Monday 11 July 2011

Finally at Base Camp

Just a short one as we've got charging issues (due to the perpetual snow storms blocking the solar energy!)


After a more tortuous walk in than expected we finally reached BC in a snow storm on Friday morning.  Upon arrival the clouds very briefly cleared giving us a view of the route and an impression of the enormous scale of the place.   The porters chanted a good luck song to us on reaching camp and did a great job of getting things in order in bleak conditions.  Ackbar told us that the porters don't normally work in such weather and the other teams were surprised to see us arrive.  We avoided a porter strike due to the tenacity of our Sirdar, Rasool.  Straight after this they pulled out their party trick of 2.5l bottles of coke.  We all broke quite easily, even at $11 per bottle (still cheaper than a Swiss alpine hut).  Given they had the inspiration to carry it up here after watching us guzzle coke in Askole we thought it only honourable to pay the asking price.  They do an incredible job carrying 30+kg up here mostly in sandals and shalwar.


The snow didn’t stop properly until this morning (Monday), but the team decided to try and get some kit up to camp 1, however knee deep snow and deeply buried lines forced a retreat at halfway.  John and Duncan stayed behind after they went down with some pretty severe vomiting on Saturday.  This coupled with a bit of AMS (due to the fairly rapid ascent to 5000m) has made for some major suffering over the last few days but they're both fixed now.  At one point, with fevers, we both had down suits on inside -40 bags and were still shivering.  This was all made better this morning to an incredible view of K2 summit straight out the tent door.


As it's the Aga Kahn's birthday today all the Balti staff across all the teams have put on a special lunch and dancing. (and listening to the continual small avalanches coming down off some of the slopes after the snowfall - none in route thankfully)


Hopefully the whole team is heading up to camp one tomorrow.  Given the weather is improving and we're still getting  BC in order, hopefully we'll be able to send some more detailed updates soon.





1 comment:

  1. Good to hear your progress guys. Tom and I are in North Wales this week for some climbing and are trying to imagine where you're up to on your trip.

    Look forward to more updates!

    Take it easy,