Mera here we come...
Mera Travel Blog› entry 7 of 17 › view all entries
October 24th, 2008 – by: cja17
Although I wasn't hot in any normal sense, the strong sun on the glacier had an energy sapping intensity to it and, with hindsight, heat exhaustion was definitely affecting me, not that I knew it was - the whole experience of being on a Himalyan glacier for the first time in my like made the whole day very surreal, and I defintely wasn't fully aware of how tired I was. By the time we arrived in high camp, I did know I was severely dehydrated, and, having eaten barely anything all day, not best set-up for the following day. I got some fluid down me, and some food, then sat down and willed my body to turn itself around. Even though I felt wretched at high camp, the couple of hours of daylight I had there were utterly unique.
Having sent a sherpa up the day before to put our towels down on the sunloungers, we had the pick of the tent spaces but even so, this was my first "proper" high camp - a rib of rock edged out of the snow for a hundred metres or so - my tent was perched right on the edge of the cliff and life was very simple - turn right out of the tent and I was 20 feet from the mess tent, turn left and I would fall to my death. I'm a tourist, not a climber or adventurer, and this was undoubtedly the most thrilling and simultaneously scary place I'd been to in my life. If you ever get a chance to go - DO IT!!
In theory, we'd all be up at 2-3am for the summit push, so by 6.
So, an hour or so later, Myself, our Western trip leader, and sherpa Gyalzen, left high camp. Even in my dazed state, I wasn't entirely sure why the trip leader was coming down with me, but within a day all would become clear. Crossing the glacier in the darkness wasn't pleasant.
The objective danger ended when we came back onto the rocks above Khare, and it became an unpleasant pitch black rocky obstacle course, with my body now screaming for fluid in a way I'd never experienced before. I think we arrived back at base camp somewhere around 4am. I walked into the mess tent, moved away from the door, sat down on the floor, then slumped to one side and fell instantly asleep. I must have been a strange sight - unshaven and filthy with dried blood congealed on my cheek!!
A few hours later, a tent was found for me, which I got into, then once again fell instantly asleep, before Mingma woke me with noodle soup at around 3pm.
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