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

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Seventeen: April 9th, 2009

Day Seventeen: Storm Intensifies; Avalanche Destroys Base Camp

Today, we woke up to yet another stormy day in base camp. After breakfast, we dug out our now buried tents then worked on making an awning to protect the entrance of the mess tent from filling with snow. When this was finished, Seo Sung Ho, one of my friends from the Korean team came up for a visit. We wondered whether his tents were still in Camp II and worried the ones in Camp I might have collapsed under the weight of all the new snow that had fallen this week. His weather forecast calls for the storm to stop tomorrow at 6am, but neither of us was too sure it was correct. The snow was falling so fast that ten minutes after digging out our tents, they would be buried again. We parted ways for lunch then I returned to my tent to finish my book (Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson; I highly recommend the book!). I started the book last night; at this rate, Iíll be out of reading material tomorrow! After some time in the tent, we were called for dinner. As we were finishing up, we heard yelling from down the slope from our camp. At first we assumed that it was the Korean Sherpas yelling up to our staff. But when it continued, I went outside to check it out. I saw three head lamps approaching in the storm. They were French and they told us that a huge wind blast from an avalanche had blown away their kitchen and broken their mess tent, They felt that the valley where they were camped was unsafe so we offered to let them stay with us in our camp (up the ridge from their camp so better sheltered from avalanches). The wind blast they were referring to had nearly blown away our kitchen tent and had blown our shower tent down the valley. Others from their camp arrived so they stowed their packs in our kitchen and slept in various memberís tents. I dug out my tent right before bed and hoped the storm would subside by morning.

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