Apologies for no contact – technology issues. (Thought i’d escaped the office but alas…)
Anyway, good news. The climbing permit was granted on time and we crossed the border into Tibet on 10 September.
After a night at Xangmu we drove up the Friendship highway to Nyalam early on Friday morning to avoid the ongoing roadworks along the way. A huge amount of work has been done since my last visit to this area with smooth bitumen making the journey quick and painless.
We spent 2 nights in Nyalam for acclimatization as the the town is situated just below 4000 metres. On our first day we climbed nearby hills to 4650 m and on the second to 5000 m to push the acclimatisation process a little.
On the 13th we drove to Chinese basecamp at an altitude of 5000 metres where we camped for 3 nights before trekking to advance basecamp yesterday. ABCis 5600 metres.
Whilst in Chinese bc, Carlos Pauner, an old friend from Kanchenjunga in 2003, arrived by horse from advance basecamp after falling from rocks and breaking several ribs when climbing to camp 1 a few days ago. For him the climbing season is over.
For us the expedition is just beginning and we are keen to get onto the mountain. We’ve all picked up headcolds and other ailments from passing through rather squalid villages but hope to have these under control soon.
Puja ceremony tomorrow and possibly onto the hill the next day.