THE CLIMB- Filling in the Gaps (1st-4th October)

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Hi everybody thanks for reading. Sorry it’s taken so long to write about our actual climb. As I mentioned in the last update, I was figuring out what and how to document about it. I’ve written a summary for this blog (with help from Sheena).

I’ll be filling in the gaps for you each day of the climb until the end of our expedition- October 8. Look out for one roughly each day until Christmas!

First of all, thank you for all our sponsors, individuals and businesses- without your generosity, these TWO mobile clinics could not become a reality.

—         

In my opinion, and from the true climbing stories I’ve read (I am definitely no expert here), there are two of the most difficult decisions a mountaineer could be faced with. On this expedition, we had to make both of them.  

—         

Day 1-4, October 1 – 4

 

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 As per our previous dispatches (please have a read if you haven’t yet), we started our expedition from Xining (capital of Qinghai), on October 1st, headed west, spending two days at Carl’s place at the famous Qinghai Lake, China’s largest inland salt lake. (Carl is our crazy Norwegian guide who has lived in Qinghai for fifteen years & speaks fluent Tibetan). We did a couple of training climbs in the mountains behind his property. Julia & Carl got to the summit of this 4,400m mountain Woo hoo! (see photos) [There are also a few photos of Carl’s place when it was snowing after the climb.]

 

 I pick up from our last climb update- October 4 in the township of Dulan, when Mic, our team member from Queensland decided to turn back for a combination of reasons, not in the least being the altitude. We’d been on the road since 1st October- SIX people, 8 days worth of food, team cooking and climbing gear, individual backpacks, AND Carl’s Siberian husky, Kiro- all packed into one four-wheel drive.

We saw Mic off on the next bus to Xining, then went on to the next town. 

Golmud (Chinese name: Ge’ermu) (2,800m) is the last town before the mountain, and major stop on the train to Lhasa. Here we met Philip (Director of LOVEQTRA, who is administering this project), and his friend, Lao Qiao, who was also joining the team. This was also where we had our last shower and proper meal in a no-star hotel room, which can be booked by the hour. We didn’t stay overnight here, just bought some more supplies and headed off westward towards the next stop.

We stopped at Xidatan ~4,000m, “the Truckstop” as Carl called it, picked a spot on the side of the highway, and camped there for the night. The only reason this place exists is to provide a rest-stop for truckies. There is a little row of small restaurants which serve the usual- variations of lamb or yak (high-altitude cattle) noodles and hot tea.

To toughen us up I guess, we ate army food that I won’t comment on here! It comes in foil packets- either rice or noodles, you add water and shake it and the chemical reaction in the section surrounding the food is supposed to heat the food and keep it warm. I chose noodles because I was a bit doubtful about how hot my food was really going to be, since it was already snowing, and at least cold noodles taste better than cold rice…. suffice to say, though, that the army food was never brought out again (not in the girls’ tent anyway!)

There was one item I enjoyed- the compressed biscuit. It was like eating a yummy, peanut butter-flavoured brick.

It was pretty cold standing around, so after we ate, we jumped into our sleeping bags and dozed off.

We’d love to hear from you, leave us a “Comment”

 

 

 

 

 

If you prefer to see all the thumbnails here (smaller version, not as good as the slideshow above!) …

    

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One Response

  1. More description with words and your inner feelings …

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