Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Fifteen: April 8th, 2010

Annapurna Expedition 2010

Day Fifteen: Descent to Base Camp; Avalanche Sweeps Route

This morning, I woke up at 5:00am and lay there quite cold deciding whether to head up to Camp II or head down to Base Camp. Still undecided, I prepared breakfast and waited anxiously for the sun to finally hit the tent. It did at 8:15am. I headed out into the crisp morning air, having decided that the way back from Camp II over the crevasse field was a bit too dangerous to descend in the afternoon when the sun had warmed the delicate snow bridges (I wouldnít be able to stay the night in Camp II as I didnít have a second tent or enough food and fuel with me; I brought up everything I had in Base Camp, but until the helicopter arrives with the remainder of our gear, I will be stuck in Base Camp in wait). I packed up my things then headed over to Carlos Paunerís tent and chatted with him while he prepared to head to Camp II. He agreed with my decision to head down and reminded me that the weather forecast wasnít good for the coming days. Satisfied with my decision, I headed down to Base Camp. Back in Base Camp, I was quite disappointed to hear that the helicopter with our equipment hadnít arrived and wouldnít till the 10th at the earliest. I sat in camp chatting with a Korean-American trekker and a Sherpa about the route. We were later joined by a Singaporean member of the Korean Broadcast Team in charge of the live satellite feed and invited back to the Korean camp. There, we found a commotion and discovered that a huge avalanche had swept the route between Camp I and II, exactly where, had I gone up to Camp II, I would now be descending. Fearing that the avalanche had resulted in casualties, everyone was on high alert. We were all relieved to learn that no one had been hurt and only minor damage was done to the camps (the word is that three tents were destroyed). Miss Oh had decided to remain in Camp I for the night rather than continue up to Camp II, exhausted from last nightís festivities in Base Camp in honor of the teamís first successful live broadcast to Korea. I headed back to my base camp, thankful that I had decided to descend, had a quiet dinner alone in the mess tent, then went to bed.

Photos: Left: Nickís tent in Camp I; Right: Route to Camp II

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