Route to Camp 1!
Climbing an 8000-meter peak is a time consuming project. Not only can it be a long and demanding approach to the foot of the mountain but you also need to spend weeks to get used to the altitude (acclimatize) to be able to climb the mountain. In total Jörgen and I are spending two month to be able to climb and ski on Kangchenjunga.
This Autumn http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/alone-top Jörgen and I are the only climbers on the south side of Kangchenjunga. Normally the base camps on the 8000ers are crowded with climbers and on the mountain there are fixed ropes all along the routes. Being alone is great, it gives a more adventurous touch to it. We get to go up on the mountain all by ourselves to search and find a nice and safe route to climb (and ski). I can almost imagine what it was like for the British climbers that first climbed Kangchenjunga in 1955.
From our base camp at 5100 meters we have about 3500 meters up to the summit of the mountain and we will use three camps on the way. During the last four days http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/working-their-way Jörgen and I have been working our way up to our first camp. It is located at about 6200 meters on a ridge that was named “The Hump” by the first ascensionists. The route goes on a fairly steep glacier that is cracked up by crevasses (cracks) and seracs (ice walls) that we have to navigate around. The route-finding was a bit tricky and the weather didn’t cooperate with us either. Each day it was clear and sunny in the morning but after a only few hours clouds pulled in and it started snowing. Needing good visibility to move higher up we could only manage to ascend a few hundred meters a day. We spent one night at camp one before we returned to base camp. Four days up, three hours down.
Having a good route up to C1 and the fact that Jörgen and I seem to acclimatize well we are getting good confidence for the future. At the moment we are resting in base camp before we are heading up the mountain to continue our acclimatization and trying to figure out http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/route-kangchenjunga the route to Camp 2 at 7000 meters. More news when we are back from C2.
Base Camp: Lat N 27° 40’ 24”, Lon E 88° 05’ 43”
Altitude: 5100 meters
Warmest temp: +36°C
Coldest temp: -11°C
For more information about the mountaineers and their journey in Nepal, check out their websites: http://www.fredrikericsson.com target=_blank>fredrikericsson.com and http://www.jorgenaamot.no target=_blank>jorgenaamot.no.