Here's the plan... Last year,
I aborted the final acclimatization trip out of the Western CWM due to khumbu
cough triggering vomiting and worsening my fight against the side effects of
This year I trained even more
by doubling my amount of exercising. I also worked hard on mental fitness,
invented some stupid mind games to survive the mental depressions, which are
likely to occur in high altitude.
Also, having been there, will
give me a big confidence boost, as I know now what to expect around BC, the
icefall and so on. Last year I crossed the icefall eight times, climbed to C1
in less than three ours, and did the trip BC-C2 in about six hours. Coming
down from BC to Namche took me 9 hours in one move.
Nevertheless, I did not
adhere to my own rules, keeping pulse as low as possible, such saving as much
as energy as possible. This strategy helped me up mountains such as Denali
or Aconcagua and made those trips a gentle pleasure - at least most of the
High altitude climbing is not
about speed records, as long as you are not a pro or blessed by sherpa genes.
Unfortunately last year was a
competition between team members from the very beginning - starting in the
staircases of Kathmandu. Although I knew better, I did join this approach,
ending up where I did not want to go at all - exhausted and frustrated.
The second rule I did not
adhere to enough, was to drink, to drink and to drink. I did not force myself
to do so during the nights prior the climbs. I was never dehydrated, but still
could have been better on this.
Diarrhea struck me hard last
year, ending up with pants down in the middle of the icefall. I found a
vaccination to be useful to cope with the pain of diarrhea, I will see whether
this works out in the end. I will have a better eye on the food situation,
hoping bird flu will have no impact on the overall situation and I will carry
a water filter to assure water quality.
This year I intend to trigger
acclimatization early by trekking early March into the Khumbu valley and end
up better adopted to the BC altitude, such enabling myself to climb more easy
and saving enough energy to survive the ultimate challenge around end of May.
Previous Update: This is to announce a new try
on Everest South in Spring 2006. While being beaten in 2005, this year comes
with another try. Again I will team up with asian trekking to get rid of all
required logistics. This time I have had improved training and was optimizing
my own logistics. I will have an early start in March 2006 for additional
training in the Khumbu area to slip better into the acclimatization process,
targeting an attempt in late May. Once again, all merchandising is
nonprofit-type, the last expedition supported a cancer related project in
Germany. Dirk Stephan
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