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Saxon Karakorum Expedition

Consolidation of camp 1

7/15/2001

When Markus and Christian stood up at 1.30 in the morning for the third attempt to climb to camp 1, million stars were shining on the clear sky. Though we assured Jehangir that the prepared tea and hot milk in thermos flasks would be sufficient, he persisted to care personally for our breakfast. So it became a full breakfast instead of a fast feeding and Markus and Christian left the base camp not before 2.30 o'clock.

Then they wanted to go to meet the Spanish guys at their base camp some 100 meters away to pass the Gasherbrum glacier together. However, the Spanish breakfast took even longer and so they started alone shortly before 3 o'clock. Despite their heavy sacs (22kg, plus Markus' skis) the got ahead fast and reached the place where Christian's skis were deposited two hours later. On ski with furs for ascent, they progressed even faster and arrived at camp 1 at best weather after another three hours. They spent the day with relaxing and cooked some meals in advance because there is not much to do in the camp 1 when the snow is soft in the warmth of the day. Meanwhile, Lydia, Ralf and Olaf prepared their ascent for the next day in the base camp.

7/16/2001

It started snowing late in the evening and snow fall continued during the whole night. In the morning, there was already 25cm new-fallen snow in camp 1. So we could not ascent further because it still snowed and decided to descend to the base camp. The descent would become more dangerous every hour because all clefts in the glacier are hidden under snow. The risk of falling into a cleft is much lower with our 180cm long skis, but we decided to downhill with a rope. It was not really a pleasure to be connected by a rope when skiing in the complicated terrain and with low sight. On our way, we passed the Chili expedition being totally exhausted. So, going in the snow was much more exerting than gliding easily on ski ... :-)
When arriving in the strongly rugged part of the glacier, they deposited their skis and continued on feet. Because there is not much to do in the base camp, they repaired the flag marking of the route and reached the base camp at 11.40 o'clock.

Jehangir prepared an excellent lunch and we spent the afternoon reading and relaxing while the snow fell on our tents. We decided to make a resting day tomorrow because the weather will not allow an ascent.

 
Markus Walter - Basecamp 

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