Sunday, July 13, 2008

Camp 2 Again

We returned from Camp 2 yesterday. This was the second trip for Fred, Eric, Chirring, and I. It is part of acclimitization schedule that we are trying to mainitain so that we can be in a position for a summit attempt towards the end of the month. Right now we have two tents set up at camp2 and they are fairly bomber proof. We have pitons, snow stakes, and snow chutes holding them onto the mountain. The views from Camp 2 are really spectacular and when it is clear it is supposed to be amazing. I have yet to be up there when it is clear.

We came down yesterday for a bit of R and R, and plan to head back up the mountain on the 15th to get all the way to up to camp 3. It will be a 3 days to get to camp 3 and the hope is that the weather provides us with a great day to make the climb through the feature known as the Black Pyramid. We were thinking about attempting this yesterday, but we received over a foot of new snow and there is some minor avalanche danger in the black pyramid. Hence, we moved down the mountain instead of up.

Right now Mike, Paul, and Chris W are at Camp 1 and heading up to Camp 2 for the first time today. The weather today is very nice and it should be a great trip up for them. In fact the weather today is what we were expecting yesterday.

Climbing is all about having the mentality of being focused on what is you are doing right at that moment. If it is clipping a carabiner onto a line, securing a tent anchor, or placing your crampon on a rock to ascend a narrow chimney. If you do not have that focus then you should always make the decision to stop climbing at that particular time. Most people think that climbing is a physical activity, but in truth it is entirely mental. Without the ability to focus to the exclusion of all else you will not have success. So as people are climbing and making decsions to stop climbing most of the time it is a mental hurdle that they cannot overcome,not physical. There are all kinds of distractions that can creep into a climb, being seperated from your family and loved ones, business issues, physical issues, and a host of other things. That hard part is deciding which things you can exclude out of your mind for an extended period of time. Because the one thing you have on an expedition of this length is time to think. You have the hours lying in your tent waiting to go to sleep. You have the hours when you wake up early in the morning, and you have all the time when you are climbing. An ipod is not an option while climbing on K2 because you need to be constantly aware of your surroundings, who is above you, who is below you, and if you there is any rockfall danger. There is so much time to think it is hard to remained focused on what is right in front of you.

Thanks for all the offers of Coke and Pringles upon my return, but I will probably be a little burnt out on it by that time.

Climb Hard, Climb High, COME HOME