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  Carlos Pauner GI and GII Expedition 2004


Sunday June 27, 2004: It is still snowing around here.  What started with a few days of bad weather and light snowfalls has turned into a whole blizzard.  It snows day and night and we have over a meter of snow on base camp.  Each day brings more snow and it looks like it is not going to stop.  Also, in case we had any doubt, the forecasts still show an enormous low pressure over the zone for a few days more.  Each morning we have to remove the snow on the base camp tents and to plow a path to the mess tent.  Once this is done, we move to this place and we spend the whole day chatting, playing cards and eating.

Luckily, we brought food in abundance, food from home and each time we open a can of sardines, we slice a piece of cheese or we taste a piece of Turol ham, we feel for a moment, closer to home.  Suddenly, the noise of the avalanches of fresh snow that fall from the nearby mountains, bring us back to our hole.  This is the misery of these big mountains.  You have to endure the cold, the altitude, the difficult moments, but you have to know how to endure this also, inactivity, anguish and boredom.  The first makes you feel tired, a little more every day, because movements are limited to short trips between the tents.  The second is because, due to the meter of snow here, in higher altitudes the mountain will be more dangerous, with so much snow accumulated that, as Newton discovered a few years ago, will decide to fall in the most inappropriate moment.  And last, boredom, that sensation of not knowing what to do with all that dead time.  Each morning, after breakfast, you face with a blank sheet, to fill the best you can: read, write, meditate, chat, those are interesting activities, but obviously insufficient to fill all those hours of emptiness.  We are people of action, we don't like to lose time with the inactivity and that makes that, day by day, our moral diminishes.  If the good weather comes, we will be like caged lions that recover their freedom.  We want to go up no matter what and recover the lost time.  However, good judgment makes us think and we have to think that conditions will be very dangerous up there.

We are losing by points in this first round and even our little achievement called Camp 1, on this moment, will stay buried for ever under the white cover with which Karakorum has defended itself.  We don't have to forget that this sport is like this: to know how to wait in a shelter swallowing misery to later make a jump and fight without a truce with what's left.  I only wait for this round to end, to have a drink of water in my corner. Carlos

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 
Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.

 






 

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