Day 12 – Advanced Base Camp (5006m) – Camp 1 (5256m)
I woke up to the sound of “Chai?” with great anticipation. Our porters dutifully served us chai every morning. This served as our wake up call as well.
A beautiful morning
The initial plan was for us to trek two hours, approximately 2Km, from ABC (5006m) to Camp I (5256m) and back to ABC (5006m). However, the plan was changed during breakfast. We received news that the bad weather window would be from 1st September till 5th September. Just our luck, it’s right on our summit day. Everyone was feeling pretty well, so we will be moving to Camp 1 today and will remain there. This meant that we will not see ABC until after the summit. As such, we needed to pack almost all our stuff into our backpack today.
We better not forget anything!
That looks heavy
All packed up, looks like it’s just the tents left
Our support crew
Due to the last minute change of plan, our set off timing was pushed back by an hour, from 0900 hours to 1000 hours. We packed our bags and each bag weighed at least 20Kg.
I am a little apprehensive about carrying such a heavy load as this will definitely increase the risk of another headache. However, there was no choice. I can’t expect my teammates to carry my load. Therefore, I can only convince myself that I can make the climb to Camp I without headache. As the saying goes: “Opportunity only favours the prepared mind”. I thought positively and told myself that I will exercise caution with every step. In order to avoid another headache, I have to take a deep breath with every step to maximise the oxygen that my brain receives. I believe that this also helps remove the lactic acid build up on my thighs and shoulders. Every step counts.
Leaving Advanced Base Camp
Thankfully, after moving at a constant pace for about 2 hours, we reached Camp I safely. I heaved a sigh of relief, but that relief did not last long as we needed to arrange the rocks to achieve a flat ground before we can pitch our tent. It is no joke arranging rocks on the ground to achieve a flat surface, as the rocks are unique in shapes and sizes. As such, the task of setting up our tent took more than an hour, leaving me with a grade 4 headache.
We start to see more snow
Making our way across an icy slope
Up, up and up.
Stopping for a photo shoot
However, the effort spent in arranging the rocks and achieving a flat surface did pay off as this will ensure that I have a good night’s sleep.
Nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep as we needed the energy to focus on the trek to Summit Camp – the last camp site before our first summit attempt the next morning!
Preparing the markers for tomorrow
Putting them into a sack
Wooden markers filled with splinters
Yi Qian looks happy
Cloudy day, this doesn’t look good
The mountain before us has disappeared
We see white all around us