|A Vertical Stroll up the Lhotse Face to Camp 3! Following Jang Bu's Lead|
Hello from Pheriche! 4200m….I can breathe!!! :)
Amazing just two days ago I was at Camp 3 over 7000m or 24,000 feet. I spent 4 sleepless nights at Camp 2 (21,300 feet), and then took a little vertical stroll to visit Camp 3 at about 24,000 feet. So this completes my second rotation on the mountain and the next time I go up it will be for the real deal…our summit push! That won’t be till after the 15th most likely so hang tight!
This climb and journey is a spiritual one for me, and one of self-growth and awareness. If I had to summarize feelings and emotions pre-climb and now during climb, it would be through the Coldplay song, Paradise…. http://youtu.be/J6ZWlDks0nQ . Sometimes it’s easier to relate things through other means than words.
Our Second Push to Camp 2
Well there is a reason why you basically climb this mountain 3 times….your little body gets used to the thinner air little by little each time. Jang Bu, Tindy, and I set off from Base Camp on May 2nd around 5 AM and made it to Camp 2 around 1 PM. The trip through the ice fall was quite peaceful and finally felt like me and the mountain, as it was really just Jang Bu and I climbing together. I let big groups go by, so I wouldn’t feel rushed and could just enjoy it. I have decided that the ice fall is like an adult jungle gym J If you can get past the part that it is a dangerous place, you can actually feel like a kid in a magical maze. We only had once close call as we were just exiting the ice fall when a small avalanche came down with mixed snow and rock very close to the route. I couldn’t really mutter any words so I just called out to Jang Bu and pointed up and his eyes got really big and he started running up the fixed rope…I tried to follow his lead, but there was no way I could run that fast at above 19,000 feet! When we finally both stopped we just looked at each other and I was totally out of breath and then we laughed. “Close one,” I said…”no more running I hope!” The stroll from Camp 1-2 was steady and uneventful, but it was getting COLD! By the time we got to Camp 2 it was snowing full on and Phuri met us at the base of Camp with some warm juice, which was AWESOME! That was a COLDDDDDDDD night and the beginning of four nights of no sleep for me :( I really struggle sleeping at Camp 2 and with not being able to take Diamox, I am afraid or hesitant to take sleeping aids at that altitude, especially with my heart beating as fast as it is. Also, when I do fall asleep, it is way deep and full of some crazy dreams, and then I wake up at times gasping for air. This is when the mind games begin, but we’ll get into that later. The good thing is that I have still had an appetite up there! I have not lost much weight, which is really good news. I will need every little bit to get me up the rest of the way! A huge thanks to the amazing Sherpas of Adventures Global, who have been keeping me well fed with some really yummy food. Phuri, the main cook at Camp 2 is seriously incredible and just 3 nights ago went from Camp 2 to the South Col (26,000 ft.) with 30 kg of rope to be fixed on the mountain, and then was back in time to cook dinner with a big huge smile like he had just taken a stroll around the block! That last night at Camp 2 was pretty special, as Ronnie and I just ate dinner in the cook tent with the Sherpas and hung out as they prepared dinner. They really are amazing people and it was nice to have that time with them and some good laughs. Also, all the cooking pots made it much warmer and so we were all nice any cozy :)