The latest Project Himalaya Cho Oyu expedition news
Zac and team have their puja and Arnauld quits
21 Sept - day trip to Camp 1
The day was relatively good as we set off for an acclimatisation trek, myself and Arnauld, to Camp 1. Since he wasn't feeling 100%, I thought that we would probably only make Lake Camp, but although he was walking slowly suffering from some diarrhoea, he wanted to push on so we made Camp 1 and found our tent among the literally almost 100 there. We arrived back at ABC around 6pm, just before dark and just in time for dinner.
Dawa carried the tent, emergency oxygen, cooking gas and pots to Camp 1. With his good connections he put our tent in as the sherpas for a Japanese team that had summitted recently lifted theirs out.
Zac and his team arrived back at ABC after a few days on the mountain establishing Camp 1.
22 Sept - Zac and team's puja
Zac and his team had a puja, Jamie and Andrew sitting in for a second one for extra luck. Arnauld didn't feel well and rested most of the day.
23 Sept - ABC to Gyabla
Arnauld woke up knowing that an old problem, Pulmonary Oedema, was coming back to haunt him. He wasn't coughing nor did he have rales in his lungs but he was breathing hard and knew that he was suffering it. I was surprised to learn in Kathmandu that he had previously suffered this on a Mera Peak expedition which went to altitude very fast. So I put in two extra bottles of oxygen, on top of the three we already had.
With an oxygen saturation in the blood of around 60% Arnauld knew that he had to descend so after a slow start we finally left after lunch with Andrew coming along out of camp to offer a second opinion. A normal oxygen saturation at that altitude is somewhere between 75% and 85%.
Evan arrived back from first establishing Lake Camp (0.5 camp) and then Camp 1 just in time to wish Arnauld goodbye.
Arnauld was weak and didn't want to eat anything and just out of ABC I tried giving him an asthma inhaler, this sometimes helps to open the airways, but it didn't do anything for Arnauld, so after a short while I gave Diamox and Adalat (Nifedipine) but this didn't seem to help either so oxygen it was, and the effect was dramatic, he doubled his walking speed almost immediately and once the flow rate was 3 litres a minute, he tripled his speed.
We plodded on to the intermediate camp, arriving before dark. Obviously our radio message hadn't reached the right person, there was no jeep waiting so we stayed here with two hospitable Tibetan sisters. Dawa cooked for Arnauld as I couldn't persuade them to wash their hands after filling the fire with yak dung.
The oxygen bottle lasted the whole night, on a low flow rate.
24 Sept - Gyabla to Zhangmu
We woke to another day of good weather and wondered if climbers were summitting, there had been a queue of people heading up to Camp 3.
Danuru ran off after a quick breakfast and an hour or so later he turned up in an old TMA Landcruiser and we bumped our way down to Chinese Base Camp where Sanduk soon sorted everything out, and we were on our way seriously down. We made it to Zhangmu ready for Arnauld to cross the border tomorrow.
More news on the afternoon of 26 Sept.
© Jamie McGuinness - Project-Himalaya.com - 2004