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Author Topic: May 25th: Bill Tyler: debrief about the climb part 1  (Read 8312 times)


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"I am here in Kathmandu after several long travel days on bumpy roads in the back of a bus. I am feeling great, but my feet are still numb. I had a doc look at them and no frostbite, just a squeeze that should take several weeks to clear up. I should get all the feeling back.
Last I left off I was in BC about to head to ABC to wait out the weather and other groups. We left and the hikes up through IBC went fine. I did each part in really good time and got to ABC with no issue. One thing to note is that a crevass opened up right under the dinner tent, so we had to be careful and only use one side of it! I almost fell in through the floor my first time in. Kind of funny.
At ABC we settled in to wait. I can tell you that it was hard as heck to wait while alot of folks were moving up. The weather was great and 100's of people were heading to summit.But we had to sit that out. A very wise move in the end. After 3 days we got the word that the first team was going to move up on the 15th. The mood changed to excitment and I could hardly sleep. While we were waiting we went over the oxygen system and met our sherpas. That really brought home we were on the move!
It was hard to see the first group move out. We were a team and had alway done things as a group. So to break it up was weird. It had to be done because there were not enough tents up high to accomodate us all.Plus, a large group like that going for summit is too hard to manage.
The next day, the 17th, my group headed up to the north Col. It was great to be on the move. The fixed lines were not crowded at all because most of the other groups were off the mountain already from their summit bids we waited out. So it went just fine. I made good time and was feeling quite strong. At the top of the col we hit the sack after a great meal of mashed potatos and slept on ox for the first time. I awoke feeling GREAT! I felt like I had slept in a bed! The last time I was here I did not sleep at all.
We moved to 7700m through driving snow and wind. It was actually really nice because we were in down suits which are boiling to be in. The cold kept the heat down. It also focused my attention on the ground in front of me, which helped my mind stay off the fact that the move from the Col to 7700 is a long steady uphill distance. The actual area is a snow ramp that is quite steep in places and tops out at 7500m. Then you move up on the mountain itself and the path becomes rocky with snow.
We made it to 7700m in good time again and my sherpa was in the tent with water and food ready. I was feeling pretty good and the weather cleared. The view was breathtaking. We settled in and I tried to sleep. About 1100 I realized that something was wrong with the ox because I wasnt sleeping at all. Sure enough, the flow rate was too low ( 0.5L/m) to allow for constant flowing. The regulator was pulsing and really there was no flow at all. So me and the sherpa spent about 3 hours screwing around with it and his (his was doing the same thing) and nothing worked. The only thing I could do was to increase the rate to get a flow (which meant that I would run out sooner than expected and have to dig into my reserve).
In all I got about 2hrs of sleep that night. In the morning I let Alex know about it and I was upset but what was done was done! I had enough ox to move to 8300 on that bottle but would have to use my descent bottle to rest at 8300m.
The move to 8300 was on the 19th. We got the news that the entire first team made summit, and we were pretty excited about that. On the way up we passed alot of people heading to high camp and also met our teammates as they were coming down. They we tired but jubilent.
Also, just as I got to camp, Sergay the guide was bringing down a stricken climber to rescue him. Camp 8300m is a godforsaken place. The tents are placed where ever there is suitable ground but none are flat. They are placed haphazardly. I do not like to mention this kind of thing, but to give you an idea of what is is really like, just as we entered the tent area, I asked my sherpa what a strange looking thing that had a harness on but was laying with a pad on it. He replied it was the Czech. You see a Czech climber had died in high camp and this was his body. Just outside our tent.
I spent the rest of the day resting and wachting as others arrived and tried to sleep. No good. I tried to eat also but to no avail. I felt great, it was just that my sherpa made porride (which we had every day in the morning and I was sick of it!).
We got the word that we were going to leave at midnite, and I got dressed and doublechecked my backpack and made sure that I had what I needed and I was fully prepared to go. It was kind of funny, Alex was in a tent some distance from us and he would be yelling to everyone for this and that. Like a dad yelling at his kids.
At 1145 I was out of the tent, and at midnite we started.
Stay tuned!........"
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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