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  Mt. Everest 2005: Martin Minarik: Alone on Cho Oyu


Cho Oyu Copyright© Jason McMillan

Update 4/4/2005: It is April 4, 05 sunny and windy day in ABC under Cho Oyu. I can not believe there is still no other expedition except us. I came down yesterday evening back for rest and refreshment. Temba is cooking for me the best he knows.

On April 2, I left ABC and walked for about 3 hours on morraine covered by snow, sometimes sinking up to my knees. Sun does not have the power yet to melt the snow and I walked most of the day in my down jacket. This is new to me, I usually put this piece of clothes on above 7000m.

I found Camp 1 pretty easy, it is messy place where one can track expeditions for several years back. It is mostly ice so the groups should sharpen their tools for some serious camp digging. My little tent / bivi sack Bibler Tripod does not require too much space and I could choose the best place.

In the morning on April 3, first I had to warm up. Since it is still very, very cold, there is lots of moisture created inside the tent (same in ABC) which turns into 2 inch icycles falling freely into ones face. Sun hits Camp 1 just after 9am ( Chinese time) and I was not ready for anything before 11am. I did not have clear idea what to do but out of curiosity I wanted to look under the serac - the steep 40meter obstacle on the way to the upper part of the wall. Snow was excellent and I found myself under the serac in less than couple hours. I do not consider myself as strong ice climber so I found it pretty exciting to climb this steep part solo in altitude close to 7000m. There are many old ropes hanging but some of them look scary even just looking at them. On the top of this steep section, I found that one of the rope is still fairly new ( probably from the fall 2004), and I decided to be good enough to rappel on this one. 

I also decided it is better to come all the way to ABC then to spend another night in my tiny shelter in Camp 1. I was down by sunset.

I will probably give it 3 days and move my belongings higher. I do not want to say if I try for the top but for sure I am bringing the little flag of my home climbing club as well everything needed to survive in 8000m altitude. Only the weather and Himalayan Gods will decide....

Martin Minarik

Dispatches

 

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