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Author Topic: Sunday 5th september ABC-fixed ropes 6400-6640m  (Read 4267 times)

Romke

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Werner, Marc, Ruby & Sander are going down today and will try to reach BC in
one go. Mark & I are going to do a carry to the start of the fixed ropes and
stay one more night in ABC.

While the rest takes off, we sort out some gear to take up: a few days of
food, a spare sleeping bag, thermos, a set of pots, a stove and a few cans
of EPI-gas to cook on.

All in all our bags are quite heavy and we take it slow. The route continues
up the moraine between Changtse mountain and the Rongbuk glacier for quite a
while longer than expected.

There is no clear trail, the glacier movements since last spring have wiped
out all camping spots as well as the trail. It's hard to imagine many
hundreds of climbers have slept here only a few months ago! Only the huge
piles of trash are a sad reminder of busier days...

We pass more Puja places and endless strings of prayer flags and find our
way across scree fields, moraine ridges and boulders. The track ends
abrubtly at a rock face about 200m vertically above ABC. Here we climb the
last 20 meters of available scree up too the glacier on the left. Stepping
up the glacier we have to be careful as the first part is nothing more than
a suspended sheet of icy snow with 2 feet of air separating it from the
scree and rock below. Not lethal, but enough to hurt your knee and shins
badly..

After 200m the snow gets harder and we get on the real glacier. It's a great
sight: in front of us the steep wall towards North Col, Everest's NE face to
the left and Changtse to the right. We are the only ones on the glacier,
quite a difference with the traffic jams in spring.



The glacier is quite flat, we do not ascend more than 60m and cross only a
few deeper but narrow crevasses before reaching the start of the fixed ropes
at 6640m, a new altitude record for Mark! We are both tired and decide to
deposit our extra gear and food here so we can pick it up when we go to the
Col.

It's less than 1.5 hours back to ABC but we both feel exhausted from both
the altitude and the hike. It will be hard work getting te stuff to North
Col...



Song  of the day: 'Just the 2 of Us', Dr Evil and MiniMe ;-)
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