Tom, Scott and Eli (our International Mountain Guide) recently returned from their first rotation to Camp 2.
A series of unfortunate events meant Eli was a little longer joining the team at Base Camp than originally planned, and a decision was made to split the team into two rotations to help with the acclimatisation process.
The team had a tough couple of days climbing through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 2 (6400m), then on to the Lhotse Face (6700m), in sub-zero conditions during the night and intense heat during the day.
The conditions are treacherous and require complete concentration at all times, especially when crossing the ladders that bridge the deep crevasses in the icefall.
Every step requires precision and accuracy to ensure the crampons catch the front of the rung, whilst trying to remain focused on the ladder and not the 40 metre drop below!
Now imagine doing it with one eye closed….
Having sight in just one eye not only reduces the field of vision, but the ability to judge distances, perceive depth, and track moving objects is seriously impaired.
These are all extra issues that Scott has to contend with.
In 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 14. Whilst on tour Scott was involved in a blast, whilst raiding an IED factory, which left him blind in his right eye.
Scott wears a prosthetic eye:
“before making every decision, whether it is foot placement, hand placement or clipping on to the life-line or fixed lines, I need to be 100% certain before committing to that action.
This can be mentally exhausting, whilst already physically fatigued, because I have to process things and slow everything down, to ensure I don’t make a mistake, or mis-judge something, which could potentially be life-threatening in this extreme environment”
Quality, reliable eyewear is vital in these extreme conditions, to protect the team from dangerous UV rays and the risk of snow-blindness.
Thanks to our incredible Sponsors at Big & Tall Eyewear and Julbo the team have the best eyewear available to them.