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  Everest Summiter Annabelle Bond is back!


This time we catch up with Annabelle as she tried to finish the 7 summits with a summit of Denali.

May 1: We left at 11.00am for a carry to 13,500ft. The weather has been boiling in the day and freezing at night. We headed up motorcycle hill which was heavily crevassed which I hate. We got to the top, me trying not to look into their bottomless depths. Squirrel hill was sheer blue ice and Clark our guide, whom is great, put in running belays to protect us in case we slipped and fell 2,000ft... We got to the appropriately named windy corner which was suddenly freezing cold. We finally arrived at 13,500ft and offloaded our packs which was a huge relief. There was now a white out and you could hardly see the person roped in front of you. Clark managed to somehow find the way down but he and greg fell into crevasses luckily not too far down. By the time we got back to camp there was more than a foot of snow and we had been going for 9 hours...a mere warm up for higher up the mountain! The reason I'm
Behind on my dispatches is because its either too cold to type at night or I'm just too exhausted!

May 2: We were ready to move again at 11.00am. I was even heavier than yesterday if that was conceivably possible. We were now moving up to our camp 3 at 14,200ft. It was exhausting going up motorcycle hill as clark was breaking trail with about 2 feet of new snow. Everyone at camp 2 was hanging around for someone to break trail, all the tough army guys included! {they arrived rather cooly in the Blackhawk helicopter behind me in my first dispatch picture} I was tired today but with the new snow Squirrel hill was less icy. By the time we got to our stash at 13,500ft it was starting to get cold. We had to cross two huge crevasses to reach camp 3 and it was minus 20 when we arrived. I was feeling ill from fatigue and cold and had lost contact with my fingers. As soon as the first tent was up greg and I were in it trying to keep warm. I was so tired I could hardly eat. That night temperatures were below minus 30! I sleep with everything in my sleeping bag in order for things not to freeze.

May 3: We are waking up later because of the cold. I cannot tell you what its like waking up with frost and ice all over the tent and all over your sleeping bag and anything else exposed overnight. By 11.00 am we had breakfast and were getting ready to go back to 13,500ft to pick up our stash from our carry the previous day...The weather was warm again and once more we lugged hugely heavy packs up to camp 3. This was considered a rest day! I phoned my sister Lucy in Hong Kong as she had just completed the Gobi march, a 250km race in the Gobi desert, she in the heat and me here in the cold.. I don't know what is worse!! Tomorrow we are going up the headwall a 2,000f snow and ice wall to 16,400 ft where we were going to be doing a carry. I tried not to think about climbing the headwall with a heavy pack! Another night of minus 30! I can't imagine how cold its going to be at the 17,200ft camp.

May 4: we were woken at 9am and as usual took a while to get out of the tent. I have been waking up with the puffiest eyes ever and its not a good look! We started towards the headwall and the sun was now hot. We went straight up for about an hr 45 mins until suddenly we hit blue ice. I was not that composed as I started slipping and was yelling to clark and mark on my rope team.. I even asked clark in my desperation if I could use my jumar on our rope line! They have subsequently given me a lot of grief about that comment! The fixed lines at the top of the headwall were so hard.... It was sheer blue ice and no steps so u really had to use your arms. It was exhausting getting to the top of the headwall and all our Achilles tendons were throbbing when we arrived at the top. Clarke says that in his numerous times on Denali he has never seen the headwall so difficult. I had chatted to a team from Quebec yesterday whom had said that up to 18,000ft the conditions are really tough -two huge crevasses and lots of ice.. not what I wanted to hear. We went up to 16,400ft to offload our packs and we bumped into an Italian guy who had made the summit. He looked wiped out and almost in a coma he was so tired. He is the only person to have made the summit this year. We headed back down to camp 3 and we rappelled down the fixed lines due to the blue ice. It was a little more time consuming but worth it. We had a yummy dinner of burritos {not sure about beans at altitude!} and headed to bed, another 8 hour day! Tomorrow is a real rest day which I'm so excited about.....

May 5: Another minus 30 night and a tent full of frost but we had the luxury of staying in our tents until 11.30am. We had delicious pancakes for breakfast and then I tried to phone my parents but couldn't track them down. I'm now in my tent catching up on all my dispatches and the weather is horrible outside. One team started up the headwall but came back down. If the weather is good tomorrow we are moving up to the high camp at 17,600ft with heavy packs. Judging by the weather now we could still be here! We are about to have lunch so I'm signing off for today!

From the past: Annabelle Bond Summits Everest!

or read from the start.


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