Today was yet another fine sunny day so we followed through on our plan & carried a load to camp 1.
We have too much gear to be able to carry everything in one go, so for at least the first two camps we will need to make two trips. As our fuel and food diminishes, we should be able to go in one trip. Anyway it was a hard slog up the mountain carrying our gear – took us 9 hours return.
Despite all our training, nothing can prepare you for what it takes to slog up a steep slope at 4500m, with a heavy load on your back!
There are actually 2 camp 1’s; an upper and a lower – 130m difference. This seemed like a heck of a long way! We decided to put our gear on the upper one, to reduce the distance to camp 2. There’s not much space up there, so we may have to be quite creative when it comes to finding a tent site. We dumped our gear the in plastic bags and then headed down the fixed ropes.
We use a carabiner brake to slow the descent; basically once its all hooked up you can just walk down the slope, and the brake slows your descent. It’s a bit like abseiling, but figure of 8’s don’t work well on the fixed ropes as they are so stiff and you get nowhere. The Russian style is to just wrap the rope around your arm and scoot off down, but this is not for us!
Arrived back at base camp at 7pm, had a quick rest and then it was time for a dinner of steak, barley & a spicy capsicum salad. The variety of the food continues to amaze.
The missing bag will arrive into base camp the day after tomorrow, which suits us fine as we plan to have a rest day tomorrow and then head up to camp 1 the next day. Helicopter flights are in the morning, so this should be fine.
Paul & Fiona at base camp.