air pressure and oxygen deficit before the final push. It’s a delicate balancing act, though, in going higher to support acclimatisation but without putting too much stress on the body which could lead to illness.
As part of her rotations over the last week, Saray made her way up to Camp 2 (6424 metres) before progressing to Lhotse Face—both of which have served up their own sets of unique obstacles. Due to its positioning, Camp 2 see-saws between shadow and freezing temperatures and clear piercing sunshine. And this year the Lhotse Face is composed of pure, blue ice making conditions particularly treacherous.
After these ascents, Saray trekked back ‘home’ to Base Camp where she is currently positioned. Here, she’ll have the opportunity to rest, shower and wash clothes. But equally important is incorporating some form of active rest whilst waiting for the moment of truth.
Known as ‘weather windows’, Saray now faces what can be the most mentally draining period as she waits on the correct weather conditions for the summit climb. Throughout the year, Everest sees regular winds of over 150 km/h, but this point in the year, as well as September, offer pockets where these die down. Teams will now be looking at the winds (which need to be 20 km/h or less) and snowfall over roughly the 5 days the climb will take in planning their decision.
Currently, winds are looking stronger than this threshold, so Saray and her team will remain at Base Camp until they have the green light to proceed. And then, it will be time for Saray to conquer the summit and write her name into the history books.
You can do this, Saray!!
Would you like to support Saray’s efforts as she looks to transform the educational landscape in South Africa? Then remember that you can donate to her causes here! And for the latest updates, stay tuned to Saray’s Garmin.