Sunday, September 30, 2007

Acclimatizing at Vasuki Taal

29th August

Yogesh did not get any better during the night.Early morning around 3 AM, JP and Moiz went to the camps of the Slovenian team to call the expedition doctor. They kept on shouting for Mr.Jha ji and Mr. Suresh ji but did not get any response. Both of them had to return back. After coming back JP gave a reason as to why no one answered their calls. He said that probably on this campsite,nobody would come out for the fear of ghosts. After some time JP and Moiz gave another try and this time Suresh ji instantly came out of tent. Later on we came to that there was no one in the kitchen tent, where JP and Moiz had been shouting earlier. After this fact, we had quite a fun at JP's expense and the ghosts of Vasuki Taal still probably haunt our own dear JP Bhai Yahoowaley.

The doctor from the Slovenian expedition came to have a look at Yogesh and advised an immediate descent. We all felt bad, but that was the best thing for him. We saw him off as three porters went along with him. One of the porters would go all the way to Gangotri with Yogesh and two of them were going to come back from Nandanvan.

So today was our rest and acclimatization day. Everybody was feeling a little bit uneasy because of the altitude. So we thought we would take a good walk around our campsite today to help us acclimatize better. Possibly climb the ridge leading to Vasuki Parbat. Most of the time was spent talking to the other group who were to start for their Mt Satopanth expedition this afternoon.

Harsh was also building up signs of AMS. In the morning he had severe headache and once even vomitted blood. Everybody got really scared after this. Then he alone went for an acclimatization walk towards the Vasuki Parbat, hoping his body acclimatizes.

At this point, I would say that anyone who wishes to do the Kalindi Pass ever, should not take acclimatization lightly. Never overdo things or force yourselves. Then again, different people acclimatize differently and Harsh was one of the fitter members of our team.

We also took some time to explore the beautiful campsite. This was a beautiful campsite surrounded by mountains and the Taal itself was a high altitude lake. Vasuki Parvat, Chandra Parvat and Bhagirathi peaks were visible from this campsite.

As the cloud cover lifted, Vasuki Parbat was visible in its full glory. There was a glacier hanging precariously on one of the faces. Jha sahib, the liaison officer from IMF accompanying the climbers, told us that the glacier could collapse any day as more and more snow accumulates on the top. Vasuki Parbat has been unclimbed for a long time. The vertical face resisted all attempts of climbing.

The previous night was a full moon night and therefore the chances of bad weather for the next 2 -3 days were very high. Although we had plans to do quite a bit of exploration of the nearby ridges, we did not do much and preserved our energy. Budhi had told us that the next coming days are going to be more challenging.

We wished good luck to the Slovenian team and Mr. Suresh as they started for ABC. Mr. Suresh wrote all our names and contact numbers in a small diary he carried. I was surprised to see that some of the names in that diary had a big red mark against them and I couldn’t stop myself from asking Mr. Suresh about it. I wish I hadn’t. He told me that those are his climber and trekker friends, people like us, who he meets on climbs and treks. The red mark indicated, they were no more, they had perished in some or the other expedition. I looked around and saw a look of scare on all the faces. Our names were in the diary too.

The rest of the afternoon was spent talking to Mr. Jha, who had stayed behind at the base camp.


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