Saturday, September 16

Carry to Depot camp

Have just finished 2 tasty fried eggs at ABC - Saturday (16th) morning.
I must say that the food on the expedition has been great (BC & ABC).

Yesterday we had our Puja, run by Dawa with Jamie, Namgyal and Sirke
playing supporting roles. Weather was clear albeit a little crisp. Great
that now the "door" to the mountain has now been opened.

I then set off with my first load - from now on I'm going to be a Yak,
which consisted of a Terra Nova Quasar tent (will stay at camp 1),
Grivel crampons, Ice Axe, all food for nights/mornings at camp 1, Millet
climbing boots and a dive bag for storage if I'm not putting the tent up.

This is where the psychology gets interesting - Jamie's team have Dawa
and Namgyl to build the camps and carry the loads - all my big talk of
doing it myself is coming "home". Still feeling positive about it though!

From ABC the walk is along an ablation valley and climbs gently to
5900m, where depot camp sits on some moraine. To the left are some
fantastic penitentes - in fact along the entire route - I would like to
do some ice climbing on them if I have time. The closer one gets to
Depot camp (Google earth N28.40328, E85.74986) the more of the route on
the mountain one sees. The route should not present too much of a
problem - unless there is a white out - but we have bamboo wands to mark
the route and I have my gps which will have the route "bread crumbed".

Now plan is to carry on being a Yak. I want to get all camp 1,2 & 3 gear
and food firstly to Depot, then camp 1, then camp 2. This I will be
doing over the next week. It will include some sleeps at the higher
camps. "Sleeps" might be the wrong word as from 6500m it is likely that
I will not be sleeping much at all - focus will then be to keep warm and
hydrated and just sit the nights out - not sure when one is meant to
sleep, perhaps when one drops back down to lower camps - we shall see.

Jamie's group are going to be spending the next 4 nights at depot, camp
1 and perhaps camp 2 - so this means NO communication from me as I can't
use his laptop. Unfortunately my Thuraya phone has stopped being able to
send emails - big pity - but I will try satellite audioblogging for any
major news.

Thanks for all the sms messages - they are great to receive, especially
when its 2:30am and I'm lying awake waiting for the sun to rise - bits
of news all help keep the brain active....

For pictures do look at Jamie's web site, although I might not feature
much, the scenery is exactly what I'm seeing. .....or follow the 8000m peaks and
look for Shishapangma dispatches from his home page....
Jamie has a new camera so the shots are fantastic.

PS Zens, welcome to London

Jetboil cruising at 5800m (Depot camp) - left my spoon and matches at ABC, hence Gromit on radio. Note spoon I made out of stove component. (Luckily Jetboil has integral lighter)

Depot camp, thanks to Clive I did not need to make a flat area for my tent

Penitentes getting some shape and size, route visible in relatively smooth section in background

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