Saturday, September 23

20th September - to Camp 1

Left ABC early and arrived at Depot camp feeling good. Food: decided to
take up 4 dinners, 4 breakfasts, 5 drinks for intra day and 4
teas/coffees. This would allow enough days/nights to acclimatise and to
get up to camp 2. Regarding gear, took Quasar Ultra tent, Mountain
Hardwear Ghost sleeping bag, Exped mattress, 3 gas canisters, stove,
water & P bottles, spare socks, gloves, bask high altitude suit.
I would leave my approach boots at Depot and change into the Millet
boots. Also would have/wear crampons ice Axe and leki pole.

It was extremely hot going through the penitentes. My boots felt great.
Crampons necessary to grip on the very undulating slopes of each
penitentes. Took an hour & 8 mins to get through. Route fairly easy to
follow - footprints and flags.

Now I was on the mountain! Beautiful... Mack from another team was very
helpful - verbal support. The route now moved upwards through some
crevasses. At about 6100m I decided to leave half the load. - Did not
want to get to Camp 1 too late. Stashed it with some wands so that I
could easily find it. One is faced with a typical mountain problem -
false summits - it never seems to end - even using the count down
method. I arrived at camp 1 (5h 15 including time in penitentes) and
found Jamie's tents - there are quite a few locations where tents can
physically be located. (4h14 to climb 530m) It was important to quickly
make a platform and get the tent up. A Sherpa from a nearby tent offered
me a very welcome and needed hot drink. Soon the tent was up and I was
in my sleeping bag. Big mistake was leaving the suit in the stash at
6100m. The night was fine - boiling water, eating dinner and in fact I
slept ok. During the night reheated the water for hot water bottles.

Next morning left at 8:30 to get the balance of my gear - 21 mins down
and then 2 hours back up. By now I had heard that the weather forecasts
were not good.

I decided though to stay another night at camp 1 - firstly to get more
acclimatised and secondly to do the balance of the planning. It was
becoming apparent that there were some interesting logistical challenges
to overcome.

Health wise, I was feeling stronger and stronger. The niggling pain in
my right lower chest (from coughing) and felt when coughing and
twisting, was now only a dull ache. Thumb now bending so just a sprain.
But importantly cardio vascular and legs strong. Oxygen saturation
levels were what I called average. But importantly I did not get any
headaches at 6400m.

Next blog will cover:

Eating ability;
Drinking ability;
Carrying ability;
Having the right gear in right camps;
Having food in the right camps;
Coping with the solitude;
Maintaining my motivation;

....all of this at 6400m and above...

Felt great at Camp 1

Ready to tumble?

Scene of another groups tents at Camp 1

Closer shot of Depot camp and Penitentes

How is this for a view (out of your tent). This is Camp 1 (6400m) and view back down showing Depot and ABC camps

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