Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Twenty-three: September 16th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Twenty-three: ABC; Preparations for Carry to Camp II

Today, after breakfast, I was shocked to find out that I have already consumed over 100 cups of coffee in base camp in the 12 days we have been here (I should also be subtracting the days that Mario and I were up on the mountain, but Iím giving myself a break). Mario and I did laundry in the early afternoon, hoping it would dry despite the high winds in base camp, then prepared lunch. Afterwards, we packed our backpacks for the carry to Camp I and II. We currently have one North Face VE25 tent in Camp I, which can accommodate three people, so we agreed that Juanito could stay in our tent with us, and his team mate and his two Sherpas would stay in their Camp I tent, saving them the need to carry another tent up to Camp I. Mario has his Mountain Hardwear EV3 tent at the deposit, which we plan to use in Camp II and I am carrying my Mountain Hardwear EV2 tent up tomorrow which will be used in Camp III. We are hoping that the winds subside up high, despite the forecast that calls for relatively high winds for the coming days. We expect to be quite cold on the way up. We saw some climbers on the route to Camp II, but are still unsure whether they actually reached Camp II. It also appears that the wind may have obliterated their tracks in the snow, meaning that by the time we reach Camp I, we may have to start all over again and break trail up to Camp II on our own (thankfully, we will be six strong this time). We are also carrying 250 meters of fixed line (and 10 snow bars and rock pitons) that we will deposit in Camp II and may use to fix the route on the dangerous traverse below the ridge between the Central and Main Summits. We are still unsure whether we will attempt the dangerous traverse or the safer, but longer, and slightly more technical IŮaki variation.

Photos: Left: Final Route to Camp I (note small dark dots at the terminus of the tracks in the snow which are the two tents in Camp I); the route to Camp II is the foreshortened snow slope on the right of the photo leading to the col ; Right: View from Camp I (Shishapangma Central Summit visible on the right pyramid)

 

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