May 4 - Back at base camp!
The team left camp 2 early (6 am) yesterday morning. My motivation for getting up early was a shower and thick air ... and cake. We are now moving efficiently through the icefall, although I still don't like being there. The route changes slightly every time, a reminder that the ice is constantly moving. By noon I'd had my shower :) What a joy to be "shower clean", instead of baby powder - wet wipe - hand sanitizer "clean".
The Madison Mountaineering team is now resting in the luxury of base camp - comfy tents, Internet, and thick air (plus cake) - and making plans to do a "drop back" to a village at a lower elevation while we wait for the route to be fixed to the summit and for a good weather window. Descending to lower elevations for a few days will allow our bodies to recover from the stress of high elevation. Our oxygen saturations and appetites will improve and in general we'll feel like rock stars while we continue to mass produce red blood cells. Then, just before the summit push, we will return to base camp, rested, recovered, and ready for the summit!