Friday, April 30

Day 17 Camp I to Camp II

Good sleep, which included a 2:00am Camomile & Lavender tea – fabulous
Hive of activity as German, US & Spanish groups alos going up to Camp II.
Route full of crevasses – ot so good. At one stage while I'm prodding and procrastinating, Spanish 3 let me hook onto their rope while they hold it firm. Thank you!

Busy Mountain!

Further up some old fix rope just leaves one in the middle of new crevasses- not much fun.
By now I'm utterly exhausted. Having plenty of stops as well as down to 5 steps rest...but makes no difference. At last the views are new when looking down. Weather staying relatively stable so thats a blessing.

Looking upwards

Nearing the ridge line
Think of my Lances – they know the feeling, they carry on...Oh boy – quitting lasts forever...Somehow, and I really don't know how, start to see signs of what looks like the crest...I'm miles behind everybody at this stage. Obviously my body is not ready for two days on the trot at this altitude.


Scott and Nicole appear through the wind driven snow after having just dropped off a load at Camp II location. They encourage me to continue the couple of minutes further...
I stop at the first tent I find (later found out that it's Kono's). Now to find some energy to put up the Gemini.

Arrival at Camp II

Wind just manageable – rush the platform and ram some bamboo stakes in to hold it fast. Climb in with all gear - Break my rule of not sleeping during the day – no choice, just pass out. Never in the field of human endeavour has Hoseman been so stuffed...

6hours 7 mins,max heart rate 138, average heart rate 117 – interestingly how low HR was, must be showing although was ridiculously low in comparison to any other sporting event I would normally do, other factors playing their part (altitude) and the reason why I had absolutely nothing in me...

So here I am- new altitude record for me – approximately 6,800m. But no time to celebrate have to:
(Point A) Squat, scrape snow, warm hands, fill jetboil, change legs, scrape, fill, watch, check, repeat...
Eventually get some boiling water – coffee, hot water bottles then for food. I am eating which is good, not enough liquids though even though getting Major's text's “shouting” at me to do so.

Wake up 2:00ish – tent a real mess now – freezing and full of falling frost. Find the head torch – Gromit sitting there with raised eyebrows wondering what this is all about. Go back to Point A above, repeat for coffee and hot water bottle. Sometimes the “P” bottle can be used as an interim warming measure for hands. Sleep then wake up 6:00ish.

So achieved in carrying all my gear unaided to Camp II and then slept well without any altitude ailments – think even Jamie will be pleased – have come a long way from my first attempt in 2006.
Now can skedaddle back to rest at ABC (in preparation for doing it all again for Camp III) – Gromit now shaking his head!

Have been departing camp around 8:15 ish – always a lot to do before this, but this time including unfreezing my contact lenses...
Thought I had lost my jetboil stove as had been battling with it during the 2:00am session – but thankfully found I had been using it as my pillow – adapt or die

GPS on the blink so can anyone Google (Earth) these Camp II coordinates and tell me (via comment) what height is returned?
N28 22 05.8
E85 45 09.5
Be interesting as actually camp is on a bucket of ice...
Another point re the impact of the altitude is that at this height the relative oxygen level is about 45% (sea level = 100%) - so quite a bit for the body to adapt too

Camp II view left

Camp II view middle

Camp II view right

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