Sep 21, 2012

Acclimatisation Walk to Camp 1, 6300m

 Today we hop-skipped-and-jumped our way up to ‘Crampon Corner’ as part of an acclimatization walk which granted us our first views of the route to the summit of Makalu. I say ‘hop-skipped-and-jumped’ because it was all we could do to stop the giant glacial boulders from slipping from under our feet and careening down the to the glacial lakes about 200 metres below. We could definitely feel the altitude but kept a steady pace along a trail marked by cairns set up by Adrian and the Sherpas who began to set the trail a few days before us. It was a thoroughly stunning walk surrounded on either side by giant penitents (20 - 30 meter ice seracs) along our boulder-y trail. It was not dissimilar to the penitents on the North side of Everest between Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp. 

Along the trail we met with Kari Kobler’s team where were just coming down from their acclimatization push up to Camp 3 – they have a truly epic challenge ahead with an attempt to summit without the use of supplemental oxygen. It was a spectacularly sunny day so thoroughly enjoyable to stop along the trail, make initial introductions and discuss conditions and camps. When we got to Crampon Point, Adrian and Sergey, anticipating fresh powder and the opportunity to carve ‘fresh tracks’ quickly geared up with harnesses, La Sportiva skis and walked onto the ‘rather dry’ looking glacier. It wasn’t long before they reported a 3cm layer of snow over an icy base (of the glacial variety). “Fresh tracks” wasn’t going to be an option this morning. Still,  it made for quite interesting and entertaining viewing.


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