Saturday, 13 September 2008

Team hits impasse below Sun Terrace

We all went up three days ago to fix rope to Sun Terrace (The Shoulder) and establish a high camp there. On 11th Sept after Denis climbed a very tough Fr.6c+ wall which was running with water, he and I reached an impasse at the start of an easy 4b rock slab. Trouble was this slab was covered in snow and impossible to climb in this state. The snow was not strong enough to hold any weight. We tried every option like traversing, and jumaring old in-situ fixed rope to our left, but it seemed the only solution would be to place bolts every meter for 15 meters. We did not want to do this so we all retreated to BC allow the sun to melt the snow. We arrived back at BC around 6pm on the 11th tired, depressed and worried that we would not climb this huge and magnificent monolith. Yesterday was spent drying out kit and recovering and today at 4am Gaz, Pierre nd Eliza went up to try and work the pitch again. The short rest was needed. Pierre had two badly blistered toes, Eliza cannot feel the toes in her left foot, Gaz had a swollen knee after a rock hit him on descent, and David is sick with chest pains and cannot breath well. He is currently being treated with a course of aspirin. Because Pierre, our doctor, wanted a second opinion on David’s condition he contacted the French organization IFREMONT by satellite phone. This company offers 24 hr medical advice and support to expeditions anywhere in the world – a great facility!

Basically the whole route on Trango is in bad condition with a lot of snow on easy slabs. We need to try and reach Sun Terrace and from there the route gets a lot steeper and so hopefully no snow. The good news is that the weather forecast is fine until next Wednesday so this should allow us time to reach the shoulder. Bearing in mind the route up to the shoulder in good conditions can take as little as 3 hours!!

Denis and I are raring to go and together with David we are waiting at Base Camp with radio calls to the climbing team every 4 hours to check progress. To date my diabetes has been okay, although I am purposely keeping my blood sugar levels around 25% higher than normal so I don’t have any hypos. In order to do this I often lay awake up to 2 hours after everyone else is asleep to ensure my sugar levels are stable and not dropping too fast. If they did I could have a nighttime hypo. I share a tent with Gaz and he as well as the whole team know how to deal with a nighttime hypo. But I still don’t want to run the risk. The other night I got it completely wrong and around 22.00hrs, 2 hours after dinner, I found my blood sugar levels way too high – around 19mmols. The norm is 5mmols. So I injected more insulin. Then they dropped too low, too quickly and so I had to start eating again, even though my stomach was full. I eventually got to sleep around 02.00hrs! What I am finding is that my fast acting insulin (I take two types each day – up to 20 units of slow acting insulin, and up to 15 units of fast acting insulin) is taking a lot longer to take affect, but once it does it is much stronger than back at home. C’est la vie!


1 comment:

Jutta said...

Hi Jerry,
Doc Martin is speaking concerning Davids chest pains...if it is not a problem of his lung, it could be a blocking of the thoracic spine or of the ribs. Than chiropractic will help..come over!

We keep our fingers crossed that you and the team will reach the summit!!! Kopf hoch!!!

Jutta and Martin