29 October 2013 -
Namaste from a snowy basecamp!
This is SummitClimb's Ama Dablam team member Sarabjit "Saz" Bhooee writing to
you from 4450 metre/14,600 foot high Mingbo Lodge at Ama Dablam base camp.
We have returned from the infamous camp 2 (6050m/19,800 ft) in perfect
conditions - using safety lines and jumarring up fixed ropes at the 'crux'
yellow tower - about 15m/50 ft of vertical granite. Being at 6000m/19,700 ft
makes it a little strenuous! The camp 2 is as 'airy' as can be imagined,
perched on a ledge with huge exposure in either direction, with only space for
a handful of tents. It's unreal!
The team has slept 2 nights at camp 1 (5800m/19,000 ft) to help acclimatise to
the forever thinning air. Purbha (our cook at camp 1) has been keeping us well
fed and watered away from basecamp, supported by Tenji and Jangbu. These guys
never stop working - they carry heavy loads of tents and cooking equipment
around the mountain, and are always smiling and ready to help us when needed.
The route to the summit is not fully fixed at the moment - camp 3 upwards is
currently unclimbed this season. Our climbing sherpa Tenji has made
arrangements with different teams on the mountain to combine equipment, rope
and manpower and will hopefully be making a bid to fix the lines to the summit
in a few days - they are waiting for the weather to improve for safety.
So we are currently having a few days of rest before our summit
push...exciting times. We are hanging out, reading, resting, playing cards,
drinking copious amounts of tea and eating some of the tastiest food in the
valley prepared by Nima, the lady who runs the basecamp lodge. It's hard to
leave this place for the higher camps.
Hope the next update wont be from email but rather will be from the summit via
Nepal Mobile Telephone!
Tawoche seen from Ama Dablam
basecamp. Photo James Barritt.
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