We stepped it up today and had a larger obstacle course. The team pushed harder and improved a lot from the first day. The ice walls we had to scale and repel were around 10 meters high or 33ft. This practice was really good to get our rope skills dialed in and to really get our lungs working.
A lot of people have commented on me being in a T-shirt. The truth is that when your in the sun working hard it feels like 40 degrees but when you check the temp it is still below or well below freezing. It is very important to manage sweating (basically not to)and when I’m working hard I can really heat up. The average temp at base camp has been 0 F or -18 C. The last two nights have gotten clear and 5-8 degrees colder. My water bottle and Pee bottle both froze last night in the tent. I will have to start sleeping with them in my sleeping bag.
For those who don’t know, getting out of your tent at night is really cold and dangerous to go to the bathroom, so all climbers use a pee bottle inside the tent. Women have a funnel device and men, well we just do the usual. The trick is not to drink too much before bed so you don’t fill your bottle. It also gets a lot trickier in the small tents with 2-3 climbers inside. It’s just common practice to roll away from your fellow climber when you hear him/her unzip their sleeping bag and get in position. Oh the joys of high altitude mountaineering!!!
Some other fun facts on the mountain are:
1. Snoring. Because of the weather everyone is a bit stuffy or out of breath from the altitude so everyone snores. We all bring heavy duty ear plugs or in my instance I put my head phones in and crank Frank Senatra’s greatest hits. I am normally asleep by the second song “Chicago”.
2. HAF. High Altitude Flatulence. (If you are shy or disturbed by bodily function, mountain climbing is not for you!) The digestive track really starts acting funny when you get over the 10 to 12,000 ft. At night as we all climb in our tents the era of the big brass bands are reborn. Our camp could compete with any brass band in New Orleans 🤣😵🤢. But it’s just how it goes up here!