Our day started 6:00am had bagels with grilled cheese, and oat meal long day ahead I had to load up. Right after breakfast we took down the camp and packed the gear left in our backpacks and sledges. We had about 25kgs or a bit more when we left camp 1, 2,300m above sea level at 8:30am. The sun was still behind the mountain which means it was a bit cold below zero by the first beak an hour later the sun came up so as the heat. We were in a valley of ice, surrounding us. Just like a microwave. By the time we reached the cache point 2,800m it was HOT. About 30 degrees plus now we are picking up the rest of our gear and will head up.
Our sleds and backpack are at 50kgs as we climb and pull. Imagine climbing with a heavy weight and a sledge pulling you back the whole time. Right after the cache point it was a long endless path that you can’t see the end. Another two hours we had a break under the last stretch. I’ve never sweated so much in a mountain heavy loads plus the sun.
Our last stretch is a 400m incline and only incline. I was thinking this will be very hard and I have no idea how to do it. Especially with the sun shining. As I made my way up suddenly the weather flipped it started snowing and it became a whiteout. A white out is when it snows and you all you see is white, we had visibility of only 20m. I’m not sure if this helped us or not. Because of the whiteout I had no idea where camp 2 was so I was just walking blind, following the rope. One foot in front of the other head down and my mind just blank thinking of the weight I’m carrying and what will I write on my blog today.
One thing that helped us is the snow, the 400m wall would have been impossible if the sun was up, even it was snowing I had only once base layer on and was still sweating. I lost a lot of fluids today and drank over 4liters of water.
As I reached the top of the wall, I saw a guy going down, so I asked him “how far is camp?” He said “your there, just around the corner”. Suddenly I got my energy back and got excited.The thing is at altitude 200m is another 30minutes. So it took me another 30min to reach camp 2 with an altitude of 3,500m at 6:00pm. Guess what happens when we reach camp? we have to set up camp, tents, sort out the gear and food put up the kitchen tent that’s even before we boil snow for water.
After all that we crashed, I took an hour nap before I had dinner. We had a heavy carry today, but it made us save a day. All are extremely tired today, especially Raed. He had back pain prior to the climb and it got a bit worse with the heavy load. After some rest at camp he got back to normal.
Respect to Suzanne, she carried as much as us while she is much lighter than us, she attempted Denali before and said that she never carried this much in her previous climbs. They used to cache low and go down the next day to get it.
My personal opinion I’d rather do the work and stay here rather than go back again. Once you do the work you forget how hard it was.
My tent mate Masoud, was also soaked it was really hot. Being Masoud he said that is was easy until he crashed next to me and slept for a few hours. Then he admired that it was a tough one.
One thing I’m happy about today, is the day I changed my clothes and socks. Been 5 days and reached there limit, that’s for everything other than my pants as I only have one pair for the climb. So had a body wipe and change of clothes and I forgot how hard the day was.
For dinner we had tortillas, that with داقوس couldn’t be any better. Made sure that I keep drinking as I lost a lot of fluids today and have to recover fast.
Now snuggled in my sleeping bag getting ready to sleep, after an amazing day.Read More