Today we rested at Camp 4, and melted snow to make about 5 liters of water for tomorrow. If you have done this before, you will know that this is a very time consuming process, requiring a lot of snow of the highest quality. Watch out for that yellow snow, which is not easy when your camp site is very small. A snow shovel is used to transport snow from where hopefully it isn’t yellow underneath.
The wind has died down slightly since our update this morning and we have had a chance to inspect the tent for damage from the wind and our hitch-hikers (as someone called them in an SMS to us). About half of the guy ropes had been pulled where the French walked past our tent in the night, but apart from that everything seemed fine. See photo of our setup at camp 4 taken about 2 hours ago after we had fixed all the guy ropes! Its snowing very lightly. Even our snow shovel is being used as an anchor and I am pleased to report its doing an excellent job! The site for camp 4 is extremely small. There is no room for any other tents, as there is a very steep drop on 2 sides, with near vertical rock on the other 2. You can see the rock in the photo, along with plaques, commemorating climbers who died.
I tried to find a pair of my gloves today, but could only find one. We turned the tent upside down trying to find the other glove, when the mystery was solved with the discovery of a new glove that we had not seen previously. We can only assume that French must have taken one of my gloves. Fortunately the one they left is of a similar quality and fits OK, it just doesn’t look anything like my original! However not to worry as this mismatch will go nicely with my green outfit that everyone liked and is fast becoming the height of fashion in Kazakhstan!
Now for the competition. We have been wondering what temperature the water boils here at 6400m. We know it boils at a lower point, but does it also freeze at a different value? We have asked lots of people on the mountain, but no one has been able to come up with a good answer & reason. We have no idea about the freezing bit, but the first person to SMS us a convincing answer will receive untold amounts of fame and glory. (Fame and glory is at the absolute discretion of the promoters, and may be limited to having your name listed on this web site.) So the 2 questions are, What temp does water boil at 6400m, & Does it freeze at a different point, and if so why. Extra points will be awarded if you can fit that into one SMS!
Plan for tomorrow is to make a summit attemp if the weather is good. We will update in the morning if this is going to happen.
Paul & Fiona relaxing at Camp 4 at 6400m.