Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Twenty: September 13th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Twenty: Retreat to Advanced Base Camp; Pauner Injured

Today, after a windy night in Camp I, Mario and I decided that it wouldnít serve us well to carry a heavy load up to Camp II while having to break trail all the way from Camp I to Camp II. No one else was in camp, and it seemed that all it would accomplish was to exhaust us. That said, we decided to make some hot drinks, pack up the contents of our tent, further secure the tent to the platform, and head down to Advanced Base Camp. We made good time on the descent, and were through the penitentes by 10am. We ran into Juanito and a team mate in the penitentes and asked where Carlos Pauner was. Juanito told us that the two of them had waited close to a half an hour for him, but he hadnít arrived. They decided to go on. Mario and I dropped off our crampons and ice axes at the deposit, then headed back to Advanced Base Camp, testing out the new route we had established on the way up. This way required some ascent in the beginning, but we were rewarded with a flat plane most of the way back (though everyone seems to think itís a longer route). We arrived back to ABC at 1:20pm and saw Carlos Pauner, his Sherpas and one of his team mates sitting around in a circle; Carlos was clearly injured or sick. We stopped to ask what had happened. Apparently, while ascending toward the deposit about an hour outside of ABC, a loose rock had given way and he had fallen into it, breaking at least two ribs. He was now thankfully in ABC, medicated for the pain, with a relatively healthy blood pressure (these types of trauma sometimes cause internal bleeding that can go unnoticed). Since helicopters arenít allowed in Tibet (thanks to Chinese laws), Carlosís kitchen boy had gone down to Chinese Base Camp to see if a jeep could at least try to make the journey half way to ABC. We will see what the Liaison officer can manage in terms of a rescue. Upon returning to our camp, Mario and I prepared some food, then worked on making a stone covering for our rubbish, as the birds had taken to ripping anything we put the trash in to shreds. Once this was done, we did the dishes, and I worked on cleaning up the mess tent. We had a strange amount of energy in reserve considering the work we had done today and yesterday. It bodes well for our acclimatization. Around 7:00pm, we prepared some pasta for dinner, had a Lhasa beer, then went to bed.

Photos: Left: The final route to Camp I ; Right: The Deposit (note the yellow tent on the lower right of the photo)


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