April 7: start of Island Peak climb

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After a fitful night of sleep with intermittent snow flurries, 2:30 a.m. finally arrived and it was time to get up and head for the summit. We were underway by 4:00. The rock gully had fresh snow and was steep in places, so it was important to stay focused on footing and balance. The weather turned reasonably clear, and as the sun rose, we were treated to sparklingly crisp views to the south of Ama Dablam and Makalu.

At about 18,800 feet, we traversed a knife-edge ridge to the base of the summit glacier and roped up for the last stretch of the climb.

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