Archive for April, 2012

Day 21

neil On April - 30 - 20122 COMMENTS
Day 21. 28th April

I slept well last night, sleeping down at base camp for me helps in every way.
I managed to eat two fried eggs and a bowl of museli and two cups of tea.
I shaved off my beard and had a long look at myself in the mirror, you know
you shouldn't come to Everest if you are any way vain, I think that I have
aged 1 year for every day that I have spent up the mountain. It's very
difficult to look after yourself in the mountains, even cleaning your
teeth is difficult, where do you do it? It's - 20 outside and blowing
a gale, the toilet tent, well it's a bag held on a frame and everything
is visible and stinks. No matter how carefully you try you can't manage
to do it in the mess tent with out dripping toothpaste everywhere. And
washing is out of the question, you can't risk catching your death of cold.
Today I intend to take a shower and do nothing, maybe wash some clothes.
Im already feeling the benefits of being down at lower camp and will be
ready to head back up in 3 or 4 days time.

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Day 20

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off
Day 20. 27th April

In the night my stomach was agony, but I forced the water
down and managed to get to sleep even on both sides. In the
morning I felt like death I still couldn't face any food, but
managed a little museli. The decision had been made the night
before to go back to base camp as there was no weather opening
 for the next 6-7 days.
Now this would be a massive under taking for me, its 18 km and
I could hardly stand up. We were allowed to travel at our own pace
so Sammy, Radek and I left as one group follow by  Rainer and Christian.
Rainer was very poorly as well but suffering from something completely
different, he had been troubled by some type of stomach problem since
arriving at base camp and it was only getting worse. Daniel was fighting
fit and had decided to leave a little later, the first half was terrible
for Sammy and Radek, I kept wanting to stop and rest, I honestly had no
energy. The guys were very understanding. During the trip I managed to
 eat a small Mars bar, some chocolate and about half a ltr of juice.
On arrival at base camp we were greeted by a cook boy with some hot tea,
but I couldn't drink any. I headed straight for the mess tent and lay
down in front of a heater on the floor. I fell asleep for an hour or so.
It took us over 9 hours to complete. If you think about it my Ben Ten
Challenge on Benachie was 16.2 km, and I can do this in 4 hours. We were
climbing down 1000 mtrs. I forced myself with the supper but not too
much and drunk as much as I could.
Unfortunately during the time when we were away our tents had
been blown away, so they had been re erected and our stuff put
back in place. I had to re make the bed and sort out all my stuff
before getting to bed.

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Day 19

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off
Day 19. 26th April

In the morning I felt terrible, I still couldn't drink anything and
eating was out of the question. We had to climb down the north col
and I was shaking with weakness. I said to Radek that I was worried
about the climb as I felt so weak. He asked if I wanted him to go in
front just in case, but I said that I would be ok.
The adrenalin must have kicked in and we started. Again we split from
the group working our way down the face, we caught up now and again but
got split up with people coming up.
The 4km hike back to camp killed me in the end I was doing about 150mtrs
and having to rest, Radek stuck with me all the way.
On arrival at the camp I collapsed in my tent, I tried so hard to drink
knowing the what would happen if I didn't. At supper time Kari gave me a
de acid stomach tablet, I ate very little and went to bed. 

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Day 18

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off
Day 18. 25th April

We got up at 7.30 today, I felt really rough and I had been
sick in the night ( thanks darling for the nappy bags!!! ).
I tried to eat breakfast but couldn't, I was finding it hard
to drink anything. I was clearly starting to suffer from altitude
Today wasn't a good day for this as our intention was to hike the
4 km to the north col and then climb the 450 mtr pitch up to the camp
and then spend the night at aprox 7100 mtrs. We left at about 9 am, it
was very hard for me, even the walk to the base of the climb was hard.
Radek stuck with me and we caught the group up at the base about half
an hour later than they had arrived.
We had a Sherpa with us for safety, who was carrying a huge pack ( wow! )
We actually did not too badly on the climb, both Radek and I are strong
climbers. There's a difference between mountaineering and having to climb
something technical and the sherpa commented on how strong we were.
It took us about 8 hours all in, we were all wrecked.
We got into our tents and were given a hot cup of sweet black coffee,
I couldn't drink it. We had to cook our own meals up in the mountain,
thankfully I had Radek who seems to like cooking. We had taken what we
 wanted from the Kobler store and decided to cook up some soup. I had
two mouthfuls and found another nappy bag, which I had placed by my bed
just in case. All I then wanted to do was go to sleep, which I did for
about two hours. I then woke up feeling sick, my stomach was in agony,
I couldn't drink anything which was worrying me for dehydration reasons.
If I lay on my back I seemed to be ok, but if I lay on ether of my sides
I instantly felt like I would be sick, 15 hours I lay on my back, the
longest night of my life.

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Day 17

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off
Day 17. 24th April

Today I feel a little fizzy in the head. It was difficult to
get out of bed, I still felt a little sick and very light headed,
but come on I've just spent the night at 6400 mtrs.
We all sat down for breakfast except for Daniel, we were served
bacon and eggs, Radek again only managed about two mouthfuls and
had to leave the table. About half way through one of my eggs I also
 got the urge to leave the table, but I forced one egg down and gave
 away the other.
I kind of felt ok most of the day, I just have lost my appetite so
I'm trying to snack a lot and force down the meals when they come.
I'm pretty sure that I will feel better tomorrow.

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Day 16

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off
Day 16. 23rd April

We got up after a cold and very windy night. I had slept not too
badly. Well, as good as you can in these situations. My ribs are
still troubling me, but being in a group of men it's best just to get
on with it. Breathing is now becoming more difficult as we get further
up the mountain.
We had breakfast at intermediate camp, fried eggs and some cereal.
I noticed that Radek wasn't eating his usual quantity, he later
told me that he had been sick and wasn't feeling that great in the
morning, he later improved though.
This hike was shorter but was much tuffer, the last km was a killer.
It took us around 6 hours all in and we were all in a very similar
condition (wrecked). Dinner for me was tuff, you lose your appetite
at altitude, but it's important to keep eating.
I tried to call Linzie on the sat phone but I couldn't get a connection,
all be it I didn't try for long, it was dark and about -20 deg.
I went to bed at about 7.45 as my body hadn't adjusted to the 6400mtr
altitude and you get very cold. The wind was really strong and buffeted
my tent the whole night. When I went to bed my head was a little sore so
I took some tablets, at about 4am it was unbelievably sore, so sore that
I felt a little sick. I took some more tablets and drunk some half frozen
juice and managed to get back to sleep. 

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Day 15

neil On April - 30 - 2012Comments Off

Day 15. 22nd April

We got up at 7.30am and had breakfast, we had to have our bags packed

for ABC by 9.30 as this was the time that the yaks would pick them up.

I watched the yak men haggle over who would take what bags, they did it

with stones from the ground and I couldn’t make any sense of it. We left at

around the same time.

It was a tuff hike just over 10 km and an altitude gain of approx 600 mtrs.

We were told that the over all hike to ABC was about 24 km but it turned out

to be just over 18 km. I was glad to get to the intermediate camp it was a hard

day for me. The camp was more like the ones we use on Aconcagua, Radek and

I were back sharing tents. We had quite a stormy night, the wind didn’t let up at

all, so quite a restless night. We are now out of service with my mobile and the

sat phone is in my big bag which I won’t see till tomorrow.

I like to talk with Linzie an the kids every day if possible, so the next few days will

be tuff.


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Day 14

neil On April - 23 - 20123 COMMENTS

Day  14. 21st April

Nothing much doing today, we have a rest day.
ribs are much better today than I expected them to be, this is good because I
don’t want anything to jeopardise my situation.
I did some washing today and
sewed one of the other guys gloves, the weather isn’t good today, we have a
little snow but it’s overcast, windy and cold.
When it’s over cast I have no
signal so I can’t send or receive texts, e-mails or make phone calls so it’s a
long day.
Tomorrow we take the 12 km hike to intermediate camp so I hope the
weather improves. Once we move up there we will have no signal and I will have
to rely on the sat phone that I have to call Linzie. This will be ok as up to
now between the time difference and the sun being up to charge the transmitter
we have a very small window to talk in the morning of Scotland time. With the
sat phone I can call any time.

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Day 13

neil On April - 23 - 20121 COMMENT

Day 13. 20th April

We got up at 7.30am today as we had a big day ahead of
us. We were going to attempt a 6000 mtr peak with a walk in and climb distance
of 6 km. The first part would be done with big boots and cramp on’s. We hiked
up the frozen river for about a km then we stashed our boots in the rocks and
continued on in our hiking boots. It took about 5 hours to get to the summit and
it was very difficult, but we all faired the same so this is good as our group
will probably be able to stick together through the whole expedition.
a short rest on the summit we headed back down, I felt pretty good at the top
but on the descent I started to tire and the affects of the altitude started to
make me feel rubbish. The altitude affects only last a short while but the
fatigue gets worse.
We reached the place where we had stashed our boots,
changed and proceeded down the frozen river, the frozen river is made up of
short little water fall s that you can walk down no problem. As we reached the
lower part of the river I went to step down one of the small water falls, about
three feet. I snagged my crampon on my other boot and went head first down and
landed on my side.
( now if you have followed my blog before you will be
aware that this isn’t the first time that I’ve fallen before, can I just stress
that I’m not accident prone. At this point in our trip you are very tired and
it’s not unusual to snag your crampons, it was just unfortunate that it happened
at the top and not at the bottom.)
I think that I may have bruised my ribs,
it’s agony when I move my upper torsos, however I’m not stressing about it, I
have about 1 month before we will be attempting the summit and it will be long
forgotten about by then.

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Day 12

neil On April - 22 - 2012Comments Off

Day 12. 19th April

We had a rest day today, so we got up a little later
than normal.
I messed about with my harness and packed what I could into my
big bag.
The big bags are moved up the mountain by Yaks, they will go the
same day as we go which has been put forward a day to the 22nd.
There really
isn’t much to do at base camp when we have a rest day.
I wandered round the
Plato where all the other expeditions had set up trying to find out where they
were from. This year is exceptionally quiet according to Kari. I found
expeditions from Russia, USA, India and two from China, there are several little
camps as well but with no identification.
I also wandered up onto the top of a large mound, on top I found what could only be described as a grave yard of some of the lives lost on the mountain. I read through some of them but to be honest it put the hebe gebes up me and to keep a positive mind these things are best not thought about.

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