Sunday, May 31, 2009

the summit!!!!

10th std board exams-not prepared-not nervous
12th std board exams-not prepared-not nervous
Meeting the president-not prepared –not nervous
Performing-even if not prepared-never nervous

At the south col. Or camp 4-prepared as hell, everything ready,-me nervous as hell!!
I was hating that feeling….of feeling nervous…..and it was a strong nervousness….had seen the mountain….while coming up to camp 4….finally the route…and all that…..it almost looked impossible to climb in a day…..and come back….it looked massive….huge tall….hovering…….i chose not to look at it that much….it had not been so tough….mentally to reach here….but now that I was here I was shivering….physically it had been…well quite demanding…..was able to fulfill those demands of this mountain and still manage to keep some for my self…..

We had left EBC on the 17 th morning at 4:30 am…..the first and foremost challenge was the ice fall….and knowing we had lost someone right here…just some days ago we were all a little pensive about how it was gona treat us…..but we slowly slowly fastly made our way through it…..meaning very carefully yet fast….we had reached camp 1 by 9am….we heated some water and had some chai at our lone tent standing at camp 1…and then was the part that I dreaded more than even the ice fall….i thought I would be able to do better than my earlier time….as there was a bit of cloud cover…..and so the sun was milder…..but just as we started out…it magically cleared out as if someone had read my mind and been like huh!!....so anyway….we walked the sizzling snow to camp 2….this time the way seemed longer …..probably because we were goin directly from base camp to camp 2…..Henry had reached camp 2 at 9:30 am leaving probably 15mins before me…..Yura had reached by 11am….Nick had reached by 12….and I reached at 3pm….and Bud by 3:30pm……it was a terribly long walk…..these guys are just really tall and their 1 step is like my 3 so it was understandable…..but….i knew the next day was gona be a relax day…..so I wasn’t much bothered by my tiredness….besides we had had a terribly long rest down at Pheriche….. i was fearing that we must have started to lose our acclimatization....so the slow rising up…helped me…I guess….so I had some soup….my head was hurting right behind my eyes…..and so I gulped down 2 bottles of tang…..then had some more soup…..and then some noodle soup and then I went straight to bed……I knew I would sleep well considering I was pretty much tired…..i got tucked in by Gyalu as usual…and he stayed till I fell asleep……and then went on for his dinner….i slept really cozy with my hot water bottle in my hands and the feather jacket wrapped around my legs…..tomorrow was a rest day so no getting up in the blistering cold….but invariably I was awake at 5:30 am…..wanting to go to the loo….i could hear the winds lapping all the tents at the campsite…and just the thought of getting out of the warm sleeping bag was frustrating to me…. So I decided to not think of it and continued to sleep….i was in that semi conscious mode…..at 6;30am I finally decided to get out…..when I got back I was shivering…..the winds were making a havoc out there…..and some guys were summiting today as well…..i wondered what it would be like on the summit……and went back to sleep…trying to clutch the now warm water bottle….while again in the semi conscious mode…I could hear someone moaning…..but I wasn’t sure…actually I was just plain asleep….and that moaning to me was from my dream…..and then I floated from being semi….to completely sleeping…at 8:30am I was awakened by screaming outside…..not right outside my tent but….close by….Bud was on one side of my tent and Yura on the other……and I couldn’t exactly get what was being said in all the screaming…..but it was definitely not for Bud or Yura…..and then finally I heard among all the screams….HENRY! HENRY!....and I was like shit!! What now??....i pulled my feather jacket on and ran out….there were a lot of sherpas…and some other people gathered out….Henry was in his tent….and I could hear Puchhanga (Bud’s Sherpa)saying “Henry stay awake…you are ok….just breath….henry ,henry…listen to me open your eyes…henry henry”my blood froze…I dint know what exactly had happened to him….but he was the fittest of all of us….besides he and me had done our rotation together….and had done only one…..if there was something wrong with him…then I wondered how far behind was i…..we were at 6320mtrs….and at this height anything could become a problem….i wondered what it was that had happened to him….there was just too much commotion at that point…sherpas were getting the oxygen bottles out…the regulator was being fixed…..the mask was being looked for….two sherpas were sent to go look for doctors on the camp site….like I have said earlier the camps are really set widely….there were men communicating the exact condition…….”of male victim..46yrs old….” To the HRA Himalayan rescue association…..down at the base camp….and they were telling them what they should do….i finally spotted Gyalu in all this and asked him what the hell had gone wrong……he wasn’t sure but he said that “….was calling out for help from tent….then came out and fell on the rock…..then sherpa help to take him in tent ….then he have seizure….then he do combat…and now his eyes go behind” he said it matter of factly…..simply…..like it was normal….Henry was calling out for help cause he was in some kind of pain....after no one came he got out of his tent to get help……but he slipped and fell on the rocks….then Perba(Nicks Sherpa) saw him and got him in the tent……his nose and face was bleeding…..and then he went into a seizure….after which he was being angry or was trying to fight the people trying to help him….the doctor said it was also a concussion….basically a head injury….by the time the doctors had arrived he had started to not fight…..and was calming down…..breathing now….in the next 15 mins he was given some shots….and soon he was talking to the doctors….initially he couldn’t remember his own name….or where he was….or who Yura was….but now he could remember…..though he was still quite sure he was in base camp….he had to go down now…it was over for him…..head injury is a strict no no….and so his bags were packed and he was dressed…..the doc. Was telling the HRA that she would try and get him to walk….she was just worried of the ice fall….she was the doctor of the Coratian team….and she agreed to walk with him till camp1 just in case he had another concussion……which was possible in case of head injuries at high altitudes…..my heart sank….my confidence cracked and I felt like it was all gona crash down on us….Henry was standing there with the support of one Sherpa and the doctor…the guy who had climbed to camp 2 as fast as a sherpa….i had just developed a good rapport with him…and we had just began to crack jokes just between the two of us….and on this lonely trip of mine I had finally made a friend…..and I was looking forward to summiting with him…and pooooof…..he was going down…he called out to me as I stood hiding behind the crowd of sherpas….. I gave him a heartfelt hug…..and let go…it was best if he went down…..it meant he would live…..this height could do anything to you….in minutes…and you wouldn’t even know….. I went back to my tent….the sun was shinning brightly today….Puchhanga and Gyalu and Perba were going down till camp1 to leave him and then some other sherpas were coming up from base camp to get him….it was quite depressing…..i lied in my tent for a while and then I decided I had to shake it off me…..and I did…I started planning for ahead…the packing…what all did I absolutely need and what I absolutely dint need….and what I could do without….and the brat that I am I put my kajal in the first thing…..ahahaha…I did and I left my toothpaste and brush….see…..what I absolutely need….and what I could do without…..comm’on you don’t expect me to brush at those temperatures…..im quite proud of myself to be even brushing at camp 2…….anyways so I sorted things out…the socks the jackets….the more important things….what I would carry myself and what I would give Gyalu….he came back by 2pm…..then he went had lunch and then we packed together…..tried to make fun…..with what we don’t need……like sleeping bags…..or water bottles…..i had chosen to eat in the kitchen tent instead of the dinning tent…in the dinning tents my team mates talked about how bad things were….how they must have evacuated Henry….how if this had happened he would have been no more and if that ….this…it was depressing and suffocating while in the kitchen tent Nima dai’s(our camp 2 cook) jokes and the sherpas laughter would keep the mood light….even if they were the ones that had actually gone down with the victim…..so we then went in for dinner…..i had noodle soup that I oh so love so much….infact that night in the fear of not having enough energy for the next day I had two full servings of the noodles…as usual Gyalu came to tuck me in….and after he though I was asleep he left…..but I was not asleep….i was awake…..and some or the other thoughts kept coming to me…..i heard Bud dial and talk to someone….and I had just such an urge to borrow his phone and call my mother and tell her all that had happened today….just tell her….let her know….let someone know what I had seen….it would have helped me get some weight off….and I tried counting sheeps….dint work….i tried humming…..and moaning…and screaming in the sleeping bag…..i put on my torch and read all the tags ….then I tried to sleep on my stomach like I do at home….but that DEFINITELY dint work….i adjusted my pillow…..then went to the loo….then yelled out to Gyalu to come back to the tent….may be that would help…to sleep….it dint for a while…..and then Gyalu was snoring……and I was still wide awake…..had some water…… and then I think I fell asleep…..i thought i would not have enough energy the next morning coz I hadn’t slept till 10 last night which is very late for the mountains…..but I was quite energetic when I got up at 5:30am on the 19th of May …ready to go to camp 3….went and had some hot black tea and cornflakes in the kitchen tent and we were ready to roll…..Partemba dai had asked me to use oxygen from here….though there was no real need for it….it would preserve my energy for the next few days…..if I used it now….so reluctantly I obeyed….put on my mask…..put the oxy on 1 and started of…..i was feeling quite uncomfortable….i dint see that it was making me walk any faster…..and it was uncomfortable…..but because Partemba dai had said it I continued to walk with it….once we reached the jumar point I decided I wanted to go without it….it would have been really uncomfortable…..so I pulled it of …..and climbed the Lohtse face….this time it felt much simpler and the camp came much faster than it had come earlier….the NIM team was right behind me….their tents were the first tents in camp 3…..mine were the 4th row of tents…..about 20 mins apart from each other……I had reached camp 3 in 5 and a half hours…...i wasn’t exhausted but I was dehydrated…..and now I was climbing with my new Millet everest shoes….which had managed to give me a pain on my heels….it had made them numb and stiff….and it was funny that my heels felt that way….coz I thought my toes would feel like that……the moment I reached camp I gulped down some hot juice….and then some hot tea…in the fear of developing a headache…..took my crampons off got inside the tent…..changed my socks….the tent was as hot as an oven…..you wont believe how hot I was feeling at 7300mtrs….but it was really hot and I peeled off the layers I was wearing till I was wearing my thermals and a t-shirt…..i had to be sucking on oxygen as I sat in the tent…the heat in the tent made my face sweat…plus the mask made it hotter…..the uncomfortable ness took my mind off the tension of moving to camp 4 the next day….which was supposed to be a terribly long walk/climb….i had some noodles and bournvita….and tried to sleep but the tent was too bright and yellow to be able to sleep in it….but gyalu managed to start snoring as soon as he lied down….and I was so jealous of him….i listened to some music…..and dreamt of the summit day….and how I was gona be so energetic….and how I was going to run up….and be so strong while coming down……and that I was going to come down……there are no objective hazards after camp 3…..meaning no crevasses…..no avalanche prone areas….no rockfall….it was just the increasing height which could pose a problem…..and your own body….nothing else…..and of course slips and falls could be a problem….i was hoping my body kept well internally…..so kept drinking water….as the evening came close the weather became cloudy….and it began to snow…..we had decided to have dinner by 4…and off to bed by 5….so gyalu got up at 4…..we made some noodles again…..some soup…..had it…..packed for the next day…..i went to the loo….put on my feather down suit…..which is like the boiler suit…..or the kind of suit mechanics wear……like a dangree….but it felt nice and warm….it was just a pain when you had to go to the loo….the rainbow zip on the butt wont work….and as it is I was wearing two thermals inside….so I would always have to pull the whole suit off to go take a leak which was a very very cold procedure…..anyway….was ready for bed at 5pm…..i was quite sleepy and the brightness of the entire day had made my eyes burn….i slept well at camp 3 with the oxygen in my sleeping bag….. we had planned to leave by 5am…..but we managed to be completely ready and leave by 6am on the 20th of May….everyone at the camp was getting ready….outside their tents…the last things…the harness…..the crampons…..and the masks….and then we lined up at the fixed line and started the climb……had to go around a bulge of ice on the face and then straight up at a 90 degree till we came exactly in the line of the yellow band……and a right angle turn to the left……till the yellow bend…I thought this traverse would be easier to walk than the vertical bit….but it seemed to take longer….the yellow band is limestone that has marks of all the possible climbers that have moved over it with their crampons….its a vertical push again…..but it lasts for only 30-40 feet……after which its again a traverse slightly at an angle connecting to the Geneva Spur….which is a black rocky spur which goes at a diagonal …and then over the ridge…..and then a straight walk of 15 mins to South Col. Or Camp 4…….a lot of people were coming down…..summiteers …from the 19th….and we exchanged congrats and best of lucks all the way up to Camp 4……I reached Camp 4 at 12:30pm….it had again taken me 5 and a half hours to get here…..i wasn’t exhausted….i felt good….but looking at the challenge that stood RIGHT before me now…..i became nervous….it really looked huge, big, massive, and scary…..the wind was working its way now….the view from the col. Is beautiful….can see Nupse, and Pumuri , And Cho Oyu…..the clouds were making beautiful patterns far to the right of Nupse……and also around Cho Oyu…..as Gyalu set up the tent for the afternoon….i watched the happenings of camp 4…..there was so much garbage around I almost felt like running around picking it up…it was the gas cylinders, food packs, used socks, broken water bottles, and loads of other crap,….i got inside the tent…..got my shoes and soaking wet socks off, changed to a pair of warm new socks…..made the tent cozy …and settled down for the afternoon…..had water….and made soup…..i was nervous as hell but dint say anything….had to spend time till about 7 in the evening…I knew I would be fine once I would start climb…this was the night of the summit….the first attempt..it was THE night…..i tried to sleep….so I had energy for the night….i put some laughing cow cheese down my throat….some biscuits….some dry fruits……and soup….and tried to sleep again….but just dint manage to….cuddled myself into my sleeping bag ….and just sat with my eyes closed…..i dint know wether I will be able to do it….i was really scared at this point and my heart was beating really fast…..i really wanted to talk to my mother….i just wanted to talk to her….but there was no way for that and besides I wouldn’t have actually spoken to her…..it would have been just too difficult…..so I just tried to think of good things …..good dreams…..Apa Sherpa came in and told me that I had to leave by 8:30pm……I asked him how long it takes to the summit…and he said “well it depends on your speed some take 13 some take 10”….so I asked him how long he takes…..”about 5 to 6 hours”….and I was like phew….i wondered how long I would take….i thought I would take 13 hours….we started getting ready at about 8pm….and we were completely ready by 9pm and started off…..the initial part is flatish and it gradually increases gradient up till it reaches a 65 degree to 70 degree ….and then the surface begins to get rocky ….and the foot doesn’t know how exactly to place itself between these rocks with the crampons…… but after the first bit I managed to be able to do it smoothly….i was keeping in pace with the other climbers….you could see a line of white lights all the way to the balcony….(a feature that stands at 8500mtrs…a flatish space before the South-east ridge)……the moment we reached the balcony we got our water bottles out….drank the warm grape juice changed the oxygen cylinder….took a leak….and this my friend will be the coldest most uncomfortable leak I have ever taken……I had to get my harness off…it was a painful procedure….anyway….the line of lights….had reached all the way till the south summit…the line of climbers had lighted up the whole way up to the south summit…..the NIM Indian team had left at 7:30pm….so they were all the way up there…..seeing this longer line of lights my enthusiasm and energy shot 5 times higher…..it was 1:00am now…..which meant the sun would be out in the next 3 hours…if not out at least there would be light…..there was some wind but it wasn’t really troubling me……I think I had left no room for it anyway…..coz I was wearing two thermal pants….one windproof pant….one thermal top…..two t-shirts, two sweaters and then the down suit…..so I was packed….besides three pairs of socks….two facemasks…a pile woolen cap…..the wind wouldn’t dare bother me with all that…..we started off again….there was some snow climbing and then two big humps of rock……and then some more snow vertical climbing to the south summit….there was lightning happening far behind Lhotse…..probably in India…and we were above it all….there was little lightning happening in china as well ….it looked beautiful….like as if that whole region was partying…..while on the ridge we spotted 3 lights on the Tibet ridge also climbing…..then the moon rose….it was a crescent and a bright star folloew it shortly…probably the shukra tara…it looked beautiful….im sorry but I couldn’t wait to take a picture…the climbers were moving really fast……and dig into the pockets to get the camera out was not possible…..that image remains only for my eyes….maybe I’ll paint it sometime….slowly after the moon the eastern horisen started changing its color to a deep orange to yellow….till the horizon from the base of the mountain was a sea of clouds…..so it looked like u could just dive into their softness……the sky had its shades too…..from a dark blue on the west to a light blue in the east…..the shading by the sun….that had not yet risen……I was just below the south summit….i was quite excited to reach the south summit….and the moment I reached , my jaw just dropped……the hillary step stood right in front of me now……THE HILLARY STEP……something I had seen at the NIM……a poster that says ”the army team negotiating the Hillary step”…….and that’s what I thought at this moment…..it looked exactly like that…..as if I was standing right in front of that poster….in NIM the poster is right in front of the staircase that’s there after coming up from the dinning hall….and here as I climbed the steep bit of the way to the South Summit….that same picture came in front of me……this was the most exciting moment….well till then….it was magical…and then the sun rose….slowly …..like saying…..may I add to the beauty!!!!??......and then in the west the most massive huge and dark thing began to rise…..like a ghost….and it took my brain 2 seconds to realize what I was watching grow to my left……it was the dark shadow of MT.EVEREST….the tallest most longest shadow ever…..it went higher than the horizon……it is the most beautiful thing that I have seen…..and I think it will remain to be the most beautiful thing I will ever see……I spent some time trying to click pictures…..the battery froze after a while…..i loved it here….at the south summit….you can see down from here till the balcony…..and up till the SUMMIT…….it looked like you could just hop skip jump till the summit from here……looked like it was 15mins away……but it was not….it was 5 am……and I left for the summit…..you climb down the south summit and then your walking on the cornice ..till you reach the Hillary Step…a little climb….then theres this huge stone that’s there that you have to sit on….like you sit on a horse…..but then you are attached to the rope….and so there’s a 20,000 feet drop all the way to camp 2 on one side and a small gap on the other side…..and I couldn’t spin from the drop side coz I was clipped in to the rope….and I couldn’t get my leg to this side from the gap….coz my leg was too fat for that…..and I struggled a bit on this rock….as yura….my teammate who had summated was on his way back….as he waited and laughed at me……and I climbed back down and came up in another fashion….and then passed him…congratulated him…and went ahead….this was my funniest moment on the summit day……’stuck in a funny situation’……then I met Nick after the Hillary step……congratulated him…..and then I met the NIM team…….one by one…..all the sirs…..and I congratulated each one of them……as they all made their way down the mountain….i had all my energy…..and I knew now that there was no stopping…..this was the time that I knew there was no turning back for me…this was when I had ABSOLUTELY no doubt that I could DO IT!!!!!......i had heard stories of people turning back at the south summit….i knew I was not gona be one of those people now……I slowly but surely made my way to the top…..as I was getting close to the summit the wind began to pick up some more momentum….and I was a little doubtful of whether my cameras would work ….at least one of them should work…..at least once was all I was hoping for…..just once god…..at least just once….and as I reached the summit I thought…..wow I am standing on the highest point ON THE FACE OF THIS FREAKING WHOLE WORLD……I have done it…..but the other thing that remained in my head was that…..i have to go back…..this is not over yet…..this was a PART of the trip…..its not the end……this is just HALF the way……like a very intelligent mountaineer once said…..the SUMMIT is OPTIONAL…….RETURNING IS MANDATORY…….so the summit was done….it was the returning that had to be done now……and that was gona be a loooooooooooooooooooong long way……the wind continued its moking for a while….i looked around….trying to see what I had heard about the summit…..of how one was suppose to feel….and how people react on the summit…..now when I think of myself on the summit….i think I was a bit too mechanical….or just way too perfect perfect….i clicked the necessary pics….there was a british woman whose camera stopped working so I clicked her summit pictures…….and then another Indian Tapi came…..looked over at the Tibet side…..was hoping to see the climbers from that side but dint spot any……looked at Mt.Makalu……it looked beautiful…..and ChoOyu…and Pumuri……was wondering if I could see the Indian skies from here……then realized that I was standing right on the border of Tibet and Nepal…and I thought to myself what a weird border compared to the other ones in this world….like the wagha one…..then tapi was taking a vedio and asked what I felt like doing and I said I wold just like to tell my mum that I did it…..just let her know….and then we realized we hadn’t told Partemba dai that we had reached…..so we called him over the radio and told him…..and I yelled out to him that I had done it…and that he should let my mother know….and then we had to leave…..we had been on the summit way too long…..so we changed our oxygen bottles….and started on our way down……I met Apa Dai…..just before the Hillary step…and he congratulated me……and I continued down…….at the south summit I again got my camera out…..but gyalu said that we souldnt waste time….and I thought to myself ….”not gona get this chance again’so I clicked pics all the way down…..not of myself but the surroundings…..the sky was as clear as could be ………and as the rock bumps came I wondered to myself as to how the hell I climbed this…..and how the hell is it that I am gona go down……safe…..in one piece….i rapelled in the vertical bits…..and walked down the not soooo steep ones…….i was back at camp4 at 12:30pm…….i bum slid the last 20 feet….just for the fun….and that my heels were numb due to the shoes….when I reached camp….Nick and Yura were getting ready for to go down to camp 2…..i was just entering so I decided to stay the night here….and enjoy the view the height……and STAY at the south col….just extend this rendezvous…with the tallest of all beauties….

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



this was supposed to be posted on the 16th.......so here goes....

Ok….so I’m moving up to camp 2 tomorrow……and this is the final summit push…. All the work that has gone down for the past 6 months now comes down to the final 6 days….17th up to camp 2…..18th rest at camp 2…..19th camp 3….20th camp 4……and then at night final push to summit……summit 21st morning……and then hopefully back to camp 2…..if im feeling really strong and camp 4 if not that strong….so I’m in the first team…..though my initial plan was to be in the second team with bill….but Partemba dai said it would be better to be in the first team….though we will be cutting I the steps and all coz well we are one of the first teams going up so….well it’s me ….(I think its time I introduced my team to you’ll,….now that I know them quite well myself….)Nick,26 from USA, farmer and mountain guide, the loudest in our group, Henry,in his 40s….German….he’s the kinds you can imagine on a enfield o bigger bikes….kinna rough and really funny….,Yura, also in his 40s,he’s Russian but now American….the careful one, then there’s Bud,50,really careful as well, nice to talk to…I love his accent…he’s a pilot….., and Apa dai…..the 18 time everester…the most down to earth…and always ready for more work…..we are the first team….and well only Nick, Henry, Apa dai , and me plan to summit on the 21st…..Bud and Yura will summit on the 22nd and the rest of the team on the 23rd…..which includes Jesse,in his 20s,loves to eat……Bill or William Burke ,the oldest member of our team 67yrs,lawyer , has carried the maximum amount of goodies……loves spice…me n he like having the chilly nepali sauce that we have named Apa Sauce as its Apa Dai’s favorite as well….oh and we love it….and ten there is Mogans…a 36yr old fitness freak and the most competitive and non lazy leo I have seen so far….he had once cycled from Denmark to Everest Base Camp….through Iran, Pakistan, India etc….has summated Evrest from the North side….and was on Discovery for some show….and he is attempting this time without oxygen……..and inshalla he’ll do it…..so that’s our team….and well Will Cross who was also a summiteer of Everest left after the big Avalanche to go climb Cho Oyu in china….he was great fun as well….was diabetic but had been to both the poles and had done Everest…..

So the Avalanche…that I dint tell you’ll about earlier…I couldn’t get myself to write about it….so here it is….after my post on the 4th……I was on rest here in base camp….and Jesse ,Nick,Yura and the Austrian team of 5 had gone up on their rotation to camp 3…..on the 5th and 6th I lazed around bathed ,washed clothes eat,drank and chilled basically…..on the 7th everyone was expected to be back in base camp…I went for some exercise and acclamatisation to Henry peak….it’s about 2 hours from BC by my speed…..the 7th….it was a bright sunny day…..and I kept striping one layer after the other as I kept trekking…….at about 10:30am there was a huuuuuuuge avalanche starting from the lola pass again,or the Khumjung face…….sweeping over the right side of the Ice Fall……and further sweeping over the whole of BaseCamp….I was almost at the top of Henry peak so I got the whole view right from the start to the end…..by this time my eyes have gotten accustomed to spotting people from far away….and I saw no one on the ice fall on the path of the avalanche….(once when there was a small one we had spotted a person running before the avalanche)…..i got some pics of the avalanche…..and I felt quite confident that nobody would have been hurt……besides when I left Camp…Nick had already reached camp…..and so I thought Jesse and Yura couldn’t have been far behind…..I knew the Indian Nim team was coming down aswell…….and I hoped they would all be fine as well, or already down….I continued up to the top and then back down……the view from the top is beautiful ……theres a blue lake to one side of the hill and a brown one on the other…..and the mountains look wonderful from there…..i was in a “HAPPY DAY” on my way down….jumping and hopping…..the avalanche for a brief time left my mind completely…..but as I got closer to the camp it all disappeared….and my steps became slower as well….it takes an hour to come back….as I entered BC…the Indian Camp comes first so I thought I would go and check whether they were all back….. safe…I did see movement in the camp……so I walked there….welcomed the sirs back to BC….they all seemed fine…..and I asked where they were during the avalanche and they said they were right in the middle of it…..infact they said “we helped rescue two of your members but the Sherpa is still missing”and my throat went dry and my mind numb…..and I ran to my camp…..Dawa and all the other Sherpas from our camp as well as some other expeditions had all gone up to look for the missing Sherpa….it was 12 o clock…..as I walked to my camp I was just thinking of Jesse and Yura……and one of their Sherpas… they said they had helped rescue them from a crevasse…..my mind was choked with thoughts….and as I entered camp….i saw Yura standing right there….with a grave expression but standing just fine ….dint look like he had fallen into a crevasse…and my mind immediately made up my mind that it was not one of us…and not one of OUR Sherpas….but it was one of our Sherpas…..it was the 2 Austrian members that had fallen into a crevasse….and it was Lakhpa Nuru Sherpa that had gone missing…..Jesse was fine he was above the Avalanche when it happened….and Yura had almost reached Camp……one of the Austrian woman,one man and Lakhpa….got themselves into a small crevasse to protect themselves from the huuuuge avalanche….Lakhpa sat the out most…..and once the Avalanche hit….it took lakhpa out of the crevasse…flying out somewhere….while it pushed the Austrians further down also opening the crevasse down wards…..and they hung there choked between the two walls of the crevasse…..upside down…..the woman kept yelling out and the Indian Team that was coming down heard the screams…..they could rescue the woman immediately but it took about 20mins for the man….Walter…..as he had managed to go lower……he had got hypothermia…..and as soon as he was pulled out he was taken care of by Phelix who is a docter from the Austrian team….he was up above the avalanche when it happenend…..they were both got down immediately ….phelix’s face was bleeding coz as the women….Brenise…..tried to come out she managed to stamp on his face……while still having her crampons on….she herself had no injuries perse……phelix was completely fine by the time he had reached the camp….meaning the hypothermia had miraculously disappeared and he had walked back after half the way…..but they were both only worried about their Sherpa...he was right next to them one moment and then he was just gone….. it was 1:30 pm by now…..all the Sherpas were still up….Partemba dai and Apa dai had gone to Gorek Shep….they were there in about 15 mins after I had reached…...Nicks blue eyes were watery as hell as he sat at the door of the dinning tent…….Jesse just reached the camp and me and Bud un did his shoes as he looked zombie….Yura stood there staring at everything happening around ..just probably thanking his stars and his Sherpa who had made him practically run down the icefall as we had been having these avalanches coming from this exact spot for some days now…..and 2 small ones had come down just before this big one as if the mountain was warning us…..by 2:30pm the sherpas started giving up…..Dawa came down….Gyalu came down….Puchhanga…Bud’s Sherpa came down…..and I thought there could still be a chance Lakhpa was alive….i tried going over my notes on S & R….what if he had fallen into a crevasse and had lots of air to breath….what if this…and what if that…..I couldn’t look at Dawa……I felt guilty…..i couldn’t look at Partemba dai…..i dint have the guts…..and I dint have a heart to console…I helped serving juice to the tiered sherpas that were back…and I went to my tent…..just to organize my thoughts…I hadn’t allowed myself to cry…..not even when it was just me in my tent….i lied down and tried to think of stories or incidents that C sir had told us about…..but I couldn’t come to anything positive…..then Dawa called in for a meeting…..of all the members…Jesse dint come…..he dint leave his tent all day…he was way too shaken…..Dawa himself looked shaken……he began to talk but his voice choked on the tears that he held…..Partemba next to him dint think it wis e to hold his tears and his cheeks were red with his tears…..Bill on the other side of Dawa patted him….and his tears rolled then…Nick had hid his face ….he was crying……and then Dawa spoke again…..my heart was beating fast and my chest was choking…..he said it would be better for all of us to go down for a while….now that we were done with our rotations….besides he needed to clear things out hear…and its best we weren’t a part of it all….and then as he spoke about Lakhpa…the voice choked again….and this time even my tears rolled out…..i couldn’t sit in that tent any longer….i needed my own space to cry…..so I left the tent….i also had to ask the Indian camp if they had any probing rods…..so I left….and I cried my heart out on the way …it felt good…..my stomach felt hollow…..like a vacuum had developed….the Indian camp was also silent for a change…..everyone was resting…..even they were in the avalanche……Bodh sir was there….and he kept saying it was OK….and that we should forget about it for now…think about it after we had finished what we had come here to do ….but I found it difficult to do that but I tried to obey my sir…..but it wasn’t easy……dinner was silent that night and I forced my food down…..there were no sarcastic taunts being passed around…..tomorrow morning a team of 12 sherpas were going up to look for the body…..and the team members were going to head down to Pheriche for rest….i dint sleep well the whole night….and I got upto the crackling sound of the radio in the dinning tent….it was something about evacuating an Indian from the NIM team…..there was going to be a helicopter rescue…..and I was just like what the hell…..who’s going down….what happened…why heli…..is it soooo serious….and I tried to listen to more of the conversation….and learnt that it was Magan Bissa going down….and I went to the Indian camp….thought I would help if it was needed….I walked with his wife till the heli pad…..while he was carried on a stretcher to the pad….and the fact that “The mountain calls you” rested it self more firmly into my head as mrs.Bissa was telling me how they had fought the night….he had Apendixites….and had been in pain the whole night….I was there….but I was lost in some thoughts somewhere else….and all the incidents were worrying me….i went back to my camp and my tent….and packed to go down…..just for rest….dont wana think of any thing else…..the Sherpa team was still up in the icefall….they were gona be down by 8:30 max….it was 10 now but they hadn’t given up….we started to go down…led by Apa…..Nick, Henry ,Yura and me……Bud was gona come with Jesse who needed a day before he left BC….and Bill wanted to go up for a rotation….and Mogans was already at Pheriche….we left and as we went further for BC we all managed to get out of that daze we all were in….the weather was windy…and cloudy….but the walk was beautifull….as we got closer too Pheriche the GREEN looked sooooo good….it was quite a change from the the white and grey……and I thought of the stories of wanting to see just color…..well….as we got closer to pheriche it began to snow……and it snowed for the next five days….and all the green that we wanted to see went……well not down the drain but defenetly under the snow!!!

On the 12th we trekked to Dingboche as the weather had cleared up for the afternoon…..thats when I wrote that earlier post……tried to get the weather report as well…..it was me and Apa dai….and one of his friends called Lakhpa……and would you believe it……we lost our way….were stuck in a snow storm had snow blowing into our face…..we were wearing just feather jackets….and woolen caps…..trying to figure out the way…..we found the normal route and then laughed all the way to the hotel….the next day we trekked to Lobuche…..in 2 and a half hours to the earlier of 5 hours…that was the 13th…..and then on the 14th we were back at base camp…….we had missed the Apa Sauce…so we eat that to our hearts content……food here seemed soo good compared to the hotel food...Partemba dai welcomed me with a nice tight hug….and it felt like we were back home…..

On the 15th we all got our masks and regulators and we all tried the oxygen once…..putting it on……..taking it of….trying our goggles on etc.etc……the numbers we were gona use it on etc…..i wont lie….i was a little intimidated by the maskes and the questions people raised about it but it comforted me that it was a while before we used those….i mean I was set to leave on the the 19th…..and summit on 23rd……but as of NOW im gona be going tonight…..or lets say tomorrow morning….at 3am as usual…..i am a little scared….and nervous…..but also happy that its finally HERE…..the next 6 days….till im back HERE in base camp….and then its all partying!!!....just have to pass through that icefall twice more…..and then don’t ever have to worry about it…..i have everything I need….and im feeling ready for it….actually im quite happy I got moved up to summiting on the 21st as I was starting to get bored of waiting …..its all mixed up feelings….

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

iternet can collaps any time now.....

sorry guys havent been able to write....the internet ...and comps not working exactly wen i need them.....still at Namche Baazaar ....will post the posts from Kathmandu...will be there on the 28th hopefully....thanyou all for your love...looking forward to get to India....muah.....

Monday, May 11, 2009

down resting

..now ...waiting for the weather to clear.....ready for the finnal summit push......now at pheriche4300...tommorrow at lobuche and then back at case camp on the 13th......and then up and back as fast as posssible....would like to inform u all that i have bbeen dreaming of all u....dreamt that i forgot deepti's birthday and got a shouting for it....dreamt that sagar had come to india....that ana had an argument with me and ran away......deepu sir had come to kathmandu.....the heli had got thapa sir to case camp........had a big dinnner at dadar with whole family with narayani making faces at me and lastly had amithabh bachchan telling me i cant play cricket at this height......hehehehee......and had a dream about arati but cant remember it anymore......i have read up 6 books till now...teusdays with morrie,the white tiger,the tipping point.a thousand splendid suns,p.s.i love u, fearless on everest,and now reading the book theif.....came down from base camp on the 8th after atough day on the 7th....it was a beautifull treck back.....its been snowing since then.....its romantic as helll.....and i sit with my book snuggled up in the corner of the dinning room...which is warm and quite read and sometimes stare at the snowfall.....missing some warm company......i do have my hot cup of coffee.....but probably sowmya's missing.....or ana....or......but then get back to the book.....im excited now.....another ten days and it shalll be over....ill probably be back here writing about the summit.....fingers crossed fingers crossed.....till then ....i love u alll and think of each of u....there s not one person i have not thought off in all these days.......Mrs.Singh......i want to thank her....donno for what....i hope ...(arati) u have found her for me......ana take care of my mother.....and say hi to uncle aunty from me.....great to know ur backin india deeee......muah to everyone.....i love you......

Monday, May 4, 2009

To Camp 3 and back to base camp....its loooong....

3rd of may…..tried to get up at 3am….could hear the guys goin up for their rotation to camp 3….and I smiled to my self….i have already done that…..!!! hehehehe…..i’am back at base camp….my last post was on the 23rd…..on 24th april early in the morning at 3’o’clock i was up along with Bill, Bud, and Nick…..i was feeling great….nervous and excited…..and other emotions I wasn’t allowing myself to feel…..it was starry and cold….and we went to the kitchen tent and had some hot porridge…..i couldn’t have the eggs….some thing that I develop against it…..slowly I got ready trying to be as organized as possible….i was in pure black….half aware of what that would do to me later….black pants….black t-shirt….black sweater….black face masks…..black gloves….and the fat ones that I wear over them were tied with cord to the back loops of my pants so that they dint fall into a crevasse while clipping the carabiners into the rope n off it….i was ready….after clicking a few snaps at the altar where our pooja had happened and still trying to feel like I was as comfortable as possible and tried to make myself feel like it was at home I touched Partemba dai’s feet….it was something I did for me…..it was to sought of have an impression for myself of still feeling comfortable….now there was this crampon point that everyone who had gone up or had been here before would talk about…..i had the impression that it would be atleast half n hour away….not that I had seriously sat and thought about it but it was just an impression I had…..and this so called “crampon point” happened to be past the frozen lake right opposite our camp…..its like you count till 5 and ur there……funny…I don’t understand why we don’t just wear the crampons outside our tents and walk….it would hardly make any difference…..its just another stop….i could see the trail of lights going up….right till the top…..it looked inspiring….motivating….though we had planned to move by 4am we managed to really get started by 4:45am…..now this getting ready portion of the trek is the most boring…the longest and the coldest of all the work that you have to do …..the initial part of the ice fall is this zig zag passages with 7 feet walls on either sides and little steps to take up…..at every corner….i have developed this habit of trying to match a particular terrain that im moving on with something I have done before…..and considering I have not done very much before….i couldn’t compare this with anything…..i was waiting for the ladders …..i don’t know how they were gona be…..to be frankly honest…..i haven’t ever ever crossed a ladder before…..with crampons NEVER……but I wasn’t scared….confident as usual….im more so when I don’t know something…..there were loads of people going up….loads of sherpas…..carrying loads of load…..and they took over u even before u noticed there was some one behind you…and then slowly the fixed rope began to show it self….little steeper and longer vertical steps….there was still no need to clip the carabiner on….and I though the rope as a distraction….it was easier to just tip-toe instead of holding the rope….there were people using jumars on these stretches as well…..well I should let you’ll know that there are people here who have learnt to tie their crampons here….and are still learning how many ways there are to hold an ice axe…..so……any ways…..i was excited….and charged….so I went up as fast as I could…gyalu…my sherpa kept saying “no fast ,better slow slow”…..and I thought I was slow cause a lot of guys were over taking me…then the ladders…..and when I spotted one from a distance ….i felt stronger…..ready for it…..there was a little queue before it….i watched very closely how the lady was crossing it….and the guy…..and then another one….and that was enough learning for me…..i clipped myself in…..held both the ropes on either side and placed my feet such that the sweet spot would hit the rung exactly…..as lightly as possible…..it was great….i took every alternate rung… I think people try to step on all the rungs and that’s more confusing….at least in my brain….and that was that…..it was done…..my first ladder I crossed with flying colors…..it was the first……there were at least 30 more to come……..different sizes….joined not joined…..vertical….and the goin down ones…..all types…..but this year’s route is supposed to be a very good one….the max of 3 ladders attached to each other….so the first half of the climb was exciting the ladders and all….reached the string of flags…..and I was warned not to think that I had reached camp……the second half started….its unsaid….but after every string of flags that u pass its like a section…..so the second one passed a little slowly then the first one….the climbs had gotten steeper longer…..and the crevasses deeper and wider…..still no use of jumar though but we had started clipping our self’s in religiously….the crevasses looked beautiful….the only thing that made me think twice before looking into the crevasses was to happen to see a body…or something to represent that……it was just a thought that had subconsciously cultivated it self in my mind…but I still looked…..and they look beautiful…we finished the second section and we were starting on our third…..the sun was not yet out…..i mean it had risen but had not touched us…..we had reached the football field…..an flattish area that looks nothing like a football field….this place is 3/4th of the way to Camp1….i had started to develop a headache towards the end of the 2nd section …..but I thought drinking water would help…..but till this field it hadn’t reduced……..and then at the field the sun finally touched us….after the field there is a last vertical push and then the flat grounds….maidan….of Camp 1…..it was 9 am…..and I had to take a decision ….going up was another 2 hours …going down was 3…….i had been at base camp only for 3 nights…..i had the energy to go up…..but I dint know how the night would be….colder….so I decided to go down…..i was starting to feel nausea as well and that made the decision for me….so I started off back down….i met bill, and bud on my way down….bud now calls me “sunshine”…..and so he said good decision and said …..”you have loads of time”……and I believed him…and by the time I had reached half the way down…..i knew I had taken the right decision…..the sun made it impossible for me to keep my head straight…..the black clothes were as if tearing through my skin…..and making my stomach feel like it dint want to be inside my body …..the whole thing wanted to come out……..i was feeling miserable…..and the way down dint seem to end….when u climb in the dark u cover more than you think you have……and I couldn’t believe I had walked up THAT much…..once the first section started….i started sitting for a bit before beginning to walk again….though knowing the longer I sit the longer the sun will affect me….i was slow ….exhausted….and tired….i reached base camp by 12:45 pm….it took me 3 hours 45 mins to come back down…..almost as much it had taken me to go up…..but I knew it had more reasons than just the altitude…partemba dai…..and dawa were there……and Will…..i was just in time for lunch….i finished a bottle of lime juice …..puked it out……had another bottle….then ate a little…and went and lied down in my tent…..the sun was burning strong……by 3pm I felt perfectly fine again…..strong enough to run back up…..but I knew I had taken the right decision….evening fell….had a light dinner….and went back to my tent…..MY TENT…….now that’s one place……I got two big duffle bags on one side…..one with all my technical equipment…..one with all my personal stuff…..one book that I carried….about everest…..all electronic stuff in one corner pocket…..all toiletries in one corner pocket….all eatables in one….and trash in the last corner….its my tent…..just mine….and frankly its frustrating….its not the same as having your own room….its more…..or different…..have lunch and go to your tent sit there and do whatever you want sleep….eat….change….listen to music…….its probably because I have never had my own tent …..it was always shared with my course mates and we could discuss what we did and joke and laugh…..and huddle up and sleep…..and ask about something that’s missing from your bag…..and share moisture riser…..and do crazy stuff…..now I come back and stare at the orange ness in MY tent…..and lie down on the mattress and think of all the times I had with my tent mates…..i remember there was a time in the satopanth expedition when we were 6 of us in one tent…..and one chanda di had managed to sleep rite on top of me….and I had to ask her to adjust to such a position on my body where in i could at least breathe….hehehe…..but that warmth……no -40 degree sleeping bag can give that…..i don’t know how people who have always been in a tent by themselves do it…..and what I realized is that one needs just companionship….some one who knows what u do before u go to bed and the first thing u do when u wake up…..there are people with me……but they are not here to see me…they just also happen to be here…..and I though of my mom…..she’s alone …..there’s no one to see what she does…….i never realized these things when I was living in Bangalore….i used to live alone there….i mean I had my own room…..but its not the same…..there are lots of people that spend their lives alone…..they could be married ….or having their families …..but they are alone…..they spend their time….do their thing and go to sleep….alone….and I decided I dint wanna be like that…..i have seen it around me enough…..and I wont let people I love ever BE alone again…..oh enough of philosophy…..so next day was rest day for me…..my guys said it was good I could go till the football field with just 3 days at base camp…..besides it was good practice….and I was no more intimidated by the “khumbu glacier’ it’s a sweet glacier……its no monster …..you just have to smoothly slide your self into her likings and then shes nice to you….so 25th went by reading “the white tiger” by arvind adiga….dint like it but read it anyway…..it talks about how bad India is …..its quite shitty…..but I finished it…..it gives a decent inside on a servant of India…….blah blah blah…….1star actually ½…..anyway…..so Partemba suggested that I go up 26th morning….i din’t feel quite up to it ....but it was Partemba saying it so I couldn’t say a thing…..not that I had any strong reason for not going up…..just dint FEEL it…..so 26th I was up again at 3am…..but dint have that same feel…..i got ready….went to the kitchen tent……Apa Sherpa and Will were also goin up…..but I just wasn’t feeling rite….and I dint know how to tell them that I wasn’t feeling fine….Dawa was up as well…so I told him….but Partemba dai said now that you have gotten up go as far as u can go and come back when its enough…..but mentally I knew I couldn’t even do that ….my body felt weak….or off somewhere…..so instead we decided I would go up to Pumuri base camp….which is in the opposite direction….so I said best of luck to Apa dai and Will….and waited for the sun to rise while everyon else went back to their tents….once the sun rose I went on the way to the base camp….but returned back in our base camp in 2 hours not feeling rite…..i slept till the afternoon ….as if recovering…..i still don’t know what was exactly off that day….but it was quite something….i ate a lot that day….slept a lot….the next day on the 27th when I was feeling absolutely fine again I not only went to the Pumuri base camp…….but the high camp of Pumuri…….3hours…..there and back……it was a good trek….breezy…….Mt.Everest looked scary from there…..i looked at it once and then dint look again….it looked intimidating…..scary…..like she was growling…..dint look at her again….and came running back down…..that night I again packed for Camp 1….and went to sleep….the anxiousness dint let me sleep for a while….but then I did fall asleep……up again at 3am on the 28th…..and after the breakfast and all the routine things…..we were off this time by 4:15 am……the same turns and the same steps……I wished I could just start from where I had returned…..when I was at the second section of the ice fall…..there was an huge avalanche that started from the Lola pass…..dint reach us ….not even the dust…….but everyone there got into position and clipped themselves in….cause it could have a ripple effect and loosen some chunks of ice above us as well….my heart did skip….and a chill ran down my spine looking at the big chunks of ice that were hanging above us….but then I dint allow my brain to think of it…..and continued walking with a slightly faster pace…..this time the football field came way faster than it had the earlier time but it was not entirely due to my speed….it was because there wasn’t that many people going up today……we passed the football field…..and then up that vertical bit…..i met Will on the way down….he was now ready for summit…..he had touched Camp3…and was on his way down….he said I was 45mins away from camp…..i could see the last string of flags…..a little above….and they motivate u to reach them faster…..and so I did….and then started the flat grounds…..now from this point you can see the tents…the sun had reached us……it was 9am…..it was a good timing….i could SEE the tents….Camp 1 which is at 6100mtrs is a huge place…..spread over acres of snow fields….with Nupse on the right and Khumbuche on the left……its got some huge crevasses in between somewhere….and its bumps….so sometimes u can see some tents and then they disappear ……I thought from here it would take me 30 mins to my tent…….but no…..we walked…the sun had started its game…..it shone hard….the white snow played along with him making it’s effect triple as stronger…..i passed the first tents of the camp……in 45mins…..and I reached mine which were put at the far end of the camp….in the next 45mins…..i tell you ……vertical climbing is so much easier than this flat ground walking in the sun……so reached camp by 10:30 am……now camp was only 3 tents…..Henry who had left with me had reached by 10….he was also complaining about the flat ground….he sat in one tent while Nima dai…was preparing some soup in the other……and Gyalu was fixing the last one…….the sun was nice and bright….he made it impossible for us to even sit in the tent…..it becomes like an oven…the same like when you park your car in the sun and come back to it after an hour…..and it’s the sparkling ground outside……anyway we had soup…..took our shoes of ……wore other socks…walked around…….hoped the sun would fade itself….camps over here are far from each other…..and I mean realllly far…..so no interaction with other guys….we got terribly bored…..now Henry is a German guy…..very sweet….speaks broken English….so we spent the afternoon trying to figure out what the other was saying….also considering my b r o k e n German…..it became more fun……but after 4 days today…we understand each other quite well now…..eventually by late evening the clouds came in…..aahhhhhhhhh…..we were back in our own tents….and I kept feeling that I could hear cars…or buses….and it was definitely some sound…..i wasn’t just hearing it…..it was Nupse…..she growls the whole night…..as if saying……”why such a rush to climb her….im as good climb me!”…well I must say…..Everest is black…..she’s got snow on her like climbers have sunscreen left on their face after a trek….but all the mounts surrounding her are full of snow and ice…. When you see Everest from this angle ….where we were…camp 1 …..she looks approachable…but stern none the less…..but you feel like you have entered one of her layers….like you get to know a stern teacher…..u know she is stern but have the guts to ask her a question……something like that…..(Im really bad at giving examples)…….so as the night came closer….the air got colder…..and the quietness of the camp and the roaring of Nupse made me a little uncomfortable…I was alone in my tent……now this tent was as empty as could be….cold…..and the snow below the tent made it feel sick….i had my soup….and then noodle soup…..and then when Gyalu came to say good night……I managed to collect my guts….and ask him to come sleep with me in my tent…….the empty air in tent made it colder…..and he said he would come after he had his dinner and cleared up……it was 6pm……he huddled me up in my sleeping bag…..kept equipment around me …..like a baby….said don’t worry go to sleep….and I did….i was fast asleep before he even zipped the tent up again…..i don’t know when he had come back in….i had slept like a log…..on the morning of the 29th ……he came with a hot cup of black tea……his sleeping bag was the only mental knowledge to me that he had infact slept here……it was 8 am…..the sun had just entered our territory…..got up…..had tea….soup…..cornflakes…now my initial plan was 2 nights in Camp 1…..as I thought I was acclimatizing slower than the others….but after the boooooooring day we had ,had….i decided to move up to camp 2……so very araam se we got ready….and by 10:15am we were on our way to Camp 2 (6500mtrs)……now the way to camp 2 is the one kind that I hate……its just Bumps…..hills….that go on for ever…..the sun was bright bright bright…..and that made it a frustrating walk….you dint even feel like looking up at the beautiful scenery around…..Camp 2 was placed on the left….on a scree (loose stones and rocks…..stuck to ice in some places) hill exactly under the summit of Everest…..and this was also a s p r e a d out camp….it started at the base of the scree hill and went right till the top and down the hill again…..we have settlements here….not camps….hehehe…so I reached the base of this hill in 2 n a half hours…..the first tent of the Camp…..and reached mine in the next 1 n half hours….and this walk not only has the effect of the sun but also that people have reached their camps….are taking out their shoes….and having tea…..while you have to walk right to the top and then back down to reach your camp…..well I finally reached my camp……changed my shoes….had tea…..and sat for lunch…..no headache till now….but couldn’t really eat the lunch….stuffed how much ever I could ….went to my tent organized my stuff……and lied down….the sun was still bright…..camp 2 has a stream flowing ….and all the camps have dining tents like in base camp…..its a big place….though…..from Camp 1 onwards toilets have shrunk to the size of a bag…..like C Norbu sir would always say…..you got to carry your shit back down…..and we do….but its not as gross as u imagine it to be…..its grosser to not do the bag thing ….seriously…..anyway….the next day was rest day for me….and Henry….but the night was cold in the tent at that height…..and I dint sleep well at all that night…..got up in the middle of the night and stepped outside……could see Camp3 ahead on the Lhotse face….a light shimmering just like the stars above it…..then looked to the left…on Everest….and I could see 2 lights there as well…..huh???? was a imagining things…..or were there stars that had come down on Everest just to rest probably….tired of running around the earth!! Just went back in and dint think of it…..tried to sleep….and then dawned 30th of april…..and then I slept for a bit….went and had breakfast….walked around the camp….and stared at the black line of people going straight up at 90 degrees on the Lohtse face….and then a horizontal line from Camp3 going to South col…..and me and Henry discussed….coz we were the last in our team ….we dint know whether the weather would permit us to come back for a second rotation before the weather window opens for the summit…..after rest and all that…..and now that the route to camp 3 had opened….we could go for it…..Henry decided that he would stay at Camp3 for the night…..it means a lot of loss of power….sleeping at that altitude……he had done it before….so he was confident…..i decided to only touch camp 3 and back…..so it was an early morning the next day…..1st of May….(labour day….maharashtra day..i thought of it all)up at 4am…break fast and started walking by 5:15am……no backpack…..just a water bottle and a napsack that Gyalu carried for the extra clothes that would come off on the way down….now there were again fields up to the Jumar Point……that took 3 long hours….for me…..and then up from there…..once the jumar touched the rope it was 2 hours to camp 3….its a 65 degree to 75 degree slope….the route had been opened only one day before so the steps that had gotten cut by the crampons of the sherpas were still narrow….but extremely easy to follow…. it was ice….with a slight cover of snow ….i managed to overtake the guys that had overtook me on the flat grounds….im really slow on those flat parts…. …...we were up at 10:15 am….exactly 5 hours…..we cut an apple and had some water….and tea that we had got in our thermas….clicked the first pictures of the day and started back…….it was rappelling all the way down till the jumar point……the sun shining in our face as we rappelled…..he was out the moment we had reached the top….and now was following us…..we put sunscreen….and goggles….and got rid of the masks….they were suffocating us….by 11:30am we had reached the Jumar point….and it was the fields again…..back till the camp…..this time I decided I was not gona let them affect me…..and with a lot of collected enthusiasm I started for camp 2……and was there by a little over an hour….an headache had developed it self very strongly in that last patch of walking in the sun…..had two bowls of soup…..and lied in the tent….that had become an oven….it was too hot ….so I went in the dining tent and sat there for a while…..by evening I was feeling good……I had my dinner with the sherpas in the kitchen tent that night as I was the only member…..Henry was up in Camp 3…….after my first miserable night at camp2 I had again requested Gyalu to sleep in the same tent …..and when I left I knew all the other sherpas giggled…..but I dint care….its cold and scary…and I rather have my sleep then walk with no sleep…..the next day was the day to go back down to Base Camp…..so we decided on not a very early time…..breakfast at 6am and move 7am…..which conveniently became 7:30am…..Henry was back at camp 2 with me by 7am….on the 2nd of may…..so we had our breakfast together….and started of together…..by 7:30am…..we had both not taken any pics on our way up…..so we stopped and took pics on the ladders and of the crevasses….and of the panorama view of Choyu, and Pumuri……and loads of others….we were just about to start down the ice fall….we had crossed the fields of Camp1….when over the radio….Partemba dai’s voice crackled saying that there had been an huge avalanche that swept over the middle part of the icefall…..and that the dust and breeze had gone over the whole of the Base Camp as well….that meant that it was a MASSIVE avalanche….that also meant that maybe the route had been destroyed….and that meant…..spend the night at Camp 1….till the Khumbu doctors fix the route again….but that couldn’t be done….Henry had left his sleeping bag at Camp 2….and we dint wanna stay back……so we told Partemba dai that we will start to come down….and we were confident the khumbu docs would be faster at fixing the route again….the route was not that destroyed….in fact only 1 ladder had been completely destroyed……and fixed again by the Khumbu docs….the middle of the second section we could see and feel the fresh snow that had landed from the avalanche….and could see the layer thinning down till we reached our camp……the fresh white snow and the small chunks of ice that were strewn everywhere …..were a sight to see…..it was for me my first avalanche…as if….down at the camp people thought we would have been in the avalanche…..there were quite a few people climbing when the avalanche happened but there was not a single victim….physically that is…..im sure some of them would have sworn not to go again…..the avalanche had broken at 9:30am…..we reached camp by 11:45am…..i was feeling fresh and energetic…..team mates showed me the video of the avalanche…..im sure u guys will get to see it on you tube once we guys come down…..it was huge….the dust swept over Base Camp with a whiff …..and Base Camp is spread over an large area…..Partemba Dai gave me big strong hug….when he saw me…..he had been worried about how my health would treat me in the mountains…..and he was happy that I had gone all the way till Camp3….almost 7300mtrs….he rushed me into the dinning tent and fixed some hot orange juice…..the weather had become bad as we had started on the ice fall…….from sunny…..it had gone to cloudy….cloudier and then snow fall…..it was a good day for us to be back at Base Camp…..it was going to get colder for the next 2 days….i unpacked….changed…..wiped myself clean of the four days…..cause a bath in this weather was not going to be possible by me….went in for lunch….back with the whole team the roar and the laughter…..i was keen to meet Bud, and Bill…..but they had gone down to Pheriche for rest……Nick,Jesse,Yura,Mons,Apa dai,dawa,Partemba dai, and me and Henry….it was almost a full house…..and it felt good to be back…..everyone wanting to know how the route to camp 3 was…..was it cold was it tough …..after lunch I went to the Indian camp….the NIM camp…..who were busy in board games and card games…..told them what I had been up to for the past 8 days…..their camp is quite far away from ours….i wanted to write this blog up….but because there was no sunlight there was no charge at our camp……so I started writing this only on the night of 3rd may….after the whole day of story telling by Partemba….right from the 71 to 2005….then we played Challenge…..or Bullshit….the card game ….just me and Partemba…..and we had a bet….that loser makes dinner…..and I won and so I demanded that he makes chapatti sabzi…..oh I’d love to have that…coz im with an international team…..we eat international food….boiled vegges….and mayo salads…..tuna….and sardines….and spam and sausages…its good foood…..but chapatti sabzi is chapatti sabzi…..so it’s the 4th morning now and im still writing…there have been atleast 5 avalanches from the Nupse face….its sunny now but the clouds are slowly traveling up…..its gona be not very good weather till Thursday….i am on rest now….for till the weather window opens….im ready for summit….though I have to keep climbing n hiking ….so will do Pumuri Base camp again……and Kallapathar…and Henry peak…..and wait for the weather gods to be kinder….there is not even an approximate date out as in when the window would open….on the 24th night I had realized that I was gona be here till the next 24th….or more….and I dint know how those days were gona pass….but now im feeling good……I also realized that the prime minister of India would be different when I came back….could someone be kind enough to let me know when he is changed….i’d like to know…..and any other news is welcome….it gives me something to think about……