We had the hardest day so far today since the beginning of our expedition. We went for our first acclimatization walk to Camp 1. We also carried our first loads there – high altitude sleeping bag,thermorest, thermo pad, some other supplies that I will need to usewhen we go next time for our second rotation to Camp 1 (spend a night there) and then carry to Camp 2. We got up around 6 am, had our breakfast, checked the gear and put our harnesses on as we planned to clip onto the fixed ropes which are already in place up to Camp 2. Apparently, there are so many crevasses on Manaslu and fixed rope can save your life in case you fall into one.
The climb was not too bad, the beginning part was a rocky part until we reached the ‘crampon point’ where the icy part began and where we all had put our crampons on.The second part was going through the ice field full of crevasses. I made sure I am clipped in the fixed rope where ever I could. The climb was not too strenuous, it was gradually going up. Phil said that the ice field is very dry and dirty this year. Normally is is covered by fresh snow. However, with dry ice you can see the crevasses better, less risk of falling into one. After the ice field was over, we came to a final steep climb (approximately 750 meters) to Camp 1. It was a difficult part and I was
super happy when the climb was over. I made it in about 3 hours from the base camp to Camp 1 which is a very good speed. The rest of the group was following behind me. The slowest climbers arrived over an hour later. The Sherpas were already there, setting up tents and establishing our
base at Camp 1. They arrived before us and carried heavy loads. They are all incredibly strong and fast. Without them, we could not survive climbing an 8,000 meter peak. There are very few who can do that but still with base camp support. We stayed there until the final member arrived, dropped off loads and went back to the base camp. On the way down, the snow and ice was so soft that some of the crevasses became even wider. One of the group
member who was walking right in front of me almost fell into a crevasse. He was lucky he held onto our rope and we where right there to pull him out before he went down. The edge of the crevassse broke off when he jumped across. By 1 pm, most of us where sitting in the dinning dome and drinking milk tea which is a traditional tea in Nepal.
It was a good acclimatization “walk”. We will stay here for three days until we go back up for the second rotation to Camp 1 (where we will sleep) and to Camp 2 (also sleep) and if we are in good shape, go up to tag Camp 3. This will complete our acclimatization and load carrying before we go back to the base camp and wait to the final summit push. It may still take from 2 to 3 weeks before we start our final push to the higher camps and to the summit. It has been raining in the base camp every day. We are at the altitude where rain is common. I am thinking to go down again to Sama Goan for some change in scenery and to pass the time. It gets very boring
sitting for days at the base camp.