Friday, May 29, 2009

Storm at 14k

Friday, May 29th
I received another call from Rob yesterday afternoon.  He said it is supposed to snow another 6-12" in the next 36 hrs.  He said they're expecting 30mph winds and highs of -10F until Sunday.  He thinks Monday may be the first window of oportunity to press ahead to the upper mountain.  He expressed concern that he might not have enough time to stick it out because of work.  Let's hope for the best!
Below is a message I just received from Lara too:  
May 28, 2009 Thursday
 Just to get everything up-to-date, on Monday, our tired mountaineers woke up to find themselves working against the weather. They had to do a half carry of equipment to camp 14000 before the storm hit. They had a succesful half carry that took 6 hours for the climb and an hour and a half for the descent. My father told me that when they reached Windy Corner (a famous crevasse) it started to rain, and continued raining for the rest of their journey until reaching back down to camp 11000. When they were in camp 14000, Rob and Dan started to make the snow holes to protect the equipment, but once they shoveled away the fresh rain and snow, they encountered  already-made snow holes. That is the best part about climbing during the most crowded part of the season. Reusable items are found everywhere and previous climbers give advise about the landscape and climbing conditions. On Tuesday our team woke up at around 10:00 and at 11:00 they started to pack up all the equipment and take out their new snugly snow shoes to start the long climb back up to camp 14000. The weather was fine until they reached windy corner and then it stared to snow. It snowed all the way until they reached camp. Everyone unpacked and started the process of setting the tents for the storm. Everything was all dandy and in order, until someone noted that the tent poles were missing. Panic and confusion went straight into their minds, this was not going to go down very well after a 6 hour hike, when all they were thinking about was serving up dinner and laying down to rest. This was also a problem because if they would have left it in the previous camp, then someone would have had to gone back and run the risk of getting stuck in the storm. But luckely, the contents of the missing items were found in a random food bag. Everyone then proceeded to take a deep breath and relax, and fall back into the routine. The weather forecast for the next five days are High winds and snow. This means that the team will stay in Camp 14000 until the weather calms down and they acclimatize to the altitude and lack of pressure. Once the mountain is safe enough to continue climbing, the team will proceed to do another half carry to camp 16000. Camp 14000 is where teams get ready to summit. There is a permanent park rangers station, and people from around the world pass throught this Camp. Whether they pass through in dissapoinment or in victory, this is where all the teams come together to rest, prepare or quit. One Voice One Call has many interesting neighbors, from Italians to French and many other countries like Armenia, Germany, and Russia. All these people have one goal in there heads from the time they wake up to the time they pass out in exhaustion. All of them are brave people just accomplishing each one of their personal and different goals. There is never a boring moment in this camp, chatting around and even learning how to speak russian, are just a couple of the oppurtunites for entertainment. Even sitting on the toilet (which is in the middle of the camp and in the open) can be an uneventful experience, but forget the newspaper! "Look at how those Germans clean out their tents, how very sanitary!" Not only is the group being distracted from the terrible news of the storm but they are also healing from little injures. John has a blister that is healing and everyone is in fine spirits, even though Dan and karim have a strange sense of "deja vu" from last years Expedtion ,which ended in having to climb back down the mountain without reaching the summit,  we have hopes that this year however, they will succeed and reach their "call." Also, big thanks to Ralph! his support to the group has been great! he is keeping them imformed of the weather and is always there when they have needed him. 
      - Here is a link of a map with the route and camps that the team is awaiting to conquer......

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