Monday, April 30

Climbing Alone with no Oxygen

Hoseman will be climbing with a group until Advanced Base Camp (ABC) when he will leave them and climb independently with no sherpas or oxygen.  

Why are you climbing alone from ABC? 
I’m dying to get to ABC as then the umbilical cord between me and Luke’s group (see *) will be  severed. I’m free, yes, to begin the suffering on my own which is a huge challenge, but I relish it and can become entirely focused on what I have ahead of me.  I'm not solo as there will be other climbers on the mountain - we believe five other groups are ahead of us -  and will be using any fixed rope I find along the way, which is appropriate to use. Also, my load prevents me from being the first on the route after a new snow fall, so I will be using other climber's trails.

What have you taken with you?
 A fair amount! Six barrels which weigh approximately 70kg. I need to establish four 

camps above ABC - Depot, Camp I at around 6 400m, Camp II at 7 000m and  Camp III at 7 500m. 
I'm not climbing alpine style ie once  acclimatised at ABC,  I go all the way up, but I'm rather making camps along  the way which is slower, but gives me more security and safety.  Therefore, I've got with me four tents, four sleeping bags, four stoves, gas, mountain food, and climbing gear. Yes I'm going to be a yak and carry it up the mountain over the next couple of weeks. Once all camps are established, I will go back to ABC for a bit of a rest before going back hopefully all the way to the summit (ideally in a good weather window when the jet stream lifts so that the wind stops)!

What are the weather conditions like at the moment?
It's blowing a gale, so there is no chance of anyone summiting at present, though that is 
mainly due to the wind-chill factor. There has also been a fair amount of

snow, so the going will be tough.

Why are you not taking oxygen? 
The effect of using oxygen is to reduce the altitude. I feel if one is using it, why not just climb a lower mountain? I also feel that it is only really necessary above 8000m, one of the reasons 8000m is called the death zone. I'm not taking sherpas either, for similar reasons.  It's possible that I may not be able to get to 8000m as it may be too difficult - but I need to try, so at least I will know. 

*Luke Smithwick's company Gya Ba organises expeditions in the Himalayas. Mark is using the group up to ABC for infrastructure support such as visas, permits and organising yaks.   



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.