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Acclimatisation is done

/ Mountain News

The morning greeted us with beautiful weather. We’ve been woken up by strong rays of sun and high temperature. I have to say we were really tired after the intense training the day before.

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

We set off towards camp III without much haste. Heavy backpacks and high temperature didn’t encourage to hurry. Dariusz and Grzegorz started earlier. I caught them up later on and we continued the hike together.

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

Our Sherpas set off much before us, around 3 AM. They fixed lines between camp III and camp IV. These people are real heroes for me. Nothing seems to impress them – they shift bulky and overloaded backpacks, work extremely hard in the toughest conditions… and they don’t say a word of complaint. None of them, never! On top of that, after each hike they go down to the base camp because they “don’t really like sleeping at high altitudes”. Amazing.

We chatted a while with the oldest Sherpa. He warned us about the crevasses, saying there are really a lot of them this season, and the skiing conditions are extremely hard.

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

The hike went on slowly. We had to be very careful. There was risk of avalanches and we all remembered the tragedy that took place right here two years ago – the collapse of large icy seracs buried tents with climbers sleeping in camp III. Glenn Plake was here, too. He managed to survive but described it as a pure miracle. A truly terrifying story…

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

The night wasn’t pleasant. There was a huge storm over Manaslu. We were really scared of intense thunders and lightning. We considered going lower but finally the storm passed.

September 19th

After a storm comes a calm… indeed! It was a beautiful day and so me and Grzegorz decided to climb up to continue the acclimatisation process. We were lacking strength and energy but managed to get quite high. I reached 7,300 m and Grzegorz stopped a bit lower to test his skis. He hadn’t been able to ski before due to his problems with health so this was his first descent on skis this season. Skiing down from 7,000 m isn’t too bad for the beginning, is it? :)

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

Grzegorz skied down to camp III and left his skis there to make the future summit attack easier. I went lower searching for the best possible route. When I was reaching camp II, I saw Spanish climbers cheering for me. They were the ones I met in the camp when waiting for my team some time ago.

I arrived at camp I together with my brother. Marcin was already there waiting for us. I was concerned with the conditions. Both me and Grzegorz searched for a safe route and it didn’t look good. I even had to put off the skis at some point. I started thinking about choosing completely different line but I knew it meant analysing the other part of the mountain in detail – with not much time left. Unfortunately the old Sherpa was right. There is not much snow in the mountains this season and it makes skiing very difficult.

September 20th

We spent the whole day in the base camp. The weather was lousy. Some spent the time reading, others slept loading their batteries for the forthcoming challenging days.

photo: Marcin Kin/andrzejbargiel.com

We’ve done some great work. In ten days we set up three camps and did proper acclimatisation. It’s been an intense time, especially the last day when we concluded the acclimatisation process.

Source: andrzejbargiel.com

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