Up to the North Col

May 14, 2012 Posted by KowP

I had one rest day after my sickness then it was back to business. The boys had to climb to the north col to carry a load of oxygen, so I thought I’d come with.

My bag was heavy, I had everything in it for the high mountain. So I left before them.

They caught me at crampon point.

We moved through the ice on fixed ropes and got to the north col in around 4 hours.

Russle Bryce says to his clients if they cant make it up to the col within 5 hours on their second go, they wont make the summit… This was my first time up there.

The way up there is full of crevasses, when you look down some of them, they are 60m deep, and you cant see the bottom.

Towards the top, there is a steep ice flute (almost like a chimney) it has up and down fixed ropes due to its steepness. I got to the top of here and my hands starting getting cold. I took my gloves off and had a rest with my hands in my armpits. I even put my glovesBaliand Passang to warm them up. (their hands never get cold!)

The last part of the ice climbing is 2 ladders that have been joined at the middle with ropes, this crosses a 2m wide crevasse.

The ladder part is real easy, but when you get off the ladder, it is butted up against an almost vertical wall, so getting off the ladder with a pack on is hard. Some makeshift stairs all the way up to the col after this. By now I was pretty knackered and heard the col goes for about 180m. I asked which tents are ours.. ours were the first ones.. like 10m away.. I was cheering.. ahh the small things!

I arrived in the tent and literally collapsed in a heap, I was cooked. The boys melted some snow and gave me some soup.Bali… the machine! then gets out with the shovel and starts shovelling snow to make a tent spot.

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