Monday, May 14

Day 21- 14 May - Shishapangma/Yebokangjial - Hoseman 0 - Jet Stream 1

Man alive! (Just)

Packed light, notice Jet stream impact on Shisha
Sherpa’s, Gyalzen, Ngima & Kaji about an hour ahead of me out of ABC
No problems to Depot Camp, but slight colder headwind (Isn’t Summer meant to be coming?)
Have usual rest lying in tent with feet sticking out in the sun…
Load up climbing suit, some gas & food.
Wind definitely feels colder – different source?

Through Penitentes, nice that this year am confident on downward journeys to be more adventurous and find new routes…

Penitentes. Depot in the distance.

Trail fine, but Sherpa’s steps eroded by fine headwind of spin drift

Spindrift increases as climb higher – but all manageable, albeit a bit colder (hands)
(later note: did have some first degree (minor) frostbite (frost nip) after this climb)

Three quarters way up see Sherpa’s returning… News that Luke’s group not going to Camp II…One party has snow blindness…
I should have enquired more, as actually conditions at Camp I far from ideal….my mistake!

Carry on pushing upwards into the cold spindrift wind, familiar landmarks en-route
Arrive at the crest - I will never forget that part of the entire trip – ever!

The Crest

Bleak landscape, some scattered rope, looming crevasses (even inviting, due to the ever cold strong spindrift wind)
But Camp I visible, you know you are almost home…
One of Luke’s group sees me, on arrival offers me lovely soup…

The wind is really bad, strong gusts like a freight train passing at speed…
Dive into my tent (another mistake was not to have erected my tried and tested Terra Nova Gemini single walled mountain tent (had recently bought a Mountain Hardware EV2 – which is useless in high winds as can’t cook without gassing oneself (or let all the winds spindrift in!)) Note to self, don’t change what works!

So there I am. Huddled in my small single walled tent, watching the sides buckle and the poles bend, unable to do anything other than slink deep into my sleeping bag.
Dehydrated, tired, but unable to really do anything about it…

Just another 16 hours till morning to endure….

I think in those 16 hours there was 45 seconds of calm…should have at least taken advantage and slept then!

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