Storms in life make you stronger.

Storms in life make you stronger.

Friday morning started 5.30am with hot porridge,boiled eggs & green tea. 6.10am bags fully packed four of the seven summit team were off to camp one at 6000 meters commencing rotation one for acclimatisation. Heavy loaded with supplies food for a later summit push a second sleeping bag blow up mat to keep your body at from the frozen ice ,crampons (12 pointed spikes attached to your 8000mter monster boots , climbing harness & ropes & rigging ice screws ice axes fuel stoves etc anyway you get the picture heavy ass load.from basecamp at 5000mts we reached advance basecamp at approx 8am where we had to navigate our way through a huge ice fall ,up down back and fourth trying to find the easiest route. At 5300mts just above advance base camp i put on all my technical climbing gear and with in minutes I could see what lay a head, raring up in front was a 70% pitched climb that had no relief no stepping off, it was pretty fully committed. Weather was over cast cloudy and cold ,perfe ct really. Now let me put 6000mts in context, being at 6000meter is higher that any mountain in Europe any mountain in Africa and its only camp one (C1) on K2, i hope in someway this paints some type of picture of the magnitude and scale of this savage mountain, it is ginormous. Climbing now with heavy loads was really tough counting in steps of four kept my momentum going upwards pausing after every four gasping for breath and willing the body on and on. 700mts took me a painful 4hours non stop, physical ability was right on the limit and times in the red and balancing that chimp in my mind telling me to stop, give up & all the time digging deep into that purpose built memory bank of positive thoughts of strength & self belief. Visibility was zero with low cloud not that embracing spectacular views was high on my agenda, snow was forecast for late Friday night with gentle winds. Mother Nature a law on too herself, snow started 10am with gusting winds making the final sections more challenging than needed on this now wrecked tired donkey. Twelve noon four of us in one tent ,stove lit ,ice melting we rolled out the sleeping bags discarded no clothing “as its now super cold” packet soup mixed with dried noodles got the screaming body fed & washed down with wispa hot chocolate. By now it’s snowing really hard and the winds have picked up storm like. Got a satellite phone call away to Sharon reporting all was well in the team & all four members were performing well. Well before long the wheels slowly came of the kart, 6000metres was starting to take it twol on my body, my stomach was in knots & I developed a mild headache, not what I wanted to feel,” reliving sickness memories from Everest”. Testing my blood oxygen saturation levels I recorded my pulse at rest 90bpm and O2 in my blood 50% testing it twice hoping it was as faulty reading. So what does this mean, simple in normal sea level circumstances we have 100% 02 in our blood stream supplying our vital organs to live well now I had half that, not good. The end result if not treated could be swelling of the brain with a lethal outcome. So I’m at 6000mts deep in a storm,sleeping was not an option im now my own doctor nurse consultant . Stabilising the headache with some drugs & deep breathing to increase 02 in my blood cells helped, watching every hour pass until day li ght brewed up some hot tea. The night was positive as an altitude gain but extremely bruising on the body. Leaving our high altitude food along with our wet sleeping bags in the now permanent tent for our next rotation in a few days time downwards was a welcomed direction. Stepping out of the tent the wind and snow was in full force making life grim placing on our spiked crampons ice axes in hard to self arrest if need be we descended twelve long absails later we reached 5300meter advance basecamp, two hours later I stumbled into basecamp slaughtered battered & bruised “reminded that this was no ordinary playing field” waking up five hours later still in the same clothing I felt better and went straight into self recovery mode with increased fluids small regular food intake. All of us has our own battles that day some got it easier that others but none walk out of that battle field without a scare or two in my case. Never especially so early on did I think I would have to di g so deep into the back of beyond to help me through this phase ,but then again When you have a title as the savage mountain , what else did I expect,a walk in the park, didn’t think so…… That night I didn’t need no rocking tweleve hours straight was like a flicker ….the next few day’s here at basecamp my aim is to rest & recover as my next weather window is Tuesday morning “as the snow continue until then” returning to camp one sleep over ,Wednesday push higher to 6700meters and sleep Thursday morning touch 7000meters below the black pymirmid drop down again to camp two at 6700meters sleep in still in good condition and Friday morning continue to descend to advance basecamp and finally basecamp let the body physically and mentally recover before the final push in a few weeks time…

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Fiona Temple

    “Strength does not come from from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Gandi
    Listen to your inner strength, your inner voice, it is not deep down, it is always present, in your breath, your will, in every step you take.

  2. Boyd Robinson

    Good stuff buddy one large step made lots of bigger ones to come Enjoying following you every step of the way.

  3. Steven black

    Keep her lit Jason,your goin strong,in our thoughts every day

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