Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ericsson and Aamot at Base Camp

Fredrik Ericsson and his partner Jörgen Aamot are waiting in the Base Camp to start the summit push. The climb up to the summit and the ski descent is expected to take four days. The summit push starts from base camp and they will use three camps at 6200 metres, 7200 metres and 7800 metres. From the last camp the climbing towards the summit at 8586 metres starts at midnight and it will take around ten hours.
The ski descent, which is the highlight of the two month expedition, is expected to take five hours. The descent has a vertical of almost 3100 metres and has very steep sections of up to 50 degrees inclination.

Base Camp Life
At the moment we are stuck in base camp and all we can do is to wait for the weather to change. I’m getting a bit of déjà vu from last year on Dhaulagiri. Acclimatization climbs passed by without any problems but as soon as I‘m ready for the summit the weather changes totally. Last year it was a week of snowfall that stopped me, this year the jet stream has taken over the mountain. For about a week now it’s been around 90 km/h wind up on 8000 meters and that is no place for us to be in those conditions.
Instead we get to hang out in base camp. So how is life in the camp? My home is a big four man tent that I got all to myself. My down sleeping mattress is possible to convert into a nice and comfy chair. That’s where I spend most of my time. Either listening to music, reading a good book or just enjoying the amazing view from my tent. Our tent site is not very exciting. It’s made up of ice, sand and rocks and it’s very uneven. But the mountains surrounding our camp are very impressive. It’s an amphi-theatre of beautiful peaks, from “The Fake Jannu” in the north via Kangbacken, Yalung Kang, Kangchenjunga to Talung and Kabru in the south. They are all rising 2000 meters higher than we are. That view is hard to beat.
When I’m not in my tent I’m eating food. Jörgen and I have our own kitchen crew here in base camp. Buddhi, Kansha and Mon are making sure we are stuffed after breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are a good crew. Not only are they cooking good food but they are also laughing at our jokes (we paid extra for that).
Anyway after a week in base camp I’m getting restless and I’m hoping that the wind will calm down soon so that we can pack our gear and head up on the mountain again. This time we will try for the summit of Kangchenjunga (8586m).