One more update from basecamp before we move onto the upper mountain.  Yesterday was a bit of a team change-up, and not of the kind that we like: Bobby woke up in the morning feeling off after a night of coughing and low blood oxygen saturation.  A pre-breakfast visit to the basecamp doc confirmed what we were fearing: Bobby was in the early stages of pulmonary edema.  Altitude sickness can strike anybody at any time, and the cure is simple: descent.  So within a matter of hours Bobby was on a helicopter down to the road, covering the 15 mile trek from the trailhead to basecamp (which had taken us about twelve hours of walking on the way up) in a mere eight minutes. 

Bobby on his way out.

At this point Bobby is back in Mendoza and has been given a certificate of clear health from the local doctor, but sadly won’t be able to rejoin us on the mountain due to the team’s climbing schedule.  He is slated to return to the US at the end of the week and is hopefully enjoying beautiful Mendoza between now and then.  We miss you Bobby! 

Bobby, we miss you!

With Bobby back in the lowlands the team is now only chicas - which wasn't the intent of this particular expedition, but it sure is becoming a familiar dynamic on the heels of all-women climbs on this mountain and in Nepal over the last twelve months.  

Libby and Walker on their way to Camp I on our first carry above basecamp. 

We have great weather and are moving up to Camp I in a few hours; most of our supplies are already up there.  From here on out there’ll be very little connectivity - you’ll still be able to see where we are on the GPS, and find updates on the occasional Instagram post, but that’s it until we return in (hopefully) a little over a week.  Our summit window is January 8/9/10, with Tuesday January 9 being the ideal date - weather and acclimatization permitting.  Wish us luck!