Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Thirteen: April 5th, 2009

Day Thirteen: Rest Day in Manaslu Base Camp; Revelations

Today, after a great nightís sleep,† woke up around 7:30am to join the Italians for coffees. The morning was beautiful; crisp, cool, and clear, allowing for dramatic views of Manaslu and the route (The Japanese Route). After breakfast, I headed back to my tent, where I put together my backpack for my carry to Camp I. When all was inside, the pack weighed close to 20kgís (thatís without water or clothing, which will bring the weight up to around 25kgís). Iím planning, weather permitting, to make a carry to Camp I on April 7th, after the puja ceremony on the 6th. As I was wrapping things up, the remaining items arrived from Samagaun for our kitchen. Shortly thereafter, we were called for lunch, for the first time with our divided groups of 5 and 5. After lunch, we all got to grooming our tent platforms and further organizing our tents. The weather deteriorated again around 1:30pm, something that appeared to be a pattern here. The Koreans apparently returned from Camp II a bit earlier, so the route should be well established, assuming that it isnít too windy up there, but based on the banner clouds we saw coming off Manaslu yesterday, I wouldnít be surprised if the tracks were erased. They plan, however, to attempt to establish Camp III in the coming days if the weather is good. Tomorrow, we will have the puja ceremony then the following day, we will be free to climb above base camp. We shared an Italian dinner where I found out that three others from the group had been on Broad Peak at the same time as me in 2007. Truly a small world. After dinner, I walked out into a beautiful night, the moon lighting up the face of Manaslu with a few planets visible above. I caught my breath as I realized that since I was very young, Iíd always dreamt of climbing in the Himalayas and here I was. I donít know why itís taken eight 8000 meter expeditions for this fact to come to light but tonight for the first time, I realized that I was doing what Iíd always hoped. Choked up, I headed into my tent, optimistic for the climb ahead. I realize now that it would be wrong to be sad for the climbers who died on K2 last year. Their last night on earth was spent in the heavens, the world unfolding at their feet. They died doing what they loved after achieving the pinnacle of their climbing careers, their hearts and minds still ablaze with triumph as their spirits left this Earth. Truly an enviable way to go.

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