After a few days adjusting to the altitude of basecamp (17,500ft), we went for a short jaunt up into the icefall. The goal was to give each of us an idea of what to expect when we move through it up to Camp1 and beyond. It was pretty wild to be hopping on big ol’ chunks of ice the size of a car and seeing other larger blocks the size of a small office building above. In interest of safety, we only went into the icefall for about an hour or so. When we move up to C1, it’ll probably take us 5-6hrs to get through it the first go.
The icefall is a very sobering place to be, yet spectacular and breathtaking all at the same time. I’m hoping I got a bunch of good pictures today, and hoping to get even more when we make our actual move. I’m expecting that my best shots might not be until we descend through the icefall. When we’re moving up, we’ll likely be leaving camp between 2:00 and 3:00am to ensure that the ice is as cold and as glued together as possible.
Yesterday, Scott set us up a little training course to prepare us for what we’ll run into throughout the course of the climb. Everything from using our ascenders (which clip onto the rope and lock down to prevent us from falling backwards) climbing up nearly vertical ice to simulating a fall into a crevasse where we need to get ourselves out. We repelled a number of times as well to ensure we were comfortable with doing that regardless of what kinds of gloves or mittens we had on. All in all, it was a really fun day “playing” in the ice.
That’s it for now. Nearly time for appetizer hour 🙂