from Stu in the USA office
22 September, 2010
Fabrizio called in today to let us know that there had been a significant snow fall, perhaps a foot or more, and that our team (along with most teams) have abandoned the mountain and returned to BC to await better conditions. With the slopes on the steeper sections, between C1 and C2 and above C2, now heavily loaded with fresh snow, there was little reason to climb up from C1 into dangerous territory.
With this in mind Fabrizio, Siddhi, Luis and Gordon came back down to BC to await the upcoming window of clearer weather predicted to begin on the 24th & 25th. We still hope they can get in a night at C2 and return to BC before the winds are expected to rise on the 26th/27th. Farther down the road it looks like the wind will calm down again in early October so we'll be looking for a summit bid at that time.
It sounds like the constant snowfall is taking its toll on the spirit of some of the climbers and Fabrizio said that quite a few people have called it quits and are heading out. To date our group remains in good spirits and is being well fed and entertained by the world's best disco dancer and cook, Ratna Gurung! Expeditions are hard no doubt and one of the most important skills to succeed is the ability to do very little for many days at a time while waiting for weather or conditions to permit you to head higher. Cards, reading, talking, practicing knots, writing in a journal, listening to music and more all have their place but often its the ability to just be content by yourself that can get you through these spells!
With than in mind here are a few quotes of the day for tent bound climbers:
"Slug mode is when you lay in your tent with nothin' to do, maybe not even a book to read, maybe not even nothin' to eat. I can do it pretty well." Kitty Calhoun
"When it's getting dark, you're miserable and the task at hand seems endless, then this is the time to dig your sense of humour out from the bottom of your pack, wear it on your spirit and lighten your load."
"In my daily task I draw on my Antarctic experience. If the work is important enough I do not knock off because I feel tired; one’s exhaustion point is a very long way past fatigue point. I think I have developed a greater capacity for thoroughness and I am more appreciative of the value of proper planning. Possibly the two most valuable things my expedition years gave me were self-confidence and persistence. Persistence allied with patience will overcome most difficulties."
Dr. Phillip Law, a former member of the Australian Antarctic Team, speaking about the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
"The trick is what one emphasizes
We either make ourselves miserable
Or we make ourselves strong
The amount of work is the same"
why we wait - to feel this way at sunset on a beautiful evening in the high mountains....