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Author Topic: Friday 10th september, BC -ABC, 5200- 6400m  (Read 5140 times)


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Friday 10th september, BC -ABC, 5200- 6400m
« on: Sep 12 2004, 18:04 »

Long day! I wake Mark at 5.15 and we have some breakfast at 5.30 and leave
camp at 6 sharp, a long day ahead. According to our GPS's it's 16km as the
crow flies, which will mean 22-25km in real life... Add 1200m of total
ascent and leaving at 6 is quite a necessity!

The rest will leave a few hours later as they only go to IC.

We go quite fast the first 3 hours, but suddenly Mark seems to lose his
strength. After our break at 9, I walk the remaining distance to IC in one
hour. But it takes Mark almost 2 hours to get to IC and he is totally
exhausted. He smokes a lot and therefore he has trouble getting enough
oxygen in but he is also incredibly strong and normally one of the fastest
of the group, so something else must be going on. He has been quiet the last
few days and has written enormous amounts in his diaries.

He is clearly not doing well and we rest for another hour. He says he wants
to go on and we continue our way, first 50meters down, cross a small glacial
river and then up a moraine on the other side. Mark is already totally worn
out even after our rest and has to lean on his sticks or sit down every 50
meters or so.

I lead in a slow pace and slowly we continue our way along the moraine
towards Changtse mountain.

After another hour Mark wants to stop.

'I can't do this Harry.'

'We can walk slowly, Mark, no problem, it doesn't matter if we arrive late
or in the dark, we know the way.'

'No, I am to tired, I am going back to IC and will see tomorrow'.

As Mark does not carry a sleeping bag this time, I give him my down jacket,
so he can use it together with his own for a makeshift sleepingbag. There
will be 3 others in the 4 person tent and the matresses are big, so he will
be allright tonight.

We say goodbye and continue our  ways through the heavy snow. Within a few
minutes he is out of sight and I turn towards Changtse mountain.

On mountains like Everest emotions that might have been simmering for years
out of reach might surface without warning. I always tell everybody who asks
about the how of summiting that the mental part is the major one. In that
regard Everest is brutal.

I take out my Ipod and search for the melancholy section. Volume at 9 and
run towards ABC. On the way I encounter the cleaning expedition, about a
dozen yaks, fully loaded with trash from ABC. Great work, thanks  guys.

The music speeds me up, only in between songs I can hear my own heart
pounding and my heavy breathing and within 2.5 hours I am in ABC, where Marc
S and Boris have arrived an hour before.

Werner calls from IC as scheduled, they have arrived and Mark has returned
there safely as well.

Later the Sherpas and cook arrive in ABC as well, as well as 3 yaks with
goodies: Tendy has arranged a new big solar panel & a gas heater (the
Kerosene heater was terrible, to much fumes, no heat)! Great and quick work
from Iceland Trekking, now we will be able to cherge our electronics without
generator and have light all night, all solar powered.

Our ABC cook makes a nice big bowl of fries and we all go to sleep, each
with mixed emotions..

Songs of today:

- Jewel: Foolish games

- Abel: Onderweg

(yep, the melancholy section)

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