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Saxon Karakorum Expedition

In base camp

7/13/01: After having a resting day yesterday, Christian and Markus felt fit to ascent to camp 1. They set the alarm clock to 1.30 a.m. in order to climb in the cold of the early morning. The Gasherbrum ice field is the most dangerous part but not the most difficult one. It is a complicated labyrinth of clefts and ice towers. One starts in the early morning because it is safer to pass thin snow bridges and frozen water holes. When Christian and Markus stood up at 1.30, there was terrible weather. Snowy rain and dense clouds reduced sight to few hundred meters. So they decided to sleep again because orientation is essential in the dangerous ice field.

When the stood up the second time at 7.30 in the morning, they did not trust their eyes: Blue sky! "Fortunately", the good weather did not persist and little after it started raining again. The weather remained changeable the whole day. 

So we made diverse stuff in the base camp. Christian tinkered at our electronics, that is admitted by all other expeditions in the camp. We are the only expedition that has no noisy generators and produce our current from few solar cells for a lot of technics: Satellite phone, laptop, video recorder, digital camera, walkman, ECG and radio station. We even have electric light in the main and kitchen tent and, therefore, no stench of gas- or kerosene lamps.

Lydia cared in her "consulting hour" for the little healthy problems. Ralf, Markus, and Olaf reconstructed their platforms for their tents. In the evening the sky was clear and so we went to bed early hoping to bring some stuff to camp 1 tomorrow morning...

7/14/01: Again, the alarm clock of the Walter brothers rang at 1.30 a.m.. This time, the weather seemed to be adequate despite clouds. So they had breakfast but after eating the first plate of corn flakes, it started to snow and the range of sight decreased to 50 meters. They didn't want to resign again and therefore, they stood awake for 2 hours. But the weather did not improve and, frustrated, they went to bed again...

In defiance, the sky was blue and the sun smiled in the first daylight at 6.00 in the morning. But it was too late to pass the ice field and we prepared several stuff in the base camp. In the afternoon, we invited the Spanish expedition for a coffee break. First we need some hours to teach them the rules of the card game UNO then we lost all the time. Our base camp offers a lot of distraction. Our satellite phone and the possibility of sending emails makes us to an communication center. Ukrainians, Italians, Kasakhs, British, Chilies, Basks, Swiss, French, Germans, Pakistanis and Russians come over and sent messages home like in a "Public Call Office".

Markus Walter, Base camp, 14.07.01 - 20 o'clock local time

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