We Touched Camp 1
This Dispatch is from Grace McDonalds:
On September 10th after 2 nights in Sama, we headed up to Basecamp. It's about a 4 hour unrelenting uphill hike that started out in warm sun and ended up in cool, icy rain. It seems that is the typical weather at Manaslu basecamp so we have spent the past few days getting used to where the pools of water form in our tents and where to keep more water sensitive gear. The fact of the matter is this is a wet and grey place, so one is typically cold and wet. Thankfully, once we start climbing we can climb above this weather and then may end up cursing the heat of the sun.
Our basecamp is perched high up above the others. There are 9 of us sharing a communal dining tent which is where we spend most our time. We have a gas generator we use at night for light and charging. One of the teams has a camera man with then with oodles of gear to recharge. The rest of us can get by with solar panels (which do ok despite the clouds).
We are essentially grounded in basecamp until the Puja ceremony on the 14th. The Sherpa believe it is bad luck to start climbing or setting up camps on the mountain before this ceremony and the last thing any of us wants is to encourage bad luck. But they have agreed to a day hike to Camp 1 as long as we don’t drop any gear. Waiting is a difficult task for me but has been made all the easier by a cold that has swept through camp. I thought I had gotten lucky and it missed me but it came on hard and I lost a full nights sleep yesterday but expect to make up for it tonight.
We have a great cook who has been serving up lots of tasty food and even has an oven (his specialty is baking).
We'll focus on recovery for the next couple of days, maybe do a short acclimatization hike and then, if the weather is good we hope for one long acclimatization push up the mountain to C1 then a higher camp, then tagging a high point and returning to basecamp to see if we get a shot at the summit. In practice plans on a mountain rarely go as you think so we'll see what happens.
Today we did our day hike to Camp 1. The weather wasn’t so bad and we made good time and felt pretty good. We returned to a dining tent full of croissants, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies etc. more than any of us can eat but a nice touch.
Tomorrow we will have our puja ceremony.