morning... the ice ledge squeaks under me, the odd
lumbering avalanche rumbles down nearby slopes, the
radio crackles. I can see the amphitheatre well from my
ledge. I chip myself out of my comfy, ice-furred
sleeping place. I ease myself out sideways - I cannot
slip down. I build a nest out of my thick thermals and
sleeping bag, the birds chirrupping in appreciation, and
I notice the sunrise. A little over six thousand meters,
well over twenty thousand feet - the Traverse Section.
The crackling of the radio informs me: bad weather is
coming. I slide down in a good hour to the Depo. Andras
and Zoli's guys are waiting here. Together we potter off
to ABC, then Miki, Zoli, Andras and I down to base camp.
Everything is thickly wrapped in cloud. So OK, the
jealous lover of the Mountain, the WEATHER, does not
look kindly on our experiments. Only one possibility
remains for us: tomorrow up to ABC, and afterwards
sleeping up at the nest-camp, then camp 1, and then a
desperate attempt, in a single dash, up to the saddle.
six-day plan. Our last chance for the peak. Bad weather,
deep snow, wind - whatever can upset it - fragile like
an eggshell - and lo!... Birbal has just arrived with
dinner, putting a stop to these bittersweet thoughts of
of the Expedition