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  American Autumn Shishapangma Expedition 2005: Team convergence


 

Val's post: 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.

 

As often 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 cake.

 

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 some.

 

For now, 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!

 

-Val

 

Eric's comments: OK, that was way too upbeat. Going up the snowslope, it goes like this:       [breathe]

   

    [step]

   

repeat 10,000 times.

 

Felt 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 today.

 

--Eric

 

Updates

 

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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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