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Posted on Jan 1, 2008

Hi Everyone

First time I have had a shower since 9th Jan 

Made it to 6300m

First few days trekking in temps of +30-35 in the vass valley were very hard with the heat just dehydrating us.

From the Vass Valley to base camp Argentina is one of the most hardest routs to the mount summit attempt taking us 3 days to get to base camp then on to camp 1 at 4600m then on to camp 2 at 5040m having a days rest at each camp to acclimatise 5400m then on to camp 3 at 6000m were we camped for 4 nights Dave was taking temps every day and inside our tents he recorded temps of -18 waking up to frost inside our tents and melting snow and ice to cook our food and make drinks with , we had to drink a min of 5L per day ref to the altitude absorbing the moisture out of our body's and dehydrating us and I can tell you that was hard work in its self trying to cook at the altitude just doing your boots up was so hard you can not move fast but just take one step at a time very hard to explain if you haven't been at that altitude just breathing was so hard too even drinking taking a sip 

After 3 days trekking I had to get a sharper to carry my back pack due to the fact that when I was ill due to pulling my intercostals mussels (back last year Jan - March when I was in and out of hospital ect) the pack was pulling on my chest (my pack was about 25Kg) and trekking 7-10hr days that was a no go + caring 4 to 5L of water a day to keep me alive and eating protein bars and sugar supplements to give me strength I sill lost 10Kg in weight and john had to do some serious first aid on both of my feet due to some really I mean really bad blisters to my heals so bad from the heat they were bleeding but I was able to carry on .

Mark and Dave went down with altitude sickness the day before we were due to attempt the summit

Roberto and Andy got frost bite on there hands and feet (-28-37) so John our team leader made the agonising decision and turned us around before it was too late to treat them and we ran out of food-rations. The fact that we had camp at 6000m and we were deteriorating fast due to the altitude had I no choice but to go down with them and knowing that that was the last chance I had to summit the mountain I know myself I could have made the summit.

I fell about 4-7 times over the trip but on the way back down I fell about 50 feet and fubared my leg and had to trek 10hr next day from base camp to the roadside with my bad leg

I can tell you for a fact this was no walk more climbing then walking, trekking for 7-10hr days from temps in the Vass Valley of+35 to getting to the summit of tep of-28-37 with 50mile winds and snow blizzards land slides and crossing glazers with our mountain boots and ice axes 

Ref to one of the treks, we crossed from base camp to camp 1 , as we crossed parts of the Glazer they were collapsing around us due to the mid day heat cording the ice now to see it was amazing crashing down at any time

John our team leader said that this mountain was harder then Killy (Kilimanjaro) and base camp Everest

At the time we were camped at 6000m 3 people were killed due to temp and land slides, one of the USA teams had 12 people in there team and only one summated just to give you an idea how hard this mountain really is and if not for the above I would have been on the top with John we are both upset that we had to go down but we were only a few100mt from the top but that was about 6-7 hr and that's why he could not risk Roberto and Andy's frost bite with 6-7 hr teak back from the summit they would have been at to much risk and john and I would have not had the strength to help them down

See You soon over and out Rich.


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