This morning we all loaded up our packs with supplies for camp 1 and headed up the now familiar trail. One team member was having issues with altitude about an hour out of yak camp so they turned around and headed back to basecamp. The rest of us continued on to camp 1 with packs significantly heavier than the before, but we made it in good time.
The view is amazing and dramatic! The lighting was perfect so I climbed up to the high spot of the camp and started taking pictures. To my surprise I was actually able to get cell reception and couldn’t resist calling Lauren (at 5:30 in the morning!) she was nice enough to pick up and we chatted for a while. On second thought, she probably thought something was wrong because I was calling her so early. After I ended the call with Lauren I noticed a Norwegian fellow that I had passed on the trail several times, sitting several feet away perched on an adjacent rock. He turned to me and said “Hi American, calling your girlfriend ha?” I said she was my wife and I have three kids, to which he said, “you are married with three kids and you are on Ama Dablam!? I️ guess I would not be so different in your case, come to think of it”. He wished me good luck again and I headed back to the tent.
When you are at this altitude and the sun goes down you basically do everything from your tent and sleeping bag because it gets so cold. I was in the tent again with Chris which I don’t mind because he has become a good friend and we prepped our meals and melted snow for drinking water and food prep. During each climb I have done there has come a moment where I let myself relax and enjoy the moment I’m in. That moment came tonight after all the snow was melted for drinking, and we’d eaten the freeze dried meals, and the gear was arranged and prepped for tomorrow, and it was only 7 pm. I put on some music and we just sat there listening without saying a word or a care in the world crammed in a little high alpine tent that is precariously pitched and anchored to rock slabs with a quarter of it hanging off edge. For most people that type of moment does not sound appealing for a thousand reasons and I get that, but there is something about enjoying a carefree moment in an environment that is the opposite of comfort and safety. I guess that is what makes it so unique and memorable, and I count myself lucky to have those types of moments.