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the whole crew has returned to the base camp, some
days of resting are necessary. Firstly, we need some
recreation anyway before going to the summit.
Secondly, the weather does not allow any climbing: It
is raining and snowing, snowing and raining. But there
is much to do in the base camp. The main problem are
the platforms for our tents. The base camp is situated
on the moraine of a glacier. This means the
underground is made of stones and rubble, but 10-20cm
or somewhere 1-2m beneath them there is ice that
changes permanently. It melts producing clefts and
small brooks. And places where one has prepared a nice
plane platform turn getting a dent or a hump, that are
not suitable for the vertebral column when sleeping.
After one hour's work, one has about three days of
comfortable sleeping again.
is still unaffected by these problems: His tents is
located on a huge rubble hill, that we have given the
name "Walter Kangri" (analogous to the 7000
meters high "Baltoro Kangri" vis ΰ vis to
our base camp). But Christian has another problem: the
flanks of the "Walter Kangri" become steeper
and steeper due to melting. So he needed to install a
rope to get to his tent. :-)
so funny to watch Christian getting to his tent by
resting day in the base camp. It still snows. However,
the snow melts during the day because the temperatures
are above zero at 5100m altitude.
is no chance for an ascent - the amount of
newly-fallen snow at the level of camp 1 accounts to
80 cm, as reported by the Swiss that got away to the
basecamp as well.
day in the base camp is surely not boring. Our centre
of communication works around the clock and our large
tent is the main international meeting point of the
whole base camp. One meets a lot of interesting
people, and among 8000 m climbers there are a lot of
Andre, Swiss, who has already climbed half dozen
8000's and who made the ascent from the base camp to
the summit of the GII within 16 hours! Of course,
after passing a good adaptation period.
Christian from Vienna, who teaches at a college and
drives on his Harley Davidson to his work. He knows
the first houndred decimal places of Pi by heart, but
we could prove it only to 3,1415...
Max the Kasakh, who is the youngest here, and who was astonished
when we talked about the mountains of the Tienshan,
his home region ...
friend Silvio comes along each day. He originates from
Alagna near the Monte Rosa and works as a mountain
ranger. Climbing is his profession for 365 days per
year or picking up unexperienced tourists in trouble
by a helicopter. If he just does not climb a 8000 peak
that he has succeeded already 6 times. In spring, he
made the Everest - without supplementary oxygen! And
when he makes the GI & GII, he returns home, to
leave 2 weeks later again for the Dhaulagiri. Always
when he gets here, someone calls "Pronto!".
Silvio phones his girl-friend at home every day:
"Pronto! Ciao Sonja! ..."
from the Ukraine. Though he is here for the longest
period, he was not higher than camp 1, yet. Instead,
he walks fully equipped through the whole base camp.
The summit is not that important for him, the way is
the target. This is perhaps the reason that he chose
the way on land from the Ukraine to Pakistan - an
adventure of several months of which he can tell
Christian from Dresden, climber but also a passionate
electronic constructor. And if has nothing to install
or repair, he gets silly ideas.
of them got birth today. There is a Walkman of which
are a lot in the base camp. Normally, they are made
with headphones for one person only. But where one can
get a couple of speakers in the Gasherbrum base camp?
During a medical routine control he got the idea. The
ECG device does some "peeps", so there must
be a speaker in it! It took less than half an hour
until Christian created a brand new combination. The
medical equipment became a HIGH-FIDELITY-SCOPE 8000, a
multifunctional device for monitoring patients and
playing HiFi sound. A revolution in medicine. :-)
a ECG curve is displayed on the screen, the same
device plays the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the changes of
the values of the relative oxygen saturation are accompanied
by Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"; the ups and
downs of the curve of breathing frequency by the sound
of Tocotronic... What a music!
third day in the base camp, it is still snowing. The
BBC-News are not amazing. The Monsune has affected
Pakistan severely. More than 600mm rain within some
hours in Islamabad. This corresponds to the precipitation
amount of a whole year in Dresden! About 60 and 120
deaths. Hundreds kilometers roads are destroyed,
bridges are flushed and the Karakorum Highway wont be
passable for weeks.
the Monsoon has some influence on the weather in the
high mountain region as well. So there are already
some pessimistic voices in the base camp, but we are
still waiting hopefully for the end of the
precipitations. Tonight, we will have a party with our
Spanish friends again.
Walter, base camp 7/26/2001 - 17 o'clock local time
the reports here are running behind, but have you seen
these pictures ? If not, click on the dispatch <<<
and go back and look at these pictures !!!