Friday, March 26, 2010

26th July

Rockfalls, natures form of a wake up call. However this possible near death experience could make us move from our "beds" until a good half hour later. Next on the agenda was sorting out the nests we had aquired on our heads by washing them in a glacial stream. Now, if the mountain had decided to threaten us with water rather than crushing us in a rockfall, we would have probably got up...

Hair tamed and pleited we prepared breakfast of hot cereal start, which was slowly becoming too bland for my already supressed taste buds. The original plan for the day was to spend it on the glacier doing ice axe work for the whole day but as well as doing that we decided the weather was good enough to head up the glacier to make a bivi site and stay there for the rest of the mountaineering phase.

The morning was spent packing which was harder than we thought since the weather was a scorching 30˚C and time had to be set aside to applying suncreen. The sun was definately much appreciated by all though! With everything we needed for the next few days on out the glacier on our backs, we headed up to "crampon cove" and the sudden temperature drop reminded us of where we were.

On the glacier we carried out more ice work including cutting steps, building bucket seats and belays. All didn't go too smoothly as my crampons were on the wrong feet and so fell off halfway through...That was interesting anyway and having a slight asthma attack on my way up to the designated water point didn't really help.

We headed back onto "Crampon Cove" and the area above it proved to be a suitible bivi site so we began to clear spaces for our beds for the next few days. Biving was an entirely new experience for most of us as was carving out our own bed, which was compared to digging a grave... This was suitibly followed by a rockfall just above our newly built bedrooms meaning we had to move. It was getting late but we had to wake up the other group (which as we have previously noted, had all the strong men) to help us dig out new beds at epic speeds. I rather liked my new bed, Gabby and I had made our own little cradles to snuggle into. Only the occassional misplaced rock made it uncomfortable.

We made a trip to our new toilet spot pretty much half way up the mountain but with a fantasic view. By now all bowel motions and everything related had become normal and was openly discussed with everyone, not just the boys. Back in the real world the discussions us girls had would make our other friends disown us. On the way back from the loo stop Natasha hurt herself, by now we stopped getting surprised ;) She had dislocated her knee and then relocated it simultaneously it seemed and after some reassurance and drugs from Mary she was almost ready for bed, but not until Rob gave us a short science lesson now we were all out of bed. Here we mapped the snout of the glacier but more importantly learnt about "Birch 1, Birch 2..."

Now here the last part of my journal before I fell asleep:
"Now I am about to go to bed on this bit of rock with a giant mass of ice a few metres below with the the most beautiful sunset you can expect to get in the "land of the midnight sun." I almost don't want to go to sleep. I love Biving!"

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