Day 15 – Summit Camp (5490m)
At 0200 hours in the morning, we heard a flurry of muttering in Hindi and the crunching of snow boots on rock – was it time already?
We knew we were supposed to wake at 0230 – maybe they were packing/preparing for our summit attempt.
All of a sudden, Edwin poked his head into our tent – “Are you okay guys? We’re postponing the climb, Anil isn’t doing to well, we’ve put him on oxygen.”
Extra elaboration by Samuel: My tent was actually right beside theirs. The commotion happened around midnight. I heard Vinod shouting for the guides but none of them responded, as they were all sound asleep. He had to exit his tent. All I heard was everyone shouting “Anil! Anil!” At this time, Wei Zhen was also awake and we knew something was wrong. I had the feeling the climb was going to be postponed.
Anil, one of our guides, was having difficulty breathing in his sleep, and by the time we realized, he was already unconscious. We knew that one of the worst threads we faced was oxygen deprivation, but little did we imagine that it would happen to a local guide, and to such an extent.
Porters came up in the morning and brought him down to Batal, a six hour plus journey, where was the main road was. He was then sent immediately to a hospital in Manali. Lucky for us, there were a group of doctors at Batal at that time. How coincidental can that be?
Since we had a full day of rest at the Summit Camp, we decided to walk up a little higher for an acclimatization hike. And the scenery was simply gorgeous. The ridge leading to our summit neatly divided a snowy plain into two basins – our summit camp was a sprinkle of colour in the vast, pristine basin on the left, while layered mountain ranges to the right ignited a sensation of wanderlust, to go where no man had been before.
We rested for the rest of the day and were looking forward to the climb. Whether we summit or not… Only time will tell.
Mount SUTD in the background
The basin on the other side of SUTD Pioneer Pass
Should we climb one of these next time?
Looking out into the distance
Architect sketching the mountain
Mount SUTD. What clear skies!
Enjoying dinner as the sun sets. Big day tomorrow!