End of 1st Stage
Tashi Delek! =)
The first acclimatization stage is now complete and I'm now resting and recovering for the big trip ahead. The plan to "break in" at Ev Bcamp altitude (17,400ft) has been completed, with a bit of unexpected difficulty and challenges.
We reached (and slept) at an altitude of ~19000ft, and stayed above 17000ft for several days, a good enough acclimatization for the April climb.
The 2nd stage of acclimatization (April) is for altitudes above BC up to ~25,000 ft (i.e., camps 1 to 3).
The last stage of the trip (May) is the actual summit attempt, we'll be climbing above the Death Zone Layer up to the summit height of 29,035ft (if we're lucky).The elusive peak
Unfortunately, Island Peak (6100m/21000ft) - our target mt for stage1 acclimatization, has not been very accomodating to us climbers this March. My plan was to make an attempt as soon as we get on site, but the heavy snowfall on our 3rd day (+40cm, typical Nepal winter), made us postpone it, but even after the weather stabilized a bit, several teams ahead of us (including the 2 strong Pinoy athletes from the big team) were all sent down empty-handed by the mt due to deep snow and technical difficulty in the ridge and icewall. With the objective to sleep at hi-altitude, and w/ an approach to 'phase' the Island Peak climb, my team decided to establish a highcamp (~19000ft). This will give us more time to negotiate w/ the deep snow. Sadly, the big jump in sleeping altitude made us sick (my partner and Moi) making us abort our climb, hahaha! We tried to cheat, but then we got other problems hehehe ;p
It would have been nice if we have extra 3-4days for recovery and re-attempt, but I have to go back to civilization to finish my logistics prep for the bigger objective ahead. Besides, I must have several days of Rest and Recovery at low altitudes, if I want to last for 2 more months.
The intent of the March trip was simply to acclimatize, reaching the peak is a bonus. The same peak had eluded me last Sept 2003, w/ the same relentless early-winter snow as the culprit (and now late winter snow haha - ayaw talaga, fine!)Rest and Recovery
I'll be on R&R for the next several days (I miss emails ;).
This is a necessary re-charge, since altitude weakens our body. True that my body is (hopefully) now more O2 and H2O efficient (adjusted to avoid altitude sickness), but it also weakened all muscles including the heart, it has weakend the joints, well- every functional parts actually. Acclimatized, but weak. Sige, be more confused ;p So now i got to eat meat, meat meat! Eat a lot, load on calories & food supplements, drink gallons of softdrinks, etc.
The more important aspect is 'mental', have to recharge w/ more patience, 'tolerance reset' to a lot of things, and morale recharge. You may be physically strong, but low morale or patience can make you quit.The 'Race'(?)
So it seems like there are 4 Filipinos who will attempt E this year. Wow, Exciting! :)
2 of us are independent (1 being very quiet), the other 2 from the big team.
Generally, I think this is good in terms of increasing the overall chance of success - in putting a Filipino flag on top of the summit.
I don't see this as a competition (as viewed by many). Climbing the great mt is a very personal matter - it's between the individual climber AND the mountain, nothing to do w/ the other aspiring climbers. With a summit probability of 5-10%, it is never a question of "who is first",
but a question of "who will be lucky to be on top". I hope that at least 1 of us makes it on top.
Let's support all climbers who are making an attempt, this is quite an effort, a very serious undertaking, and pray and hope that this whole thing will not lead to disaster.
I hope that all climbers this year, have their purity of intention (personal desire to top the peak), and not just to 'race' , or not just because they were 'sent on a mission'. It would be sad if they lose a limb or something else while 'racing' or 'just completing a task' and not following a personal path to self-discovery or self-enrichment.
Anyhow, the best of luck to all of us!! Godspeed!