Day 13 — Base Camp — High Camp
We were camping at base camp at an altitude of approximately 4000m. We slept at this height for a night. So far, no one is experiencing any sign of AMS. We will be heading to high camp, at an altitude of 4500m, today. 500m might not sound far but at this altitude, the difference in oxygen levels can very much be felt by our bodies. I hope that everyone will still be strong and fit for the summit push.
The mountain showing us some love
Handsome Chin looks strong and fit
The 500m climb started at around 1100 hours. 500m seems short, but the climb took us approximately 4 hours, with at least 4 short breaks in between.
One of the reasons why the climb took so long was due to the fact that we were all carrying extra load. Our porters decided to back out and descend and this left us with a lot of stuff to bring up the mountain. This unfortunate event did not deter us and we remained positive. Our team split the load, which included 3 long ropes, pickets, first aid kits and our tents. All these items were in addition to our personal equipment: sleeping bags; mattresses; and cold wear.
Our destination looked close but I could swear during the walk that the we weren’t getting closer at all
The climb was very exhausting. Yet our team managed to push through and we arrived at high camp by 1600 hours. By 1615 hours, our tents were all up and we were all inside, hiding from the blazing sun above us. There were no clouds on that day and the snow reflected the sunlight. It was quite surprising that it can be hot so high up.
We quickly took out our boots and socks to air our feet and dry our socks. We took this opportunity to sun our boots to prevent it from freezing up at night. There was nothing else left for us to do. We took a rest in our tents and waited for dinner. Dinner was a simple meal of maggi mee, just for sustenance. After filling our stomachs, we went to sleep and got ready for the early morning summit push.
Not so yum yum noodle soup
In spite of all the unforeseen circumstances, it has been an enriching experience for us. The important lesson here is not to give up regardless of the situation. There were also moments when we broke into small arguments with each other due to exhaustion and headaches, but thankfully, we managed to put aside our differences and resolve the arguments immediately. Our team is a much stronger team than before. Now that we are 80% done with our climb, our last burst of fire will be fully committed into summiting Friendship Peak in the wee hours of the morning.