It was 4am. I was in the tent, watching Dave sleep on 1.5 liters/minute of
oxygen, reading his pulse-ox every half hour, just looking at my book in front
of me. Not reading it, not even lying down. Just taking in all of the
'thinking' my brain was doing. Thinking of all of the possible future paths,
how we got here, how our team was making decisions together, how I was
feeling, how people from all around the world can come together to help out
when necessary. It was a busy night.
happens on expeditions, our team was all over the place today. Dave was in
Kathmandu after hiking down to BC and taking a one-day jeep ride to Nepal.
Monty was on his way up to ABC after hauling Dave's gear to BC and taking a
rest day there. Eric and I were on our way down from Camp 1 (6360m) after
spending the night there. Bemba was resting in ABC after hauling a load up to
Camp 1 yesterday. Pratap (our sirdar who was previously in BC) was back in
Kathmandu as he was unable to successfully acclimatize. And Dorje was in camp
making us fried potatoes, epicurious curry, delectable dhal, and chocolate
Best of all
was that we were able to finally start climbing the mountain. Crampons, double
boots, ice axes, hanging stoves, big warm sleeping bags (too warm for now!),
and the big back packs all made their debut yesterday. From ABC, the hike up
to depot camp is typical of a trail covering scree, a rocky glacier, with a
few slopes of dirt to slide on and streams to cross. The fun really began as
we crossed the penitentes (aptly named). Go up 10 feet, down 8, around a
corner, jump across a stream flowing through the sculpted ice field. Now add
in blazing hot sun at 10am and a pack that is probably a little too heavy than
desired. Stop, wipe the sweat off your brow, and add sunblock. After the
penitentes, look up that really long snow slope, dotted with some climbers, a
few skiers skinning up, a few crevasses to cross, and smiling Sherpas
descending. Now climb it--in slow motion. At the top, Eric and I decide to
sleep at Camp 1 to both make the day end sooner and aid our acclimatization.
Our first foray up the mountain also caused us to adjust our climbing schedule
our team sans Dave has converged at ABC, and we are all happy to have a rest
day tomorrow: time for laundry, organization, and perhaps even some rest!
comments: OK, that was way too upbeat. Going up the snowslope, it goes like
it was 120 degrees. A lot of pain and VERY slow going. Obviously we didn't
know how far Camp 1 was, to even think we could go up and down. It was safer
staying there, as accidents mainly happen going down, when climbers are tired.
The trip back today was fairly exhausting, so all the better we came down
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