Post 5: Camp 1 Canada 16,000 ft.
We make it to Camp 1 Canada today and after reading my last few posts, I thought I would add this now before the effects of the high altitude take over as I will sound like a crazy person.
I was very negative about the cold and wind in combination with my aches and pains. I know what I am getting into and love every minute of the trip. I sounded like I was complaining too much and not sharing the beauty of what is around me.
The push to the summit comes in three high camps and a long summit push day. These high altitude peaks come with more pain and are more beautiful than anyone could ever imagine. I hope I didn’t paint a bad picture since my next five days will be without communications and I haven’t been able to post many pictures showing the good.
We are expecting a storm while acclimatization and the walk to Camp 2 and 3 will bring a few inches of new snow. The temps are getting colder as we go up, but they also are much better than the last few weeks. Camp is clearing, and many frustrated teams descending from high camps are beat up. Less than one in ten are making it to the top, with many falling short of Camp 3. Most driven back by bad timing with the weather on the summit push, they have to make the decision to rest, restock and make another attempt, or start their 20-mile walk out. My tent is by the Communications tent and I hear it all.
We also give up our dome tent and meals together with the rest of the team. The next few days we stay in two man tents, and when we get out we start walking. We go back to our tents to get ready for tomorrow, cook our dehydrated meals, and get ahead of the cold night. We don’t start until 10 a.m., except for Summit Day that starts at 3 a.m. My tent is the envy of all. We have solar panels and an iPad, with all seasons of Dexter and Fargo loaded.
I am now with pencil and paper, writing my notes for this blog. The talk around the dome is about everything science, politics, and religion, but mostly about the mountain. Other than the gauchos maybe, I am the least educated of the group with executives, engineers, and surgeons, If I need bones set, a lung transplant, or a boob job I have the team.