Day 6 – A new rock to rest our heads on

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January 4th.

Opting to charge ahead of the other three groups we had been climbing with to this point we skipped their rest day and and headed for the higher camp for good. A gravel pad 800m higher than the old one on which to build up red blood cells.

Camp 1, our home for the next short while, had been explored the previous day and we now settled on establishing this perch from which to springboard our hike above.

The reason for this slightly aggressive timeframe was due to our viewing of the local weather board out front of the medical ‘shack’. Windy weather (80-90 km/hour winds) forecast for the 8th through 12th on the mountain. We would therefore need to make a push if we had any chance of realistically summiting with the visible weather forecast. In our minds we had identified that the 11th may be our appropriate date, however knew that things could change.

The hike up passed unremarkably, quiet day for climbing, and with slightly less weight than the previous day, we did well arriving in some windy weather at a bit after noon. The area was busy with 6 plus already set up from groups climbing onward from days previous. Camp one is a small platform area with tent spaces stretched along a gully area at the edge of a glacier. Water trickles along this edge, freezing in the nights and thawing early each morning this time of year. A kick through some thin ice avoids our need to melt snow. Sites sit huddled behind rock walls much more elaborate than basecamp, although the melting glacier seeps water and shifts its shape frequently leading to some sites with in-ground pools or waterfront issues.

We found a good site, dragged our garbage bag of gear and food from the day before over and set about building the tent and preparing water. A palate tantalizing spaghetti dinner awaited. Of all the meals we had set up, these simple sauce and noodle dishes offered the most flavour and disappeared the quickest. Laura always seemed to get abit upset as I was inpatient with cooking the noodles, at elevation it takes a bit longer to boil and I seemed to be really good at making el dente pasta.

Our neighbours had spent the day resting after climbing higher, but as we settled down we said our hellos, and tried to relax after the effort of the 800m climb.

In bed by 9. Only slight headaches that quickly receded.

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