First nights on the mountain
Let’s rewind to September 14th when we had our puja ceremony. The weather couldn’t have more different than today. It was rainy and cloudy but the ceremony went forward regardless. With umbrellas out we stood in the rain with the lama as he prayed to the mountain for our safe passage. It was actually a nice puja despite the rain and we celebrated with some soda pop and other liquids.
On the 15th we packed up and headed to High Camp 1 at approx. 5800m. Once we got out from under the clouds and rain of basecamp, we discovered the sun hiding behind the clouds and heating up the air around us. Now it was too hot – you can’t win! Some of us have been struggling with a basecamp flu and although we all felt ok when we left, the heat brought on some serious exhaustion for some of us. Eventually we all made it into High Camp 1 and settled into our tents, while the sick rested and endured the night and the healthy took care – teamwork at its best.
It snowed throughout the night but not much accumulation but enough for a fresh coat of snow on the surrounding terrain. In the morning, the sick took it easy and slowly descended. Two of us decided to head up as high as we could for 2 – 3 hours. We hit approx., 6200 and decided it was time to head back and join the team in basecamp. As usual, the sun was not our friend and even worse, we were greeted by the cold rain as we descended back into basecamp. That afternoon we rested in our basecamp tents trying to get rid of our colds and hoping we could regain our strength to head up for more acclimatization soon.
Because it was a sunny day today some of us took advantage of a shower and all of us have been airing out our tents and drying clothes for the first time. Our two Sherpa made a quick trip up to 6800 today (our Camp 2) to drop tents and supplies for our next push. We’re planning on relaxing for the rest of the day, maybe watch an afternoon movie. We’re contemplating another rest day so everyone can feel strong for the final acclimatization push which should take us to High Camp 1 for another night and then one night at 6800m, possibly tag a high point the next day and retreat to basecamp for full rest before planning our summit attempt.