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  American Autumn Shishapangma Expedition 2005: Down (and Out?) from C1


 

Hi guys: I returned yesterday from C1. Going up the day before (9/25) was pretty horrible. I ascended alone. Two hours to the moraine, then wasted a full hour looking for the cache that wasn't there. Finally found it in another place, and got on my Koflachs, headed through the penitentes, and stood below the low-angle face.

The low face was mellow, but the higher I went go the worse the weather was. In a 30-50 mph wind, blowing snow, up the huge face, I was nearly alone. No worries of falling, just an incredible drag of energy. Curiously, the timing was good, as I did it this time with a heavier pack in the same time, and solo. I had to break trail for most of the face.

Val and Monty were there at C1 in Monty's huge tent, and said "yay, you made it!" which felt great. We sat and chatted for awhile, then I went to the other tent of ours - nice! A tent to myself. Unfortunately as the day wore on, the weather worsened, and it remained very windy with blowing snow. C1 is on a huge plain, there are no snow walls, so the tents are at the winds' mercy.

That night was pretty horrible. I was not hungry, so I ate only a cup of soup and a hot chocolate and some water, then went to bed. Since the snow was still blowing madly, and my tent was situated in a bad position, it was necessary for me to get up and shovel out the vestibule. For those of you not experienced in this, the vestibule protects the tent from the winds, but also has a zip-open panel acting as a door. If this gets plugged with snow - no air in the tent.

The snow just kept building and building. I had to do the routine of getting up, get dressed, and shovel around the tent, three times throughout the night. Needless to say I got hardly any sleep after a long day.

The next morning, breakfast that next morning was two packs of oatmeal with nuts and cranberries, apple cider and tea.

Monty and Val left at near noon in this raging windstorm. They were truly small specks against the second big wall going up to C2. I just relaxed, got up again to shovel.

After not long, another climber who I had come to know, yelled "hey, my Sherpa is going down, you wanna go with him?" I was not sure, then he added "you really look bad, man. If I was you I would go down and rest." So I did. The Sherpa clearly wanted to get the hell outta there, pointing several times to the big looming clouds sitting on the pass and starting to pour over them. I nearly ran myself breathless getting what gear I would need jammed into a pack, then finally headed down the slope. About 100m down, realized I had no crampons. Back up to get them, then nearly ran down, jump-crossing several small crevasses. The Sherpa waited for me to get through the penitentes. Even though we have been through them numerous times, it is a maze and I would really hate to get lost in there.

The final moraine stretch, which usually takes about two hours, took 3.3. I was wasted. Dropping my pack at the bright-blue dining tent, Dorje appeared. He looked a little puzzled, but

Today  (9/26) is a rest day for Val and Monty at C2, and Bemba (starting from ABC) will be taking a final load to C3 for the summit push.

COMPLICATIONS

Now you may be wondering why I was a day behind. All along I have been developing a respiratory condition that I tend to get and usually do my best to ignore, but has been slowly worsening. I was foolish and thought only one rest day in ABC would help. Clearly not enough time. This condition will probably severely limit any further attempts on the mountain for me.

That's OK, I have already fulfilled some of my personal objectives. In the meantime I have the excellent care of our always-smiling camp cook Dorje. We will see what happens next.

--Eric

Updates

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

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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