Saturday, May 5

Setback at ABC. But en Route Again.

Mark had a bit of a setback at ABC when he realised on Thursday (3rd May) that not all his equipment had arrived as too few yaks had been organised. Maybe because of the stress, or perhaps because of the cooking fumes, he had an asthma attack. The yaks had to go down the mountain again to collect the rest of the gear and arrived back on Saturday afternoon (5th May). The barrels were repacked to continue the climb with the next stop being Depot.  Two Tibetans, who were on the mountain looking for work,  helped with the load and each carried one of the two 35kg barrels up to Depot.

Before leaving for Depot on Sunday (6th May), Mark did puja, where he asked permission to the mountain gods to climb the mountain. It was full moon and it was Buddha's birthday so all good omens. They arrived at Depot having walked on rocky terrain, with the penitentes (spiked ice) lining one side of the route upwards, in perfect, windless conditions.

Two-feet penitentes

He set up camp at Depot, packing everything in the tent,  but found his matches would not light the fire to boil water and cook food due to the altitude and had to radio down to ABC for some Nepalese  matches which are more suited to the conditions. Having left Luke's group at ABC, Mark is now alone on the mountain,  with a view of the next stop, Camp I. He was due to leave for Camp I on Monday (7th May).

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