THE CLIMB- Filling in the Gaps (6th October) Camp 1

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Day 6- 6th October

 

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We headed up to Camp 1 (C1) (5,600m), this time with our packs. Frank and Lao Qiao led the way. We had a few opportunities to leave behind some of our belongings at Xining and Carl’s place (Qinghai Lake, west of Xining), along the way, but we now needed no motivation to purge our belongings even more rigorously, leaving unnecessary items at Base Camp (BC)- now that we had had a taste of what was to come. Even an extra pack of medicine, or bandaids was weight we didn’t want to carry!

 

We plodded along up the slopes of scree (accumulation of rock fragments at the base of mountains), having only the energy to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.

We crossed a winding, frozen river several times. For me, this brought up visions of those movies where people fall through the ice into freezing waters, as soon as they step onto it, and then get trapped under the ice. I’m sure the river wasn’t that deep & scary as my over-active imagination, but nevertheless, having wet feet and clothes opens the way for frostbite or hypothermia.

I always tested the ice to see if it was solid before committing, but once, on a deeper crossing, as soon as I committed my full body weight, the ice cracked. I was so scared that I ran across the river so fast I didn’t even see how deep the crack was. It could have been tiny! 

 

Our team had different walking styles, which I observed during our training back in Sydney. For some, they liked to pick up the pace for a while, and then stop for breaks, then continue at that pace. For me, I was like the tortoise instead of the hare. If I had to stop, then I was walking too fast. That was the rule for most of the time, the rest of the time, it was Julia’s (team member) suggestion- our prime minister’s favourite catch cry, “moving forward…moving forward…”!

 

I remember one time, Julia and I saw a figure in red, in the distance, climbing ahead of our team. I counted all of us, and remember asking Julia who that was. We didn’t know the significance of this then.

 

As a team we decided to make camp at 5,300m instead of the official Camp 1 (C1) (5,600m), as we were getting tired and may arrive at C1 too late in the day to comfortably set up camp.  

We set up our tents on what we remembered as relatively flat ground. Carl was very attentive to our needs and cooked some dinner (Norwegian cup-a-soup, Yak jerky, and apples) for our tent (Julia, Sheena, and I shared with Carl- 4 people in a 3-person tent- squishy, but we needed the warmth!). Frank shared a tent with Philip and Lao Qiao (Philip’s friend). He said that wasn’t terribly spacious either!

We would love to hear from you, leave us a comment (after the photos)- you don’t have to start an account or anything…. 

 

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. Thank you so much. You have all had an amazing journey, and am so enjoying reading your blogs and seeing the photos – its exciting reading from day to day – I can’t wait for the next one.
    What an amazing vision and achievement, and the courage you shown to make the hard decisions.
    So looking forward to reading the rest and hoping you can have another fundraiser to talk about the trip and show your wonderful pics.

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