Thursday, May 10

Day 17 - 10 May - Shishapangma Camp I - Luke's blizzard

What a day!!!!!!!!
Woke up to 20cm of snow on ground – but temp feels warm
Decide to wait half hour…
Get delivered a large bowl of Sherpa stew – same as Sherpa’s - kick start the engine

All clear, go up to Depot Camp with the Sherpa’s

Meet up with Luke’s group coming down from Camp I
Raphael gives me the kick to carry on up to Camp I

Pack the following for Camp II
-          Terra Nova Gemini tent & stakes
-          Bamboo Stakes
-          Jetboil stove
-          3 gas
-          4 food
-          Normal mountain clothing & bit of tech & medical stuff
So a relatively light load…

Sherpa’s ahead of me through Penitentes, 35 mins and I’m also through

During previous night’s radio call had asked Luke if forecast indicated any reason why I should not go up – none he replied, plus he was sending his Sherpa’s up to Camp II

As climbed higher, with Sherpa’s 100m or so above me, the weather and visibility started to deteriorate.
It was though warmish, not the very biting cold that sometimes comes down from Camp I (especially near the crest) –so I did not feel very uncomfortable
Plus I now know this route very well – I should after being here for so many years!

Eventually I was in a complete white-out, with horizontal snow blowing towards me.

Entering Luke's blizzard 

For some reason, I felt in complete control and just continued with the task in hand. There was no longer any sight of the Sherpa’s above me. The trail (Sherpa’s foot prints in the snow) was slowly starting to disappear. But I knew the direction I had to take. Every now and then, I spotted landmarks to my left and right. The crevasses on this part of the route on mainly around the crest.
This continued for approximately 200m of vertical ascent – but still felt calm and in control.
Eventually I reached the crest – marked with icy bits and ropes where other climbers have tried to secure the area for crevasses. Unfortunately not all crevasses have been secured by fixed rope, so I decided to wait a bit to see if the weather cleared. I radioed Gyalzen, who by now was in the established tents at Camp I.
After a little time, Ngima came bounding down (after popping one crevasses) and as if by a miracle the sun cleared the area we were both in.

The result of "Luke's Blizzard".


It was very surreal – especially after just fighting my way through the blizzard conditions. I followed Ngima, and soon the camp came into view. Suddenly I realised how tired I was.  It had taken me just over three hours from the Penitentes. (previously 4.5 hours), so time was great, especially considering the conditions. But perhaps that was the motivating factor and I had subconsciously reduced the number of rest periods)

Ngima coming from Camp I


Sir Ran Fiennes says that “motivation is the sum total of your life’s experiences, you are made up of your experiences since you were tiny, in fact possibly before…”

Currently I am feeling very “comfortable” while on the mountain. I have had two fantastic days, both while going up to Camp I. Perhaps my past trips to Shisha are coming together – providing me with the knowledge and motivation.

After a rest in my bombshell of a tent (as just crashed in), went to Sherpa’s tent for chat and dinner. Took my own Jetboil and food, so now sponging off them)

Very restless night. Ridiculous dreams…



Camp I next morning





1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:11 am

    nice idea.. thanks for posting..

    ReplyDelete

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

Blog Archive