Skiing at last
Back in base camp again after a second acclimatization climb on Kangchenjunga. This time it took us only eight hours, instead of four days, to climb the 1000 vertical meters up to Camp 1 at 6250 meters. Being better acclimatized and having a trail to follow makes a big difference.
The weather has been identical to last week. We've had sunshine in the morning and http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/snowfall-and-bad-visibility clouds and snowfall in the afternoon. We are happy that we have marked the route with willow wands (bamboo sticks), that way we could easily find the way to C1 even if it was bad visibility almost half the way up there.
The route from "The Hump" (C1) up to "The Great Shelf" (C2) goes down for about a hundred meters http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/fredrick-checks-route-second-glacier then up what we call "The Second Glacier", a steep snow slope with lots of Seracs and Crevasses. Very similar to "The First Glacier" that goes up to C1.
Being a bit lazy and too comfortable in our sleeping bags we were not very quick out of the tent in the mornings. That way we didn't get far before clouds and snowfall stopped us at lunchtime. To our defense: we can feel the winter coming and the nights are getting colder ;). With this pace it took us three days from C1 to 6950 meters (almost "The Great Shelf") where we found a nice ridge to set camp on.
At this moment the weather changed and it got very windy. According to Meteotest, that are doing our weather forecasts, the wind was 90 km/h at 8000 meters. Maybe a bit less where we were, but still enough. After a stormy night and when the wind didn't decline the next day we decided to return to BC.
After four days of uphill it was then time for skiing. It felt good to step into the bindings after a long summer and a lot of uphill on this trip. http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/skiing-down-second-glacier "The Second Glacier" is a nice slope for skiing. It has everything from low angle traverses to 50 degrees sections. Unfortunately the snow wasn't great this time but the scenery made up for that. Anyway, skiing on http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-10/sunset-over-talung-and-kabru-seen-c... the slopes of Kangchenjunga was a special feeling.
Both Jörgen and I are in good mood and are acclimatizing well. We are now ready for the summit push and as soon as we get a weather forecast giving us four days of nice weather we will go for it.
Stay tuned for more news from Kangchenjunga.
Camp 1 N 27° 40.909', E 88° 06.958' , Altitude: 6278 meters
Camp 2? N 27° 41.215' , E 88° 07.912' , Altitude: 6959 meters
Book that I'm reading: Everest: The West Ridge by Tom Hornbein
Music on the MP3 player: Eddie Vedder - Into the wild (Soundtrack)
Beard competition: Jörgen = Impressive
Fredrik = Not so Impressive