Monday, April 19

Day 6 – ABC – Puja & Depot Camp

Windy but clear and sunny Puja carried out by Rimje (one of Kono's Sherpas). Great now that the mountain is “open”.

Rimje performing Puja

Prayer flags over Shisha summits

Hoseman in his element

With Major at the Puja

Puja group

Agenda for today is to establish Depot camp (at 5,800m & 5km from ABC) Set out with modest load at 10:00ish. Trail much dryer than both 2006/7 pre-monsoon seasons, which is good as no mud slides to contend with. I fractured my thumb previously in one of those slides. On the way up the penitentes are still as impressionable as before. Major comes up part of the trail to get closer look at them.

Lovely Penetentes

Trail next to Penetentes

Last section has changed quite a bit as one has to go quite a bit higher to avoid some icy glacier cutaway's. After about 2h45 reach final destination just next to the upper penitentes. No existing tent platforms exist so have to cut one out of sand/icy moraine. Scott & Nicole arrive to deposit first of their loads. Two other tents are visible and although route has been made through penitentes (by the Italians) no tracks are yet visible up to Camp I. I am too small a “team” to be first up, so will need to wait until other groups have at least established the trail and identified any crevasses. I might be trying to be independent but I'm not going to take unnecessary risks!

Depot tent - best of British

Flag marking Depot camp

So Depot Camp is now established (location ......) and ready for the rest of the supplies. I'm going to ask Sera if he is happy that either Ram & Kami assist me in carrying the final loads to Depot camp (they are effectively his kitchen staff). As I have mentioned previously I don't believe the mountain starts until one enters the penitentes, so happy to get assistance up to Depot. Walk back was pretty exhausting – probably due a little to altitude, but more likely due to lack of “fuel”. Must now start to consume energy drinks and eats during the day! Weather a little cold and snowy for last hour of return journey.

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