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  American Autumn Shishapangma Expedition 2005: Buying Fixed Line


Sunset on Shishapangma from Base Camp

 

There's been quite a few dispatches of late, as each climber gets their word in.  And now I get mine... We're in Shigatse now, and this will likely be the last internet connection; everything else is via satphone, so the dispatch frequency will drop dramatically.

 

Things are going well.  The climb was arranged through the Chinese/Tibet Mountaineering Association and the Tibet Mountain Guide School (they're the same thing). Eric mentioned our porter (Bemba, not Pemba as we initially thought) had summited Shisha and Everest. Bemba is a graduate of the school as well as C/TMA employee, so HE will be our Laiason Officer (LO).  It doesn't get better than that.  We've already discussed having him join us on summit day, having him as both a climber and porter. Afterward, current plans are that Bemba will travel to Cho Oyo Base Camp with us, arrange the yaks and deal with the Cho Oyo LO.  But depending how things work out, we may ask him to join us on CO, offering him another 8000m peak on his resume.

 

Fixed Line: Run-of-the-mill fixed line looks like nylon water-skiing rope and is very inexpensive (last year on Ama Dablam we paid $45/200m).  You can buy high quality static kernmantle rope, but that's only used for vertical sections.  We were expecting to buy our

600m of fixed line in Lhasa, and would run us $150-200 (this works out to 2Yuan/meter).  Uh, no...  there's none to be found. But Me Nema, the head of the school and C/TMA guy, offered to sell us some of their static kernmantle (top-of-the-line, and way more than we need).  For $900, or 16Yuan/m.  Uh. no... We find this out at dinnertime on our last night in Lhasa. So we beat feet into town, to the three climbing stores.  There, we can buy static kenmantle for a stunning 28-35Yuan/m - that's almost $500 for 100m! We ask our cultural guide Mima and our drive if they can take us to someplace that sells rope.  So into some narrow alleyway behind Barkhor Square we run, finding three different rope seller booths.

 

After feeling our way through dozens of ropes we find just the right fixed line.  Opening bid - 2Yuan/meter (now we're talking!).  He only has 150m on hand, and we say we want 600m.  This is probably more than he's sold all week, and in seconds a young boy sprints

away. While inspecting and measuring the rope, the boy returns with another 450m, while Val's negotiating.

 

So in the end we got it for 1Yuan/m, paying 624Yuan for 624 meters ($78) - a far cry from $900!

 

The frantic rope search, with all its ups and downs, was a kick in the pants.  It's what makes expeditions fun!

 

So tomorrow we drive to Tingri, but must leave early - "The road, it's not so good".  It'll take all day to cover the same distance we did today in four hours.

 

See you on the mountain! Monty

 

Updates

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 

 

 

 

 




 

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