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Waiting at advance base camp

12 Sep

The plan right from the start was to wait for the Chinese team to
set up the fixed ropes from Camp1 to the summit. The Chinese team took
it upon themselves to set up the ropes and for that, they were
charging USD200 per climber who used the ropes. None of the other
teams could say or do anything as this is Tibet/China and the Chinese
have the final say. So we have been waiting almost 3 weeks since our
arrival in Tibet for the Chinese team to arrive and set up the fixed
ropes such that we can proceed with our acclimatization cycle from
Camp 1 upwards, but they have not done so yet. The Chinese porters and
guides (minus the climbers) arrived in ABC yesterday and they’re
waiting for their climbers to arrive from Base Camp. This is really
frustrating for the rest of the teams (including ours) which have
already settled down in ABC for a long time and awaiting the fixed
ropes to be set up. Our Sherpa team leader has been in communication
with the Chinese leader and has made an arrangement that if the ropes
are not set up within the next 2-3 days, IMG (our climbing company)
will take the responsibility of setting up the ropes by our own
sherpas (who’re more than qualified to do so). So, at the current
moment, we’re patiently awaiting the fixed lines to be set up as well
as the weather to clear up before we make our 2nd acclimatization
cycle to Camp2.

I have started taking Aspirin (a blood thinner) since my arrival at
ABC and will continue to do so till my exit out of high altitude. In
high altitude environments, due to the low levels of oxygen, the body
compensates by producing more red blood cells to carry whatever little
oxygen available from the atmosphere to the cells in the body. In so
doing, the blood becomes filled with RBCs and becomes thick
(polycythemia). This phenomenon, together with the fact that climbers
are slightly dehydrated while climbing makes the blood very thick and
prone to clotting. When some of these clots reach the brain, it may
cause a stroke. Strokes are very common, even among young climbers, in
high altitude environments. Thus I’m not taking any chances.
Hopefully, taking aspirin and drinking lots of water everyday prevents
strokes as well as acute mountain sickness.

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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