Kanchenjunga Expedition-Rope Fixing to Camp 1 (Day 24)

13sep,-Rope Fixing to Camp 1

Till now anything of adventure for me had been on the National Geographic channel or Discovery Channel. I has seen some scenes of snow-capped mountain- climbing on tv and even when I saw it on Tv looked very intimidating. Today I witness with my own eyes the drama of high altitude climbing.

Beyong the hill-top where our camp is , is the Kanchenjunga Massif. It is sheathed by a layer of mountain-full of packed snow. Near the bottom lies the glacier. It is over 20 feet thich at some portions I reckon and it is this glacier mass the team members must traverse to get to Camp 1.

True to the hearsay, route to Kanchenjunga’s Camp-1 requires maximum rope. It is a sheer ascent from the base of the glacier. Neelu and C. N Bodh leave with a team of Sherpas-lead by Pempa. I along with Captain Amit and Gary watch them open the route and fix rope from our camp site.

It is daunting to say the least and I seriously doubt if the likes of Amit who stands horrified next to us will be able to make it to Camp 1, let alone the summit. I am using the old Olympus Manual camera and the 600mm lens to take pictures of them crawling tediously over the sheer vertical climb of the mountain. Through the viewfinder I can see Pempa, digging his ice-axe one at a time ascending by a foot, digging his shoes into the snow and moving up.

I finish almost 3 rolls on their climb upwards and I pray the pictures come out good for I wont be able to climb any away further beyond the  Base Camp.

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