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Climbing Tarpu Chuli (updated)

NEPAL | Monday, 22 October 2007 | Views [1790]

Day 08 (17.10.2007) : Ascending the Couloir and Setting up the High Camp
Because Tom decided not to climb due to his sore knee (or whatever reason...) I ended up climbing only with Dandi, accompanied by one of the porters who had to carry the tent and the rest of the equipment to the high camp. After the last omlette for the next few days we started at 8 am to step down the wall of the glacier and traverse it to ascend the wall on the other side again. Lots of snow was covering the stones of the glacier which made it not very easy to find a next save step. Good that Sherpas do not need any maps or signs on the trek because it would had never ever been possible to locate them. On the shortcut way we headed towards the couloir on the other side of the glacier which leads to the hill where we set up the high camp. Inside the quite steep couloir we had to cross the stream about five times and the new snow really slowed us down. After some tea and cookie breaks we finally reached the top of the couloir and spotted the place for the high camp. The following slope would had been perfect for a snowboard ride in perfect powder... Too bad that we were still heading up and I guess especially the porter who was not wearing very good equipment had not as much fun as I. At around 3 pm we reached the site where we set up the tent, put off our shoes and started melting snow for some cups of tea. The time between then and the sunset we spent by melting snow to cook the worse looking pasta with tomato and tuna sauce I have ever seen :-). Boiling water and cooking pasta takes too much time to get a good looking dinner. At least it is eatable and does not taste as it looks. After the sun set we closed the tent and did not leave it anymore. Since it was getting colder and colder I slipped in my sleeping bag shortly after arranging our gear inside the tent. At 7 pm we wished everybody a good night and tried to sleep a little bit for the coming six hours.

Day 09 (18.10.2007) : Ascent to the Summit and Return to Base Camp
We first intended to start our summit attempt on 1.30 am because we knew that the sun would make it much more difficult to move in the powder and on the ice wall (...actually I was not aware of the fact that the whole way up that mountain would be in the shadow :-)). Finally, due to the strong wind at night we waited another three hours before preparing our gear. After putting everything on we had we stepped out the tent where a strong and freezing wind was blowing. Even that the sky was clear the temperature was reeeaaaly cold. So we started heading towards the glacier located below the peak. My feet and hands were nearly frozen so I tried to move them as much as I could and hoped the sun to be out soon. Of course this did not help at all so I just kept on walking, knowing it will go over... (unfortunately some of my toes still feel a little strange). After crossing the glacier and trail breaking the powder between the crevasses we arrived at the wall on the foot of Tarpu Chuli. We stopped to have some tea and started unpacking the 200m rope and the snow bars. I was very glad to feel the sunshine, finally! The next two hours we spent on climbing the ice wall on the fixed rope Dandi was installing continously. Because I had to wait quite some time, I could enjoy the view and saw a single person arriving on the trace we just had set. I was wondering about who had been lost in this place of the world, especially when this tourist left the trace on the bottom of the wall and headed towards the even steeper and rockier part of it. Finally when we arrived at the crest we met. The tourist introduced himself as Slovenian alpinist and suddenly I remembered that I met his sirdar the day before at ABC. He was the guy climbing Annapurna I (8091m and one of the most difficult ones) solo... just crazy. Because he was waiting for some better weather for his attempt he went for a training climb to Tarpu Chuli. Together we did the last part, the ascent on the ridge to the top. We reached the summit shortly before 1 pm, had some nice lunch and took some tourist pics when Tomaž radioed down to his Base Camp saying he was having a pool party in Pokhara. He asked about the available food and invited us for dinner.

It started clouding again, so we decided to start the descent. It was great fun to run down in the powder, but at Tomaž' speed even more strenuous than the ascent. Arrived at High Camp I had another 15min fight against my sleeping bag and I finally left breaking the tent to the Dendi and the porter and headed together with Tomaž down towards the couloir and his Base Camp. Anda, his doctor was already awaiting and I got introduced to his sirdar Swagat who I met already the day before and was served a cup of hot tea. Meanwhile the sun was setting but still none of my guys in sight. After waiting another half an hour I assumed they went back to ABC and would not show up anymore. The following dinner - curry matan, rice and beer - was delicious and the Gluehwein at least as good. So I spent a very nice evening with very nice people somewhere I would had never expected. Finally, without tent but fortunately with my sleeping bag I was offered sanctuary for the coming night which was clear and with a sky full of stars. I don't remember to have seen so many stars ever before. Just amazing! ...and you don't spend more time on brushing your teeths elsewhere ;-)

Day 10 (19.10.2007) : Leaving the tourists' campWith the first ray of sunshine I was served a real good cup of wake up coffee and stayed in my sleeping bag for another couple of minutes until the sun had warmed up the tent. After breakfast the guys went for a climbing session and I washed myself with a bucket of hot water. The weather was perfect for a rest day, a nice, warm and sunny day. For the expedition team it was washing day and I had to set off in order to refind my two lost boys. I thanked for the hospitality and said ciao to Anda. Tomaž and Swagat decided to go (or better run...) with me to ABC where I got introduced as just-married (on top of Tarpu Chuli) to all the lodge owners and the Nepalis they know. The tour started with a couple of beer and a plate of matan (where I found Dendi again... sitting in a lodge's kitchen) and finally ended with some music and dances and another daal bhat in the lodge we stayed that night. It was a great party and much fun!

The top of the crest where there is even more snow than below... best powder, but more convenient for a nice snowboard ride than for a climb.

The top of the crest where there is even more snow than below... best powder, but more convenient for a nice snowboard ride than for a climb.

Tags: Mountains

 

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