Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Bob's report: the team made a carry up to 19,000 feet today and cached some gear and fuel and food. It was a 4 hour round trip from their camp at 17,350 feet, but the hike was made the ore challenging by strong and consistent winds at 25 knots gusting up to 45 knots. At one point, Bob said, the wind literally just pushed him up the hill - at least the wind was blowing in the right direction. But it was a struggle when they had to cross the wind, especially with a large pack that would catch the wind and cause them to lose their balance.

Right now, the team is camped in a pretty exposed spot right on a saddle on the mountain. There are not many wind breaks. Even going to the bathroom is problematic - with no big rocks to hide behind, the wind blows around the plastic wag-bags that everyone is supposed to poop in, and it makes every dump an adventure.

Most of the camp area and trail has been dry rock and scree. There are a few patches of snow here and there but not enough to camp on and very little to travel on.

Dinner tonight was Curry Coconut Rice. It's clear and cold; Bob and the team hope that being up so high gives them a good view of Santa and his reindeers and he speeds around South America tonight.

Tomorrow the team will move camp up to 19,000 and then have a rest day before  going for the summit.

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