01 January 2009

Bad start to the new year

Category: Dark Materials

What a night!

It had been snowing lighly since midday yesterday, then at about 9pm the avalaunches started. You could hear them coming from a long way off, sounding like a liquid train. They were funneling down either side of my bivy and I was congratulating myself on sitting myself up below an overhang. That was until I hot hit by one at around 11pm, swamping half the ledge and forcing spindrift through a tiny vent.

And so the rest of the night was pretty rough, laying wondering if that was going to be the worst of it.

Then at midnight the fireworks started.

I’m finding the nights pretty tough up here, the mellowness of the day be gobbled up by panicy dreams at night (. I’ve noticed my resting pulse rate is much higher at night).

Was hoping to go back up to my high point this morning in the dark, but have decided to leave it a few hours until the face warms up and sheds any more snow. It feels twice as cold today - which must be a sign of better weather, or could just be my reduced diet kicking in?

Just hope the ropes, gear and anchors are still there?

snickers

A Snicker's bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?

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Andy Kirkpatrick

Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.

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