SCS Group’s Allan Meek is continuing to make his way up Mount Everest, despite difficult climbs up cliffs of ice and having to cope with the high altitude.
At the same time, Managing Director Allan and his team received the tragic news on Sunday that Swiss climber Ueli Steck – who they met just a few weeks ago on their way up to Everest Base Camp – died while climbing close by.
Their very difficult few days began with an early start on Thursday, April 27, when they team left Base Camp in darkness to get through the Khumbu icefall.
‘It seemed to go on forever’
Allan said: “It was hard going with lots of steep climbs, pulling ourselves up on ropes on our jumars. It seemed to go on forever. It was a hard slog to Camp one.”
The next day, Friday, they made their way up to Camp two, which turned out to be extremely gruelling as Allan explained: “It wasn’t supposed to be such a hard day but I found it really hard going. It was very hot with lots more ladders and ups and downs. Camp two is better (than Camp one). Still tiny tents but a chef and mess tent so more chance to relax and play cards etc.”
On Saturday, they were able to rest and try to recover at Camp two, although they did go for a three-hour walk further up the mountain which enabled them to get a good view of the upcoming route.
The next day the team climbed higher, taking in part of the Lhotse face, which after a night of not much sleep Allan found pretty challenging: “It was very steep and seemed to go on forever. It was hard work.”
After a half-hour stop at Camp three, at 7,400m, the team began their descent.
Tragic news as Swiss climber dies on Everest
Allan and his team then heard the news about Ueli Steck, the Swiss climber who died at the age of 40 while climbing Everest and Lhotse.
Allan paid tribute to Ueli, who he met just a few weeks ago while on his way to Everest Base Camp. He said: “Ueli was climbing not far from us. We had seen him around a few times and he always seemed really happy and glad to pass the time. It’s a real shame.”
On Bank Holiday Monday, the team returned to Everest Base Camp – a very long way down according to Allan. They were each paired with a Sherpa for the descent.
Allan said: “It’s a long way down from Camp two and through the icefall and you can’t help thinking that you have to come all the way back up again! Neema was my Sherpa and he was great. We got down in about four-and-a-half hours.
“It’s nice to be back in the relative comfort of Base Camp. We’ll have a couple of days’ rest now. It’s snowing and really cold here today – it’s nice to be back in my own tent.”
Between May 6 and May 26, the team are scheduled to be preparing for their Everest summit push. The exact date of this will depend completely on weather conditions at the mountain.
Allan is part of an expedition organised by a Nepalese company called Ascent Himalayas. He has been sponsored in his quest by SCS Group and if he’s successful, he will be out flying the company flag when he returns.