Sleeping at Camp 1
We got out of our tents on 19 April at 1:00 am and following breakfast we left for climbing the icefall at 2:00 am. The weather was cold and clear. We progressed quite rapidly through the lower sections of the icefall. We did not stop for many rest breaks. This was more to do with health and safety than anything else.
There are not many areas to take a rest and in some areas of the climb it is important to pass through these as quickly as possible. We arrived at Camp 1 by 7:20. The height of Camp 1 is 6,100 metres. Initially upon arrival the weather was still cold. How things can change! The temperature in the tent climbed to 38C. The heat did not abate until nearly 1pm.
It is important to keep hydrated. I concentrated and focused the mind drinking 3 litres of warm water. Once the temperature cooled I ate a meal and continued to drink as much fluid as I could. As this was just a further stage in our acclimatisation, we only stayed one night at Camp 1. We got up at 4:30am with a departure time of 5:30am. The weather had caused some deterioration in the ice on our decent back through the icefall. Some of the crevasses were now wider, the ladders more shaky and in one case a serac had fallen over and obliterated part of the route. We were back in base camp for 8:30am for a traditional English ‘fry up’ and a de-brief.
Written by Phil Purdy.