Namgya suggested that I would go for a day-hike with Kande. Kande is the last Tibetan boy left in our team He’s ~20 and from a local yak-herding tribe. He looks very traditional with long black braided hair and turquoise stones in his ears. He only speaks Tibetan so communication is a challenge.
After breakfast we crossed EBC to the far west side, walked up the glacier and then passed through a small gorge full of prayer flags into a steep valley.
Unfortunately it snowed gently but nevertheless it looked very nice.
We had to cross the icy glacier river at least twenty times hopping over snowy, frozen rocks in the fast running water (needless to say that Kande thought my initial hesitation to cross the river highly amusing). We hiked up the valley until a point where it split. In the mean time the snowing had become quite heavy with strong gusts of wind, which made us decide to turn around.
On the way down, Kande pointed at a fat bird, looking a bit like a dove, that you see rather frequently between 5300 and 6300 m. As an illustration of our communication: Kande points at the bird; I point first at the bird then at my mouth, asking “eat ??”; Kande, grin from ear to ear, points at the bird: “eat!! good!!”. Going down the weather cleared up with nice sun shine. However this didn’t last long and we are in heavy snow fall now.
Hopefully this is the front announcing some nice weather ahead since the current plan is that Kande and I climb to IC tomorrow, sleep there, and climb to ABC the day after. In ABC I hope to climb with either Dawa or Pasang to North Col the next day, sleep there and progress to Camp 2 (7700 m) for final preparation. We then return to ABC and – if the Chinese have fixed the final ropes- and the winds are low, we hope to push for the summit around May 15th.