Sunday, 28 September 2008

Base Camp Destroyed

At 02.15 hrs on 26th Sept. 5 hours before we were due to départ our Base Camp underneath Trango Tower, a huge sérac broke off from Great Trango and thundered down the access gully we had been regularly using to approach the tower. The ice was forced into the narrow couloir and exited as powder snow and ice travelling at high speed. As it exited the gully it spread its contents across a 5 kilometer square of glacier, including our Camp.
We first became aware of the avalanche as we were all woken up in our tents by a terrific wind pummeling the fabric. We had only gone to bed a few hours previously underneath a beautiful star lit sky. We all literally hung on to our tents as the wind tried to tear the structures from the ground. No-one was in our big mess tent so that was the first to go, the whole structure eventually landing over 500m from BC in the middle of the Glacier below us.
Next was the cook tent – but because our two cooks were sleeping inside, just as it was lifting Zahid grabbed hold of the tent poles. He became covered in spindrift and was quickly freezing with cold as everything around him was blown away.
The snow storm probably only lasted 30 seconds but as we shivered and screamed in our shelters it seemed like an eternity.
Once the avalanche had passed we checked everyone and started to clear up. Only our individual tents remained intact – everything else was destroyed – BC literally looked like a bomb had hit.
Conclusion – Trango had definitely had the last word. It was time to go !

4 comments:

tony said...

For christs sake guys be careful and come home safely!!

Good luck see ya soon

Lee said...

The mountain is acting like a spiteful child. It wants you out of there!

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