The three Sherpas headed out around 6am, while the rest of us went for a more relaxed 8.30 start. Our BC is ideally situated. We were at the start of the slope in under an hour, able to cross below the small glacier on moraine.
We'd selected a direct line up to the snowridge above us with its distinctive rock spike - the pineapple. The Sherpas had fixed ropes on sections of the climb, to assist in the load carrying and acclimatization trips that will be needed over the next week. Magnificent views opened out as we gained height. With steady climbing on mostly firm snow (with a few sugar patches) we reached the ridge at 5650m about 2.5 hours later.
The Sherpas had pushed on to 5900m, starting up a steep tiered ridge of rockand snow, with deep snow higher up. We briefly enjoyed the new views down the Rupal valley before dumping the tent, gas and food we'd been carrying and heading back down. The descent was fast - 1hr20 - but hot and we were often sinking to our knees in the softening snow.
Now we are back at BC after an excellent lunch, relaxing and rehydrating. Tomorrow we plan to go back up to camp1 to sleep (as long as everyone has a good night).
One week from 1st day in Pakistan to 1st day on the hill.
Sandy crossing the moraine to the climb, the pineapple visible on the snowridge.
Rick and Sandy climbing up.
The gear stash for camp1, with the pineapple behind.
Rick and Sandy on the way down.
Posted in Expedition report.