Slept 11 hours last night, as did most of the team. I feel much better, stomach is still a bit touch and go, but at 21,300 ft, everything with our bodies is operating on battery back-up. Let’s just say, everyones check engine light is on!
Not only, did the climb back up through the icefall ( for the third time) and across the great white Sahara, wipe us out, we are now approaching 7 weeks (46 days) of climbing, living at altitude, heavy pack carrying, modified diet, wag bag using, tent living, sleeping bag crashing, and all around living outside of our comfort zones. These are some of the things weighing on our fitness, mental health, and overall enjoyment. That being said, its been an incredible adventure and the payoff is just 8,000 vertical feet away!
Obviously we all choose this and we do love the adventure and experience, but it’s no trip to the spa! I think what brings us (mountaineers) enjoyment from all the discomfort and pain is the sense of accomplishment, from surviving all the hardships and coming out tougher, stronger, and more focused. Some other benefits are, the 80-90% disconnect from the fast paced world, 24 hour news cycles (which is always negative), and the never ending texts/emails. Finally, we experience nature at its finest, beauty that’s impossible to describe to someone who has not experienced it first hand. – Chad Gaston