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Camp 2

Camp 2

  |   7Summits, Denali   |   No comment

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.

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Camp 1

  |   7Summits   |   No comment

Wake up call at 7:00 but  I was awake since 6:00, slept at 10:00pm so I go plenty of sleep.
Today was much quicker than yesterday as everything was organized and we became more efficient packers. Loaded up the sledges and our backpacks and we headed to camp 1. We carried loads of about 50kgs and today was all up hill took us about 2 hrs to camp 1 a live where we set up our camp quickly. Camp 1 is at 2,300m above sea level and our camp consists of sleeping tents (2 in each tent) and a kitchen/dining tent.

The day just beginning for us, we then carried up    to cache half of our loads. The reason we did this is from now on its all up hill and it’s extremely hard to carry heavy weights so we break it up into two days. Where we cached (buried) stuff we will need higher up the mountain. We cached extra clothes we will be wearing higher up, food, and gear. It took us 3.5 hrs alm uphill reaching 2,800m where we buried our stuff and headed back down to camp 1 which took us another our. We reached camp 1 by 6:00m the weather is quite good clear skies and very hot in the morning with the sun up its in the 30’s but once the sun hides behind the mountains it drops below zero in seconds.

Long tiring day today, but the team is in high spirits. Looking forward for the days to come.

Here are a few pictures of our day.

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1/2 Camp

  |   7Summits   |   1 Comment

There is 24hrs Sunlight in here however when the sun hides behind the mountains the temperature drops down drastically. We woke up at 6:00am didn’t want to leave our sleeping bags it was too cold. Once I started moving I warmed up and headed over to the food tent.

After breakfast, we packed all the gear that will head up with us and buried some stuff at Basecamp. We then did some refreshing corse to go thru technical and safety procedures

At about 11:30am we headed off to half camp which is between Basecamp and camp 1. It’s at the same height so no elevation gain. The reason we did a half camp is to cut the heavy carries in half to save energy for the tougher days ahead.

I was a short day we reached by 3:00pm to set up camp and rest for the day.

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Basecamp

  |   7Summits, Denali   |   No comment

Finally they gave us the go ahead to fly at 3:30pm, suddenly the adrenaline kicked it it’s time to go. We boarded a small ski plane for an hour flight to base camp. Soon after takeoff the tall green trees disappeared and all what I can see is snow and mountains. The trip was a bit bumpy due to the air current from the mountains.

Landing in Basecamp was smooth, we are one of the first teams on the mountain. No one Summiteer this year yet.
Soon after we landed we had to set up or camp for the day. We started by carrying 750kgs worth of food and gear off the runway 200m where we set up our camp. We start by leveling the floor, as we will sleep on the floor it really helps if the ground is leveled. We then set up our tents, and then took our personal gear to our tents.
More work in side the tents, inflating the air mattress, taking out the sleeping bag etc.

It started getting cold, so I had to wear heavier layers. About 8pm we had dinner, so far dinner was amazing. As we just flew in we had bread with us so we made burgers. And I had to have my favorite hot sauce with me “دقوس”.

At about 10pm we went to our tents and crashed.
There will be long days ahead of us and we need all the rest we can get .

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Gear Check and off we go….

  |   Uncategorized   |   1 Comment

We started out day at 6am, the sun does not set here it just gets darker. Made sure I charged all my electronics and had a big breakfast. You never know how it is on the mountain.

We went to a warehouse to have our gear check and make sure we have everything we need and also not to take many things as we will end up carrying them on Denali.

Climbing gear, hand gear, foot and head gear. We then had to choose the snacks we need for the 3 weeks, which is approximately 8kgs. We had to choose wisely things we love eating. I don’t want to take a little and end up with no food or take too much and end up carrying them up and down the mountain.

We then rehearsed crevasse rescue techniques in case we fall we will have to pull our selves out. Has been a while but memory kicked in quickly.

From there we had pizza, you can never go wrong with pizza. I will miss good food from now on.

Final point is a safety brief by the Rangers and some do’s and don’t’ son Denali and we fly in a ski plane for 45min to the base of the mountain.

from now onwards it will be very difficult to update everyone, I will do my very best to have a voice blog or email regularly.

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Gear Check and off we go….

  |   Uncategorized   |   2 Comments

We started out day at 6am, the sun does not set here it just gets darker. Made sure I charged all my electronics and had a big breakfast. You never know how it is on the mountain.

We went to a warehouse to have our gear check and make sure we have everything we need and also not to take many things as we will end up carrying them on Denali.

Climbing gear, hand gear, foot and head gear. We then had to choose the snacks we need for the 3 weeks, which is approximately 8kgs. We had to choose wisely things we love eating. I don’t want to take a little and end up with no food or take too much and end up carrying them up and down the mountain.

We then rehearsed crevasse rescue techniques in case we fall we will have to pull our selves out. Has been a while but memory kicked in quickly.

From there we had pizza, you can never go wrong with pizza. I will miss good food from now on.

Final point is a safety brief by the Rangers and some do’s and don’t’ son Denali and we fly in a ski plane for 45min to the base of the mountain.

from now onwards it will be very difficult to update everyone, I will do my very best to have a voice blog or email regularly.

img_3093.jpg

img_3098.jpg

img_3100.jpg

img_3101.jpg

Read More