Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29th, 2009 Nepal Journal Entry

09/29/2009 4:37pm (KTM)

Where do I start…? I did not sleep worth a crap. We went to bed at 6:00pm and I woke up at 9:30pm. It took quite a while to go back to sleep. I woke up at 1:30 and started getting dressed for the climb. I put my Marmot climbing pants and my gloves in my sleeping bag last night to keep them warm. I packed my gear bag and sleeping bag before we headed out. Mr. Tenzing came to my tent at 2:00am and had some oatmeal, I was not hungry but I knew I needed to put something in my belly before we headed out. Mr. Tenzing suggested we wait a little bit due to the snow coming down so hard right now. At 2:35 we left base camp, and started up section #1. Yesterday I said the three sections 1) Climb out 2) Crampon point 3) Glacial wall… I was wrong….

1.) Climb out (Not too bad! Sandy, rocky trail at about 45 degrees!)
2.) Rock fall (Maybe one of the most ridiculous things I have ever done, in the dark!)
3.) Crampon point (Due to the 70*glacier we were now on!)

The climb out was not too bad… 45* angle, sandy, rocky trails. Pretty manageable due to the fact I had tons of adrenalin running through my blood stream. We reached stage two in about an hour. This was the beginning of the rock fall, which consisted of a rock gully covered in snow and ice at about a 45 to 50 degree angle. This was from about 17,000 feet to 19,000 feet, with the wind blowing at 45 miles per hour, and complete darkness at 3:30am. We made it to the crampon point in three and a half hours. There was one section that we stopped and roped together. I did not know why at the time, but I figured it out on the way down. After we reached the crampon point, we were in full gear… Crampons, gaiters, Ice Axe, etc… We left all unnecessary gear at the crampon point, and continued up in 3 feet of fresh powder, and zero visibility. At 20,100 feet Mr. Tenzing, told me he was concerned about the visibility, and the fresh powder covering the crevasse. He told me it was up to me whether we continue up the glacial wall or summit on the ridge. I told him he was the boss, and I would do whatever he felt was safest. We hiked over a little saddle and peaked out on the ridge. I took every word of advice this man gave me! Heck… He summited Everest twice, once with a man who had no arms. We stayed up in the zone for about an hour. We took hundreds of pictures, and just enjoyed the moment. On the way down Mr. Tenzing would not let me carry my camera. He thought it would be too much of a distraction. Let me tell you about the route down. I know why we left at 2:30 in the morning. If I had seen some of the stuff going up, that we were seeing coming down, I don’t know if I could have continued, not to mention the rocks were covered with fresh snow, and ice. After a couple of hours, we came out of the clouds, and had a beautiful view of Lhotse glacier, Ama Dablam. When we could finally see base camp, I could tell my tent was already down. Diel had come back and Temba was breaking down the kitchen. We were back to base camp by 11:00 and had some soup, and biscuits (Crackers). We decided to move on back to Chhukung… I was really glad we made it back to Chhukung, but my back, and thighs, were killing me. I spent a good hour repacking my bags, and putting things in my gear bag that I know I will not use again. I am charging my laptop so I can download some pictures; I bet there are 700 to download. Tonight we will stay here in Chhukung, tomorrow we will head for Tengboche, and then Namche, then on to Lukla. We are four days out from the airport, but I would like to do it in two! As of right now our flight is scheduled for the morning of the fourth, but if we get back early maybe we can catch an earlier flight. I can’t wait to get back to Kathmandu… Hot shower, Internet, telephone, electricity. I thought about a bunch of stuff today, mainly Sherrie and the kid’s. I also thought about some inspirational people, like Dr. Walton, and the awesome things he is doing at FBH. I would love the opportunity to speak more.

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