Let’s get to Camp 2 (21K ft)!
6 am start to race the sun to camp. It is FREEZING, wind blowing, but we started out strong.
However, within 20 minute, I felt nauseous and strange. The landscape was deceivingly difficult. It looked like a gradual incline. But, not so. There was ravine after ravine we had to descend, then climb back out of. My energy drained quickly and I couldn’t tell if I was going to pass out… or if I was going to poop my pants. I tried to ignore and just push through, but after a couple steep down and ups, it was confirmed… I needed a restroom IMMEDIATELY. But guess what… NO BATHROOMS, not even a rock or shrubbery to hide behind. Just a vast plateau of newly fallen snow, over ice, as far as the way can see. I have about 5 minutes to figure out how to get rid of the dehydrated meal, from the night before, OUT of my body, in front of my entire team, other teams, our sherpas, other sherpas passing.
My guide tied a rope around my waist and sent me 10 feet out to take care of business. You see, there are crevasses everywhere and it is not safe to wonder off for privacy. So, I pulled down my pants, ropes tied around my waist, using what I had left of my baby wipes for the day and had diarrhea in front of the world. At the end of the day, NO ONE cared accept for me. I am not the first, nor the last, mickaroo (Sherpa for “westerner”) for this to happen to. Sunken head, and a bit dehydrated, I walked back to guide to have my poop leash removed. He asked “well, you feel better?”. Actually, I really did! “Good, then get your pack on and let’s go”
We split into 3 rope teams (mine was just me and Atache’, in case I had another emergency) due to the crevasse danger, and made our way to Camp 2. Much more established than Camp 1, camp 2 had a cook tent. So we had warm meals instead of just hot water for dehydrated meals. Tikaram met us with juice! I could have kissed him! SANCTUARY!
We all chatted about how the day was harder than we anticipated, all the while, the sherpas and porters are carrying 4-5X’s our load and made 2-3 trips between camps! Mind blowing! Lakpa, one of our favorite new assistant guides helped lead us to Camp 2, then ran (I mean ran) back to Camp 1 to “help his friend carry a group load” back up!
It was cold and snowing. And we had minimal gear carried up. So, tonight… we wore our big puffy down suits for the first time!!! After being so so cold last night, please baby Buddha, let this borrowed pad be warm. I NEED sleep!
*Appreciate your patience with spelling. I am dyslexic and have little time (or energy) to edit ;)