BC (Anzac Day) to C2 to BC

Anzac dawned cold and clear. A great day for climbing.
We set out at 4.30 for the long snaking walk through BC to crampon point. There’s a “valley” through BC lined by all the toilet tents, very mediaeval.
Once we reach the Glacier proper we stop as briefly as possible to put on crampons with cold fingers. I took a few extra moments to repeat those very special words, as the mountain was starting to show the first glow of dawn behind her.

Then all thoughts turned to the task at hand, to safely negotiate the Ice-fall. I knew I wouldn’t be fast, in fact if I’d been at home I’d be tucked up in bed not wanting to share my infection!

The Ice-fall changes dramatically with each ascent and descent. I was witness to a large section giving way to my right. No time to be scared, just watched in awe, grateful that I was safe and then continued on my way.

As I said the icefall is changing constantly. Many of the crevasses are opening up significantly and sections I could step over before now I was jumping. One of these was a little wider than I could manage and I ended up in the crevasse. My harness, carabiner and rope did what they were meant to do and caught my fall. My guide for the day and another Sherpa pulled me up to a ice shelf and I managed to push myself back out the rest of the way. I was battered and bruised but safe. A minute to catch my breath and a more successful attempt with a helping hand on the other side. After that we advised the rope doctors that many sections, fine for the 6 footers, were now border line for the shorter members on the Hill!

The ice formations in the ice fall are stunning and I can now inform you they are even more so from the inside but not a place I wish to find myself again on this trip.

It was a long trip to C1 and I arrived a little worse for wear. I wasn’t aware of it yet but the fall was actually going to impact on the rest of this foray.

It was another cold night at C1 but I think the wind was a little kinder to us.

The next day was an 8am start to C2. This is a technically easier section. Undulating ice with views of C2 up in the rocks to the left of the glacier, very early in the morning. I was stiff and sore from the fall and beginning to realise I’d put my neck out and pinched a nerve in my hip in the fall. Hmmm. Ok just another day to endure but one day closer to my goal. Arrived into C2 in 3 hrs in time for lunch and a rest.

The next day, Tuesday, we were going for a 2 hour rest day hike and the day after a hike to tag C3 before another night at C2 and then down to BC. Pretty soon became clear as the waves of nausea passed over me that I was in a little bit of trouble. But grateful it wasn’t altitude sickness.

Bottom line Tuesday night Kenton put me on Oxygen to fight the sinus headache and neck ache and give me the extra strength to get back down to BC. Which it did. Back down in 5 ½ hours.

So what do I take from this experience?
Well I’ve slept a night on oxygen which is a learning curve for up higher (some people find it quite claustrophobic)
I’ve got some ripper bruises, puncture wounds and scratches all down my right side which make for a really good story…..right?
I’ve performed when feeling miserable, head ready to explode and limited movement in leg. So I know I can do it when it gets tough on summit day.
Oh and amid all the other misery never felt a thing in the ankle!! So I know that’s where it needs to be.

The other positive about this hiccup is that my trip back down from C2 was a little more leisurely than normal. We didn’t dawdle, we still had to clear the icefall early but it wasn’t hurried and I actually got to look around. My favourite image was this fat little brown bird with the tiniest, skinniest little feet sitting on an ice outcrop (don’t stop to think how it got there, the ice not the bird…avalanche) anyway it’s standing there on one leg and then it got too cold and it changed legs tucking it’s foot right up under itself. Just sitting in the middle of the glacier in the sun.

My return to BC saw me take the medicine I needed to let the neck and hip relax back to where they were meant to be. So that’s all fine and every day the sinuses improve.

It’s early days yet but the most recent weather reports suggest a summit day as early as the 8th of May. But don’t get too excited, as I said it’s early days and these weather forecasts change and they can be interpreted differently.

But what does an early summit mean for me as I haven’t tagged C3 yet?
2 options.
1. I set off a little earlier than the rest and spend more time at C2 with some day walks up higher.
2. I set off with the rest of the team but start on oxygen a little lower than what they do.

Only time will tell. But for now I’m happy with my performance. I’m happy with my clothing and gear. Very happy with my safety harness!! I’m happy that my skills in the icefall are improving with each traverse. And I guess just with the day to day coping with life in a very foreign environment. But how hard can it be? We have a soda stream!!

I’m loving the emails and messages on my website. And I even hear from some of you that my Mum was on the radio back home in Adelaide. Well done Mum.

I’ve got a couple day’s rest so I thought tomorrow I might let you in on life in BC.

Until tomorrow

Namaste

Trotty

3 comments to BC to C2 to BC

  • Julie

    You’re really earning your points towards the ultimate, Lynette. Stay strong.
    Julie

  • Annie Doyle

    Hello Lynette,

    I’ve been watching your trip and am SO GREEN! It is amazing what you are doing up there. Take care, watch those nasty crevasses and laugh lots. C3 is yours.

    Love Annie x

  • Thanks Annie

    Can’t wait to catch up. How are your plans looking? Also “crevasse” free!! I hope.

    Trotty

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