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Ama Dablam Autumn 2002

Dan Mazur and his Autumn 2002 Ama Dablam

10/8/2002: Today, after a big breakfast of eggs, pancakes, porridge and juice, we got ourselves organized and spent the day doing training. A group of 11 yaks, whose drivers Pasang Tsering and Dorjee, had slept in borrowed sleeping bags in the storage tent overnight, along with their charming sister, mother of two, Nima Lamu all from the Paradise Lodge in Pangboche (the nearest village, set off en masse together with Rex, Ang Galu and Ang Shera. Their mission was to establish and Advanced base camp (ABC) 800 meters above here on the ridge where there is a trickle of water.
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Dan Mazur
Autumn Everest 2002
We plan to have a secondary kitchen there staffed by two cooks, where the members can refuel with unlimited hot food and drinks. Needless to say, in ABC, we will all be revelling in steaming bowls of Sherpa Stew and endless cups of milk tea, if all goes as planned.

Back at base camp, clouds blew about but it was generally warm and sunny, and before lunchtime we spent the morning practicing rope-safety techniques by climbing up and down some 100 meter high lines which Dan and Jangbu and Lakpa and Galu and Ang Sherpa had fixed on a granite buttress the night before. It was an exhilarating thrill, an adrenaline boost, and we all learned and practiced the correct techniques using our climbing equipment to go up and down fixed lines. Ama Dablam has fixed lines from camp 1 to the summit, making it a surprisingly accomplishable climb, given its difficulty. However, the mountain should never be underestimated, and our practice session had a careful and sober undertone stressing doing things by the book, double checking everything, and good communication between all of the team members and staff. Each member made two complete circuits of the rope system, so they had a chance to correct any possible errors (of which there were very few), the second time around.

After a massive lunch of chips, salad, sandwiches, roast potatoes and cabbage washed down with a volume of juice and tea, we reviewed all of our medical equipment with each member taking the opportunity to lay hands on the wide variety of medications we have with us, as well as the medical equipment, members began to learn the basics of mountain illnesses, and the beginnings of how to make a diagnosis, and many of them practiced making an injection of Dexamethosne into a potato for the first time in their lives (the potatoes were fed to the yaks afterwards). We also learned how to operate and administer our medical oxygen and also called for a volunteer from the audience, Charlie Winger, who climbed into the Gamow bag with his altimeter and we proceeded to slowly and careful pump up the bag (while keeping up constant verbal contact with Charlie) and dropped him by 1500 meters, to the height of Lukla! We slowly let the pressure out of the bag, so as not to pop his eardrums, and he emerged intact, although his "friend" Randy said that maybe we should leave him in there permanently.

After more tea and hot drinks, we reviewed various other mountain safety procedures, including how to use our 5 walie talkie, which are quite powerful and not difficult to use, and also we learned about how to use our hanging stoves which use 250 gram threaded cylinders, sometimes referred to as EPI-GAS.

So all in all, it was an illuminating day for the team and a lucky one for everyone in that the weather held fairly steady and pleasant.

Our evening concluded with another tasty meal of spinach with crθme sauce, macaroni and tuna salad, sardines in tomato sauce, steamed samosa dumplings, and mango slices for desert, with a quantity of juice, tea, coffee, milk, and hot chocolate.

Thanks for your attention and support, Cheers for now, from all of us on the International Ama Dablam Expedition 2002 www.summitclimb.com

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