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Base Campe to First Camp


They say that what goes around comes around, and we have discovered this the hard way. After using mules to bring all our heavy gear in to base camp at 4200m we have now become the mules. For the past three days we have been hauling loads up to Camp 1, a grueling 1000m climb up scree slopes and through moraines. On the first day Pierre was kept behind in base camp by the camp doctor who could hear a slight tickle in his right lung. At these altitudes even a mild cough can quickly develop into pulmonary edema a very serious condition. So the rest of the team made the first carry and we all suffered from altitude sickness with headaches and nausea. A quick retreat to base camp was in order and we were all feeling better the next day. A snow storm welcomed us on our second day of carrying as we tramped up to camp 1 again this time feeling much stronger than the previous day. Pierre also joined us and seemed in good health. Today we stuck our tents and are about to shoulder very heavy packs for the move up to camp 1 and the start of our summit bid. The weather looks good although we are in for a blow tomorrow with winds up to 50km/hour. Numerous other teams are also following the same routine as us – many of them in far more comfort with cooked meals and porters. We seem to be the only team cooking our own food and carrying our own loads. Clem has a case of snow blindness and will stay in base camp with Guy. The rest of us are moving up today. Slowly does it and as they say in Argentina when you are walking here you have to think “Pan y Queso” “Bread and cheese, bread and cheese!.”


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