As often happens the mountain won this time. That makes this endeavour so exciting and compelling. To return after success to re-live it or to return after dissapointment to change the odds.
It seemed yesterday that this time there will be little scope for success in achieving a line in the time frame we had and with the resources we had and remaining in ABC became counterproductive the least. This combined with an increasingly snowy weather front setting in made us decide yesterday evening to come down, initially to BC in Mulozi then last night to Rilong.
We still have some gear up on the mountain and we are arranging for that to come down in the next couple of days as well. With time left we are putting some warmth in our systems here in Rilong and as soon as all our gear reaches us will scout the area for alternative objectives, some of which include nice icefalls in Shuangqiao gou.
The Englishman we met, Rufus, was also chased down by a combination of lack of required permits and unconsolidated snow on the line he had chosen.
The "Fourth Sister" might delay this winter an ascent but there is always the promise of return.