Monday, January 28, 2013

UPDATED! Working toward a summit window - Jan 28, 2013

Afternoon Post January 28, 2013:  We spoke with Jared briefly this afternoon.  He and Ted made it to C3 (19,600') and were able to set up a secure camp.  The wind was pretty steady and Jared estimated it to be around 30 mph, which is about as much as you want to deal with up there.  They plan to get up early and make a go of it and feel pretty good about things.

Jared mentioned that there was a decent amount of new snow and that in places it had drifted to about 24 inches.  This is itself is not a deal breaker, but they will want to keep an eye on that as well.  Who knows?  Hopefully the winds will mellow out as forecasted and they will get in a summit bid.  The bottom line is always keeping things safe, but they have done a good job to put themselves in position without taking too much risk.  Keep up the good work boys.

No word yet from Juila, but she is in good hands with Grajales' staff and they have solid communications.  It should be a pretty nice down valley hike.  I will post any details as I have them.

Morning Post Jan 28, 2013: We figured we should put up a short update to give those following from home an idea of how a summit bid comes together.  Jared and Ted woke up at 18,200' this morning and Julia woke up at Plaza Argentina.  The plan, weather aside, was for Jared & Ted to bump their entire camp up to C3 (19,600') to get into position for a summit attempt on Tuesday and for Julia to hike down valley with an Argentine guide to the first camp of the trip.

We have everyone check in each evening at the end of the days activities and touch base by satellite phone.  In the morning here (their afternoon) we send them an updated weather forecast via text message on the satellite phone.  We can then game plan a bit each evening and get an update on how everyone is doing.

As the actual guide on the mountain the main thing that you want to know about is the wind speed and direction as that has the greatest bearing on how well you will be able to move about.  Next in order of importance would be amount of precipitation and of course temperature.

Right now the forecast models are showing a small, but decent summit window starting Tuesday morning and lasting throughout the day.  The problem with this is that the forecast for today continues to have high wind and some snow.  In order to break down camp, hike up, and set up a new camp, they need a bit of a break in the weather.  On the other hand, in order to use this window on Tuesday, they need to have a camp setup at the bottom of the route so that they can jump on it when the wind slows down.

Right now the wind for Wednesday is forecasted to climb (actually beginning Tuesday evening) to a point that would likely make it too difficult to climb.  So.....we will see how today goes.  If they can get up and get in camp 3 they should have a good chance tomorrow.  If they can't move about due to weather, then they will still likely try to put in Camp 3 and simply hope the forecast changes.  There is a certain element of luck in all of this, but the key is to make really conservative decisions.

Keep your fingers crossed.  We will post new information as we have it.

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