First rotation completed

Sunday we set out for our 1st rotation climbing to C1, sleep there, climb to C2, sleep there, climb a bit higher to acclimatise and descend to KBC. The weather was fine and Namgya joined. However, halfway to C1 he came to tell me that he didn’t feel well and would return KBC. We reached C1 Sunday afternoon after a pretty steep climb. C1 is tiny, only our 6 tents on a spot that could hardly accommodate our tents. In any case, it would only be used for this night. It was broken down when we left for C2 Monday morning. Arien had a bad night and a strong headache that did not go with ibuprofen and decided to return to KBC. Although C2 is only a bit higher than C1, you have to pass a huge glacier breach with some technical stretches. C2 had not been set up when we arrived after just some 2 hours climbing. The camp was set up and we basically stayed in our tents as it was freezing cold. Next morning we woke up at sunrise and climbed a few hundred meters up. Vinay didn’t feel well and decided to stay at C2 and after 20 min Fane decided to go back as he thought it was too cold. Catalin joined him, so in the end Pasang was up 6350 m with just Johnny, Eli, Amit and myself. We returned to C2 and then all the way to KBC. It was pretty hard and I could feel I am not well acclimatised yet. Gyalsen took me down at a slow speed and I was quite happy to teach KBC, where Pemba Nuru was waiting for me. Last night it was celebrated that the 1st rotation was successfully completed with a nice dinner (with roasted chicken legs, the first real meat since we’re on the road) and the whiskey that Steward had given to us to celebrate. Needless to say that I let it pass. The weather turned really bad yesterday in the afternoon with thunderstorms, lots of snow and many avalanches. Today is a glorious day, but we got devastating news: firstly, Namgya’s tumour has unexpectedly grown and will receive emergency chemotherapy today. Secondly, it seems that Namgya’s brother, Pasang, with whom I summited Everest in 2016, and who is the King of Kangchenjunga (with at least half a dozen successful summits) is going to Spain (?) and will leave us. Although we have a couple of sherpas who have summited Kangchenjunga in our team, it is still a great loss.