Dispatch 11: 17,500′,Advanced basecamp

Imagine the outer shell of a golfball laid out flat, running for miles and placed in between two angled walls of rock and dust that melt in front of your eyes and drop boulders from 600′ above at 60 mph. Now navigate this dimpled surface hopping from one ridge to another staying away from the walls. Each lowpoint is filled with ice cold glacial meltwater…or is a sinkhole. This a dynamic landscape constantly shifting and moving,each ridge is not always passable,sharp fins of ice and teetering one ton boulders render most impassable. Now do this for six hours. Sound like a video game? You’ve just reached advanced bascamp!
We’re taking it easy here at 17,500′ advanced basecamp today. When the rest of our gear arrives we will begin climbing…finally. Just getting close is a great feeling. The East face is quite active, wisdom put us here to observe and chart the safest path. We must look and listen before we commit. Thunderous masses of ice cascade down the mountain at any time,we have to know where they are going before we know exactly where we go.
We will likely begin by climbing a 20,000′ peak just above us and then suss out the access on the East ridge to get to the NE face. Sometime in the next two weeks we will summit! For new photos of our position,check out wwwskithehimalayas.com Live the dream,
Ben Clark

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