Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 19 2004 - Towards ABC

Today we were moving towards Advanced Base Camp (ABC), with the purpose of getting two fairly easy ascents to Dome and Cone. We got up 07:00AM in the morning. The weather was still gorgeous, but it was freezing cold. Ståle and Torstein volunteered to pull the sledges. We would let one tent (Torstein and mine) stay behind, as the time up in ABC would be limited.

The morning porridge was the "highlight" of the day. We had renamed the porridge to "Prrr", and found it bearable when sugar and raisins were added to the ... breakfast. In fairness, the porridge did the job, although we never understood why it was called porridge. It certainly didn't look like porridge, as I knew it. The porridge also had an amazing "cleaning" effect on the internal system. One had to be dressed before taking on the "Prrr". Like clockwork, I would be head over heels to the "hockey hole", a few minutes later. During the stay, Torstein and I learned to appreciate the effects of the "Prrr", although the rest of the group might have thought otherwise.

We left base camp (BC) 10:00AM and could enjoy the tracks from our previous trip up the glacier, plus the Tromsø team (with sledges) from the day before. The Tromsø team had set up their ABC surprisingly far down on the glacier. We decided to go much higher. Per Ove and I broke the snow from 2700m (where we had turned around earlier) and found a good campsite at approx. 2800m.

Being the team's "undertaker", I started working on the toilet. I had expected headache and nausea at this altitude, and all the signs were coming while I was digging the toilet. Once done, I crashed into Petter's and Jan-Frode's tent. Feeling completely miserable.

The team from Tromsø passed 18:15PM. Everyone reached the Dome summit, but they had not skied down from the summit. Again, we felt they were late on the mountain. By 19:00PM, it was -20 deg. C. outside, and I could understand that skiing down a narrow ridge isn't the first thing on your agenda. By 22:30PM, a toilet visit was unavoidable. The temperature had now dropped to -25 deg. C, and it was a blessing to get back into the tent. The headache and nausea had disappeared, and I was already looking forward to the Dome ascent the next morning.

1. Rigging down tents in BC (313KB) 2. On the way to ABC (375KB) 3. On the way to ABC (242KB) 4. On the way to ABC (268KB) 5. On the way to ABC (146KB) 6. On the way to ABC (136KB) 7. Staale and his sledge (121KB) 8. On the way up the glacier (184KB)

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