So I’m not sure when I last compiled an email or what it’s contents was but bloody hell what a mixed 24hrs we’ve had.
Yesterday we set off for a day/night stay at camp1, we started the usual way at 03:00am in the cold morning.
Up, breakfast, coffee, set off.
Both Pete and I made good progress arriving at C1 in great time although the ropes that different teams had started to leave in place were very much of mixed quality in construction and security placements.
But as before Pete and I are independent in our climbing just climbing alpine style with our own ropes and gear.
On arrival at C1 we set up another tent in good time and actually in a good place. C1 is quite small, actually really small and I would suggest a maximum of 3-4 tents and occupants would suit the space.
Pete and I had a quick brew and set off to start a route up to camp 2, we only done this for about 2/3hours as it was very very warm in the Pakistani sun.
Out of site of C1 we took an hour or so to rest and decide on the best approach for the next fixings. On returning to C1 we were shocked to see 10 tents balancing on the edge, even using the allocated toilet spot!
We had a bite to eat, cheese triangles on fruit loaf and mixed nuts then retired to our tents for a few hours.
Now this might seem a waste of time but as the objective is to acclimatise just sitting and chilling is good for you.
This said, Pete and I took pity on the lead guide of the Greek team, he was trying to create a “pitch” for a 3 man tent, Pete grabbed the shovel. me the adze of the axe and set about creating the platform for him, he was very thankful, but offered no food….. noted for future!
So, as is always the case when more teams arrive more rumours and more strategies are discussed. The teams we smoozed with were, Greek, Spanish, and Russian, although team America had turned up neither Pete nor I could really cope with their arrogance and noise we left them out of any coffee club! (Sorry America, but just shhhhhhh🤫 you don’t know everything)
As the sun goes in we left a plan with all those in our circle that tomorrow, 06:00 we’ll start to fix more of the route. At this time it becomes cold, like super cold, so whilst the bottom half of our bodies are in our sleeping bags we melt some more ice for water and eat a quick meal.
Although in the same tent Pete and I drift off to sleep at different times only waking each other when nature calls or Team America have woken us with another load of Bu^*%#t.
Now it’s important to note that we have an amazing team back home which at every request sends us up to date weather forecasts and snow reports so we can adapt any plans where necessary.
Prior to final lights out, we received Garmins premium report and used 1 from Ady, both saying “light snow from 13:00 the following day” so with this both Pete and I set in for a nice nights sleep, well as nice as sleeping on snow and ice on the edge of a slope, tired to rocks with ice axes can be.
Rudely might I add about 05:00 Pete and I could hear the Pakistani mountaineers clambering about making quite some noise. About 10 minutes later after Pete and I had once again moaned at the noise, we could hear them digging snow away from our door…..
On looking out we could see that a good 12” of snow had fallen over night and it was snowing now. This obviously was not forecast and very much changed our plans for the worse.
Knowing that this amount of snow at this altitude at this gradient was not a happy mix we set about making a technical withdrawal from C1.
Sadly as we had not expected this we had to quickly gather our gear and equipment, stash what we wanted for future and start abseiling down some very frozen lines with some very frozen fingers.
Now without a word of a lie, having cleared the ice field and about 35mins away we could hear and see an almighty Avalanche of loose snow just cascading down our route. Both Pete and I looked at each other, not a word said but both knew what each other was thinking. 35mins!!
Now at base camp again we are planning and liaising with our new found mountaineering chums to create the next stage.
Watch this space…