Day 8 Dhaulagiri Circuit - Italian Base Camp - Rest Day

For the first time in three days I'm writing a blog when it's not raining. The weather has definitely improved and the question is, has it improved in time?
Early morning at Italian Base Camp

We got some worrying news last night.  Trekkers were returning from Dhaulagiri base camp and had found the conditions impossible.  We get to Dhaulagiri base camp in two days time, spend two days there and head on up to French Col for a night in the Hidden Valley which generally has more snow than any other part of the route. The trekkers were at Dhaulagiri base camp when the storm we experienced the night before last hit them with two feet of snow.  There was probably more in the Hidden Valley and the trekkers decided to turn back.  Their leader, a Sherpa, said it was the worst conditions he had ever experienced.  The odds must now be against us getting round the Circuit.

Setting off on an acclimatisation walk
Today however has been excellent. This morning we completed a 600 metre acclimatisation climb. Again the group managed to stick together despite a fairly tough pace, very impressive. 
The views were amazing.  The valley we are in splits the Dhaulagiru massif with big Dhaulagiri on one side and 2, 3, 4 and 5 on the other.  We climbed towards the west face of Dhaulagiri enjoying brilliant views of the other three across the valley.
To Infinity and Beyond
Nick, Dean, Kevin, Nev and Andy

Although the clouds gathered at lunch time for once they didn't block out the sun and we ate lunch outside the mess tent.

After lunch I got out the climbing gear and I must admit I feel a lot better now I have tried everything out.
Climbing near the Italian Base Camp

Brad, the Australian anesthetist, gave us a brilliant talk on altitude sickness including the results of some of the latest research.  He explained the potential physiological benefits of Diamox (and I now think I may have started it too soon) and why some people are more prone to the pulmonary edema version of altitude sickness then others.

Last night we had a clear sky for the first time and it was very cold.  Someone recorded -3C in their tent which means it could be -18C if we get to the highest camp on the trip. I was cold last night so it's a bit of a worry.

Porters and a Sherpa went ahead today to provision the next two campsites, including Dhaulagiri base camp, so we should get some news tonight.  I will keep you posted!

No comments:

Post a Comment