Thank you to all those who comment and enjoy the blog. We are so lucky for Ady who has very little to do during the week who sorts the administration out and thankful for GRC for the Satalite Comms.
I’ve tried to read all of the comments and pop a response below, it’s great to read when we can that folks are following us and our misadventures with poo gives so much pleasure.
Is the weather to be expected?
Well yes, in the Karakoram these big lumps of rock create their own weather systems and make their own climate. Ady gives us forecasts from local weather stations but very rarely are they true, so between Pete and myself we spend a lot of coffee drinking time planning and plotting weather fronts to understand what COULD happen-sometimes we get it wrong. But hope we hope get it more right than wrong, and have the skills to adapt when we can. The skills certainly include being fed and watered enough by the base camp team to get back onto the mountain.
Why is shitting so frequently mentioned?
Well, interesting when I write the blogs it’s not intensional but everyday it appears another challenge pops up which I think folk back home might not understand or realise is actually a challenge.
Base camp we have a beautiful rock where us civilised folk lean, drop, plop, wipe, scoop, bag!
But others don’t follow such etiquette and can be seen to be singled out by us from the other side of the camp if they even dare to use the rock.
Now at altitude, it’s very much a different story because of height and proximity. Camps are so very small and when tents are on top of each other going out to poo is really not possible so, one lines your climbing helmet with your dog poo bag and, well hopes you can aim. This takes a very understanding tent buddy and a steady hand/bum co-ordination.
If this isn’t possible or ****explicit*** your bottoms on fire you boot up, shovel up, tie in and poo where ever you find a space, you can find yourself pooing, whilst holding onto someone else’s tent, whilst looking into another’s tent, and talking on the radio…
Our sense of humour
We are very very British, we take this very seriously and fully understand how dangerous it Is, our priority is always to come home. We use humour to overcome challenges where others might cry and give up. Days and nights at altitude cold, wet, hungry uncomfortable it would be easy to say bollocks, let’s just give up, but mountaineering is a game of attrition you just have to stick it out longer than the bad days and being able laugh at the situation always give you the upper hand. We know what each other needs to keep them going, we know what each other has given up to be here and more importantly we know that each other will hold the helmet when needed!
Why so many rotations?
To get acclimatised you need to explode your body to less oxygen (or in fact the same oxygen but with less pressure to help you breath it in) so you climb high, sleep low and allow your body time to adapt. The more adaptation you can force the more equipped your body becomes when faced with less and less pressure at altitude.
Also we take equipment up and leave to lighten the loads later on. It’s all a really crafty game of chess manoeuvring you and your kit on the mountain to pounce when possible.
Might we run out of time for both mountains?
Good question, well as its not our first rodeo we know how to plan and we do not have a flight home, so we agree we are here for the duration and will fight everyday to make this happen. Although we (I) paint a picture of lazing about at base camp there is not a minute that passes, an hour or a day where we are not 1 step closer to achieving our goal. A friend of ours messaged us “Release the dogs of war”
And my goodness, this year especially we are fighting, fighting everything we need to meet deadlines and to be fit and healthy to summit both peaks and to come home healthy.