Thursday, February 14, 2013

Summit Bid for Lhotse

It was afternoon October 13th, when I barely realized that it is impossible to dig up and make it flat the slanted field of the camp three on which I planned to pitch a tent.  Wind became stronger.  Meaningless shoveling onto the icy snow continued, with trying to suppress such a thinking to come down to the lower camp dominate my mind.  

Then, Lhakpa, one of the two Sherpas hired from the Polish, asked me:
"You can join us, if you want."
The Polish leader also agreed him and asked me so.  

One of the two Polish Sherpa, Pemba, in their tent at the camp three (7200m)

We were melting the "Kim-bab", a Korean traditional food which used for my lunch.

Tenzin is a young Sherpa, whom I met firstly on the summit of Everest in the early morning of 19th May, 2012.

Wind was getting more and more severe.  The Polish tent in which we three were rested was strong enough not to be broken by the fierce wind.  We shared food and fuel and the roomy atmosphere we made together.

Melting a fruit can on a stove.  Everything we may want to eat was frozen.

We three and other six Polish members climbed up to the place for Lhotse camp four (7890m) next late in the morning when the wind stop.  Nobody used supplemental oxygen, although I had breathed with my own a couple minutes while climbing up.  I had to carry more than 20 kg in my bag: two bottles of oxygen, a sleeping bag, a small tent, three snow-bars, a cooking set with a gas stove, food for three days and so on.

It was one of the toughest hour when, as the sun setting, I found one hundred meters I needed to climb up to the camp.  Getting quite colder, the heavy rug-sag resisted me to go up.  Hopelessly I had shouted of requesting help to the climbers who shortly before me arrived and started digging the field for the camp.  Only one tent, for three or four, they could pitch on, inside of which yet seven people were, including Alexei and two Sherpas.

I joined them, but I knew I needed to go out and to set my tent on, as the Polish leader asked me so with Alexei.  Two Sherpas, Pemba and Tenzin, gratefully, helped us regarding the job.

However, the tent has never enough room for two, especially for the large body sizes of myself and Alexei.  Pemba once wanted to join us, though he went into the larger tent -- in which even six people already should have spent the night.  Moreover, the fabric of the tent is not waterproof.  Continuous snow-shower resisted us two take naps.  I began to use my supplemental oxygen with 0.5 liter per hour -- scarce amount but still better than not to use -- when we had crumpled into the tent to make us comfortable as far as possible.

All of us there could not make a good sleep, due to the snow-shower, wind, freezing cold, and the cramp space.  A few times, though, we discussed about when we would start to climb up to the summit.  Nobody climbed up that night; too tired was all of them.

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