May 27: Today is the day that we are hoping to climb to 17,000 feet. However, when we got up, the guides had some bad news. The weather forecast for the next few days had completely changed with predictions for lots of snow all over the mountain. So, after a breakfast at 7:00am our hopes were dashed and our window for a summit attempt had closed. Because there is no chance to summit and the weather is looking bad, the decision is made to break camp and go all the way down to base camp today. We spent 2-3 hours breaking camp and packing up ALL the gear.
We started down late morning and arrived at Base Camp around 9:00pm after a 10+ hours slog through snowy conditions with lots of wind around windy corner and the polo fields. Once we hit Camp 2 and retrieved our cache, the rest of the way down to base camp was not too windy but it did snow steadily. Total distance was approx 12.25 miles. We go from Camp 3 at 14,200 feet down to 7,200 feet and then go the last half-mile up Heartbreak Hill and gain 600 feet. Total elevation loss and gain is around 7,800 feet.
We spent a couple hours setting up camp and eating before hitting the sack for the night. We were all looking forward to hopefully flying out the next morning.