Friday, October 5

Day 27 - 3rd October - Summit Push

Weather still clear - no clouds
A fairly uncertain mindset last night - perhaps a little negative - unlike
the usual nervous tension I get - pacing around etc...
Fully motivated this morning, got latest weather report (no major changes)
and set of for Depot camp at 9:13. Amazing how one aclimatises - been here
for a while and now time to depot camp only 1h36mins (first trip up
Change into Millet high boots at depot, pack more gas, high sleeping bag,
some food (pasta left over from last night's dinner) thermarest (Major
Hume's) etc.
Penitentes trail fine, and by now am getting very familiar with all of its
nuances - not such a hurdle any more - 28mins compared to first trip of 1h
29mins - both with loads.

One Sherpa ahead of me on the trail - therefore able to "track" his trail.
Previous trail had been wind blown, so need to look out carefully so that
one does not pop knee deep of the trail. Lower levels across the glacier are
fairly calm, but as I ascend wind does pick up.

Couple of skiers clearing the mountain dragging their loads, have to dodge
their loads (rolling tents) as they break up and scatter over the mountain.
Am a little concerned crossing the crevasses (slots) as they have been
covered up by snow - one of those things that one puts out of ones mind as
rescue is either very slow or unlikely.

As approach the crest of the climb wind again very prevalent. Have two
layers of wool gloves so fingers warmer than Friday 28th attempt. Eventually
reach hard icy crusty surface marking the top. Some more big slots to
negotiate - fingers crossed! Radio to Jamie's camp 1 which is visible a bit
higher up - Anne responds with an invite for hot milk tea! No crawling this
time, but head down into the driving wind/snow. Very happy with time -
2h35mins from Penitentes (first time 4h53mins) - So much more efficient and
again shows how amazing ones body is in adapting to the requirements of the

After a great cuppa hot Tea with Anne & Janet (who have been at camp 1
waiting for the weather window - and wind to drop), grab my gear I stored
last time, and push further to my Camp 1. Have not had any reports about it
since the last storm, so little apprehensive about what I'll find - it's
pretty critical as has all the rest of my gear in it!
But good old Terra Nova, there she is hanging on, a little snowed in, but as
strong as a brick house. Scramble in, and great to be out of the wind, even
though now still a little noisy.

Was a little concerned that the wind has so strong on the way up - ABC was
calm. Although not a completely debilitating, the wind does undermine one
both physically and mentally. Now it's a matter of hearing the next
forecast, brewing up some water and eating (something I don't do - yes Oje
got your message, and therefore will try!)

After a little organizing, as although the Terra Nova is a good size I have
a fair amount in it, I got a big surprise! I was getting snow from outside
and saw a climber approaching my tent. The trail from Jamie's camp to Camp 2
goes right past, but is was much too late to be going there. It was Lena,
who had a week ago stashed some gear in my tent. As it was late and she was
already really cold (her other warmer gear was in another tent) I said she
had better get in and stay. I had already been refused twice some shelter.
Anyway it was a really squashed, windy and cold night - this other than the
much better European food she pulled out of her bag - lovely meats and

The weather report was not looking good as the winds were looking as though
they would be increasing. Its amazing how one chases these weather windows,
and although we were trying, it was avoiding us. My views of sitting again
at camp 1 and waiting were not that favourable. I would wait until the
mornings forecast

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