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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The last push to Base Camp

The last push to Base Camp

Neil hadn't been feeling too well on the day from Samdo to Daramsala and surprised us all when he emerged from his tent at Daramsala saying that he was now fit. So group 3 set off on the last push to BC at 0640 on a frosty morning with high cloud in the sky. Everyone felt well and we made rapid progress climbing along the snowy moraines. Fabulous views opened out in all directions and we paused briefly for a radio check at 0800 when we were around 4,600m.

At 4,800m a cold wind was coming down the valley and the first few flakes of snow. Jackets went back on as the mist rolled in and the visibility deteriorated. Then, finally, at 5,000m we came over a rise and saw Base Camp a few hundred yards ahead. Neatly laid out on the shore of a snow covered frozen lake were our dome tent, research tents, accommodation tents, mess tents and cook tents. Great to be here at last even if the weather was deteriorating again and serac fuelled avalanches were pouring off Larkya Peak.

There was a warm welcome from Groups 1 & 2 who had made a fine job of transforming this bleak spot into a fully functioning research camp. The weather, however, was less welcoming and soon the wind was driving fresh snow into camp making it impossible to generate the solar power required for much of the research equipment. Experiments had to be shut down as the electricity supply gave up and we retreated to our tents as the snow and the wind set in for the night.


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