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  SKi8000 expedition 2004: Update 5


Update 5: We are now in Intermediate Camp at 5350 m. We are having 2 problems: non-cooperating yaks and mountain sickness. It is unclear when we will reach basecamp (about 4 hours climbing from here).

 

Sunday morning our Chinese Liaison officer lets us reweigh all the loads, in the presence of the yak drivers. The final count shows 1784 KG. According to a recent rule a yak may only carry 40 KG when carrying expedition loads. In theory we thus need 44 yaks to carry everything up to basecamp instead of the 12 yaks we have now.

 

But everything is negotiable... Instead of loading the yaks, we find ourselves in the army tent of our Chinese friend drinking tea while bargaining. Our strategy (playing the poor student) finally works, but at a price. We agree that the 12 yaks and 4 yak drivers will do 2 carries to deliver everything to basecamp for an additional fee, leaving a significant gap in our expedition budget.

 

Due to the yak issues, we don't leave until 2 PM. Everybody carries heavy loads and we reach Interum Camp by 7 PM. Everybody is exhausted.

 

This morning, our sherpa Ang Pemba appears in the kitchen tent with a swollen face. A clear indication of mountain sickness. Herman examines Ang and concludes that going further up is not responsible. We have to stay one extra day in Intermediate Camp. We consider our options and decide to ask the yak drivers to go down today and carry the remaining loads to Interim Camp. Apparently, yak drivers don't like to change plans... after long discussions they agree to go down, but 2 "sick" yaks stay here.

At the moment, 10 yaks are hopefully carrying our remaining equipment to here. We are not sure if they can carry everything, without their 2 sick colleagues. Pasang went down with the yaks, to keep an eye on the situation and to keep us informed by radio. But the radio is silent since a few hours (probably empty battery).

 


In the meantime Ang Pemba's condition is improving. It seems like everybody will be able to climb further tomorrow. We just have to wait if and when the yaks will deliver.

While I am writing this, a very strong wind has developed, blowing away one tent 50 m. After inspection it's luckily only partly damaged. We'll keep you posted on our situation.

 

copyright SKi8000 Expedition

 

Dispatches

 
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Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.






 

 

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