Practice Run No.3 – Tagged Camp 2

In Practice Run No.3by Steve

The Climbing is Starting to Get Interesting

Had a relatively good nights sleep at ABC last night. “Relative” being the operative word. Relative considering I was at ~5300m, in a small tent, on a thin sleeping mat with rocky/gravelly ground underneath, -18degC outside, and not much warmer inside. The joys…

Today climbed back up to C1, dropped some gear, continued on to the “Yellow Tower” just below C2 (~5900m), then dropped back down to C1 where we’ll sleep the night.

In continuing the “climb high, sleep low” principle, we had planned to tag C2 and drop back down to C1 to sleep. We got to the base of the Yellow Tower, a short, steep rock outcrop upon which C2 is perched. There we found 10 people sitting down waiting their turn to try and negotiate this final pitch in to C2. It all seemed to be bottlenecked by someone incompetent on the ropes. Considering we were just doing an acclimatisation round, there was no point in us getting mixed up in this cluster, so we turned back and returned to C1. We had achieved our acclimatisation objective.

The climbing between C1 and C2 was interesting. It required traversing this thin rocky ridgeline with shear drops off each side. It was mainly rock scrambling interspersed with short, more vertical rock climbs. There were a couple of “oh shit” moments, but nothing too severe.

Back in C1 and bunkering down for the night. Once again it is just me and my climbing Sherpa up here. The rest of the group are back down in BC. The tent sites, if you can call them that, are rocky ledges tucked in to the side of the hill, just off the ridgeline. To get space for a tent on the steep slope, the downhill side is built up with rocks piled one on top of another to form a small platform. Needless to say, it’s not the most comfortable tent site you’ve ever seen, but it is home for the night.

“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.