We had a leisurely morning although we did want to beat the worse of the (in)famous #Western Cwm heat, which we’d heard could be brutal. And so it was! Before we even left camp 1 (#C1) around 8.30am we stripped off all unnecessary layers and very fashionably continued our journey to camp 2 (#C2) in thermal underwear. Otherwise you’d cook yourself!
Now we also had additional gear to carry to the next camp. Roeland had stashed our larger C2 tent in camp 1 weeks earlier, among other items, so on this trip we carried two tents, sleeping bags, stove, gas, and food for several days, which made the bags a bit on the heavy side… Although our meagre 12-14kgs was nothing compared to the local #Sherpas who easily carry twice the amount on twice the distance. But more about these super strong Sherpas in another post.
The distance between C1 and C2 in terms of time is somewhere between 3-4 hours, and you only gain about 300m in elevation depending where your camp is.
We were at the far end, of course, and although it is better for your acclimatization to sleep higher, the last 45mins kicked our butts.
Despite the heat we had been going at a good pace, but the loads started eating on the energy levels, so within a sight distance from C2 we decided to drop some weight on the trail and pick it up a bit later. Or Roeland would pick it up – I stayed behind getting the tent set and ice collected. Except that the predicted snowstorm got heavier just when he was out, almost losing track and sight of C2, although he was really close. There was a moment of worry until he finally stumbled in like a snow man.
All of this — the earlier heat, the heavier load, altitude, the not-yet-fully-recovered state, and snowstorm — added up by the end of the day as we laid, tired, in the tent. Although we were happy to have gotten this far, compared to where we were a week earlier, we were even happier at the thought of a rest day the next day.