Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Nineteen: September 12th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Nineteen: Climb to Camp I (6,400m)

Today, after waking up at 4:30am, Mario and I had a quick coffee and a few biscuits and got on our way. Carlos Paunerís team we found out at dinner last night (which they graciously invited us to) would not in fact be heading up to Camp I. They instead were going to wait till the route through the penitentes was established. We headed up toward depot camp, deciding this time to take a higher route. Just after leaving our camp, we turned up the slope, ascending a few hundred meters of rockfall, then were able to access a high plateau that eventually lead us to the deposit. It was a lot longer than the other route in terms of distance, but it lacked the constant up and down that the other route offered so plentifully. After reaching the deposit, we loaded up our packs with everything we would need to establish and sleep at Camp I. This amounted to a lot of equipment. When all was said and done, we both weighed nearly 30kg. Undeterred, we continued on through the penitentes; they were as always scorching and confusing. We were through them in just over an hour and onto the final snow slope to Camp I. This took us around four hours to overcome, the winds increasing as we ascended, and finally around 3:00pm, we reached Camp I. We were the first to stay here; Carlosís Sherpas put up a tent for his expedition then descended. The afternoon was windy, and the sun fell behind the col far too quickly for our taste. We unpacked our gear, had something to eat, then tried our best to sleep in what had somehow become a very lumpy tent platform.

Photos: Left: Camp I and the summit pyramid of Shishapangma (right side of the photo); Right: Shishapangma viewed from the Penitentes


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