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Camp 1 acclimatizing
Camp 1 - Camp 1 - ABC
We acclimatize but change our plans to go higher
18 Sept Camp 1 6400m
This is a rest day for us, a day to relax and acclimate. Jamie challenged himself with a hard sudoku, Walter listened to music (in his underwear but you are spared incriminating photos), Clive and Hans read.
Outside the tent it was a moody day with snow falling in the afternoon.
I woke up in the night feeling hot, a sure sign it was snowing. Dawa hit the tent, snow sliding off and it sounded like it was snowing heavily.
19 Sept back to ABC
I love that morning light with diamonds sparkling in the fresh snow, it was almost a pity to step into it. The sharply clear blue sky already had a hint of worry in the distance though.
I climbed up to the highest tents of Camp 1 where I surveyed the route to Camp 1.5 and Camp 2. It was decision time. Our plan was to climb together with Dawa and Namgyal, who would carry everything needed to establish Camp 1.5, then we would stay there (having carried our personal gear) and they would head back down either to C1 or much more likely to ABC.
However there was at least 10cms of light, fluffy powder and a 40 degree slope beyond the flat section out of Camp 1 (the ideal angle for avalanches). The rest of the route looked safe enough to me; in truth even the nasty slope looked ok; there were no big slides anywhere on similar aspect slopes; indeed on any slopes, only small sloughs and these hadn't been able to gain momentum.
The real issue was if we moved up to camp 1.5 then what? If it was going to snow significantly again then it could really make it dangerous for us to return; and the pattern was for more snow.
So I decided that it would be better for us to either stay where we were or head down, and the consensus was to head back to ABC.
The Norwegian's tent is about 10 meters from ours; here after the snow.
Apologies for the repeated subject, my other 3-4 of the same scene were nice too but none was perfectly balanced...
The tents of the HimEx team plus a Chinese team at Camp 1; the 'trail' up is almost visible as a faint line above the last tent. The first section to the crevasse running across is the steepest. then the route cuts left staying out of the shadow and tops out to a relatively flat area, where we will place Camp 1.5. (No polarizer)
The snow was the lightest of powder, around 10cm deep;
this bird realized just in time.
20 Sept ABC
Luxurious sleep at this lower altitude... Today Jamie has worked on these dispatches, the others are relaxing. Corinne has been watching Iņaki and Bob's progress. Last night they slept at Camp 1 and today will probably return to ABC. Mark headed up to Depot camp to sleep there.