Here, there and finally back again. Part 1

Hi Guys,

I'm writing from Stockholm, got back yesterday and it sure feels good to be back home!

After my session in Kashgar I left for Pik Lenin in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan. I managed to get hold of a 4x4 taking me to the border at Irkeshtam Pass. Now this border isn't just a virtual line separating to countries, it's also a 4km no-mans-land of a complete mess of trucks, cars and people. All getting stuck, being turned upside down and breaking apart. So in other words i had a bit of struggle reaching my pick-up at the Kyrgyz side in time. A truck loaded like a funnel standing straight up on the narrow end... if you follow, had tilted and had spread it goods alover the place so I had to carry my stuff a km or two. I was happy to get in the Lada Niva after some hours.

The driver was really funny. He had a strict opinion that Panasonic, of all brands, made the absolutely best cameras in the world. When I took out my compact Canon he literally spit on the inside on the windscreen and sweared, very broadly , in Russian over it like it was a black cat or something. Well I gave him some Chinese cigarettes that he really seemed to like and we swooshed through the flat lowlands over rough roads and with happy smiles.

Lada Niva
The Lada Niva somewhere between Sary-Tash and Pik Lenin BC.

The trip ended in Achik-Tash. That is the name of Pik Lenin's BC. The BC is spread out on an area of around one square kilometre so it didn't had the same intimacy as Muztagh Ata BC. Camp 1 on PL is more like the latter. Achik-Tash is more like a landing spot that you want to leave as fast as possible.

The day after it was raining so I decided to stay in my tent. Oskar, my partner was up in C1. He had arrived 10 days before me to gain the acclimatisation I already had in me. I walked up the following morning with gear and food to last for a week and a half. The trek up to C1 is quite beautiful and very dramatic. Sometimes the terrain drops 50-60 meters on the side of the narrow path and a small mistake could easy send you tumbeling down to the glacier below. Not sure anyone would hear you scream from down there. It's amazing, the nomads are riding these trails on horse!

The view of the trail on the left leading up to C1.

I got to C1 after 5 hours. Oskar was there and he was happy to get some company. He had been alone with his anatomy book for some time now and was longing for some company. We had dinner in the mess tent of our arranging company and decided to head up the glacier the following day.

We got a really late start and we left camp a bit stressed by the fact that we had small chances to reach C2 by nightfall. The bags were heavy and the dome shape of the lower part of the wall made it terrible hot. It was fun though to cross the glacier were we jumped crevasses, some big and scary with unstable snowbridges leading across.

Roped in through the field of crevasses.

Just when we had moved our way up to the beginning of the traverse the light of day started to fade on us. I was feeling strong but Oskar was affected by the altitude and we decided to make camp and pitched the tent close to a area in danger of avalanches. We came to the conclusion that it was still safe since we had a couple of small hills that covered our back to the ice/snow wall. They would sure stop most of debris coming our way.

Icefall. The trail is visible in the upper-middloe part of the picture.

Next day we moved up to C2. On the way the snow began to fall. It fell and it fell, on and off for two days.
We layed in our tent melting snow and chatting about.


The time in C2 was a bit boring but still pleasant one until our stomachs started to produce bad gases. The problems grew worse and especially Oskar had some very explosive moments. He was running out in the middle of the night in panic.

Sorry for putting you through this but it explains a lot later on in the story. :)

Anyway, we layed mostly in cramps and ate Imodium and coal pills, just trying to stop things up. It isn't easy to get any nutrition down when you are feeling like this but we tried our best anyway with light food like noodlesoups and tea.

On the third day we moved up a load of food and gaz to C3 at 6100m, well at least we tried. Some unprovoked toilet stops on the way and we started to climb the last part and a steep and long section leading up to C3. In the middle of that part we put a stash, we just couldn't go any further in our condition with cramping stomachs. We put it just next to a marker flag and we put our ice axes in the snow around it so we could find it if snow was coming during the night.

And so we turned around and went down to our tent.

Oskar & Stefan
On our way up to C2.

More will come soon! Time for bed.

Postat av: research paper

There terrible weathr. You need to have a lot of necessary things with you.

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