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Author Topic: Sunday 12th september ABC 6400m  (Read 5439 times)


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Sunday 12th september ABC 6400m
« on: Sep 13 2004, 19:05 »

Sander and I leave around 09.00, fully loaded with gear and food. I am
carrying my 2nd load towards the fixed ropes, Sander is carrrying his first.
For the acclimatisation trips and summit attempt we will need about 10 days
of food up there, climbing equipment, sleeping bags and matresses etc.

It takes us almost 2 hours to get to the end of the moraine, where we rest a
bit before entering the glacier. Last night a lot of snow has fallen, most
of the TNF VE-25 tents were completely white already in the evening. The
good thing is that we can follow the sherpa's tracks on the moraine, but
once on the glacier we see the bad effect: the going is a lot tougher, all
the small holes are covered with snow and therefore invisible. But most
strikingly, the Sherpas who left an hour before us to bring more ropes to NC
and maybe fix them towards camp 2 at 7500m are moving very slow on the
headwall towards NC. These guys are incredibly strong and outrun us on every
stretch, but the moment Sander and I reach the bottom of the fixed ropes
Lakpha Sherpa is only about a 100m above us. They are climbing knee to
waistdeep through the fresh snow and have to dig out all the ropes. Sander
is very tired from the carry and does not want to go to NC today, still 440
vertical meters up.

I have some strength left and could go up to NC; but I would be too tired to
get down to ABC afterwards. As we agreed that no-one should sleep alone
above ABC the first night (as most of the altitude related diseases start
during the night and self diagnosis might be impossible) I will go down with
Sander and try again together tomorrow.

We dig up Mark T's cache, bring some food up to the fixed ropes and take the
rest of his stuff down to ABC (including 1.5kgs of sugar!).

While we head back down the beautiful glacier, the Sherpas have finally
reached the top of the fixed ropes. As the ropes are buried beneath the
fresh snow, Boka Lama has to pull hard to get it loose. Just when he is
pulling a long stretch free, all the snow covering and a large slab below
comes loose, avalanching directly towards Lakhpa, who is straight below. He
quickly unties from the rope and runs to the side, just out of reach of the

It was a close call; 2 stakes have been torn loose, but Lakhpa and the rope
are still ok.

Seems it was a good call not to climb up today.. Tomorrow the weather should
be better again, we will have to wait out the settling of the snow: either the
wind will blow the fresh snow away or it will settle to a harder layer as a
result of the solar power. Anyway, tomorrow we wil have to rest, maybe do
some more carries to the start of the fixed ropes.

Halfway back to ABC we meet Ruby and Boris who went out for an
acclimatisation walk; but we leave them and rush back to camp as a cold wind
has started and we must hurry to stay warm!

In camp we get another unfortunate surprise. Marc Streefkerk has decided his
expedition is over as well.

Although he is one of the stronger people in the team, he has had some
serious doubts before the start.

But in the end it were bacteria who got him, he has had infections in his
forehead, throat and lungs the past weeks. He started antibiotics again, has
not eaten well for quite a while and will be going down tomorrow.

This is the 2nd hard blow to the team in a short time; with both Marc/k's
gone we miss two strong guys and are down to 4 climbers which will make it
harder to plan the ascent. Not sleeping alone for instance will be harder to

Song of the day: Prince, Sometimes it snows in April.

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