Everest – The North Col

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The steep climb to the North Col.
This is the first technical piece of climbing on #everest.
A 400m steep ice and snow slope that finishes at camp 1, #northcol, 7000m.
It is equipped with fixed ropes and requires a #jumar – a mechanical device that fixes from your harness to the rope to stop you slipping.
Large numbers of “climbers” on a single rope can cause delays and getting cold is a serious problem.
Although a part of climbing, many people on Everest are inexperienced in moving up and down fixed lines, relying on their #sherpas to clip them in and manage the change overs at anchors.                                            
A great lengthy article in the Guardian recently tried to describe the current Everest season antics.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/12/mount-everest-sherpa-disaster-one-year-on

Down time

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On an Everest expedition there is always lots of time free.

Team members find many different ways to amuse themselves: Reading, writing, growing strange facial hair, discussing the Bristol Stool Scale, making rock sculptures, listening to music…

Here ex-headmaster Andy is restimulating his interest in art. Kept company by a local cat, he will have a fine collection by the end of the 2 months.

Cold and windy

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Even at only 4800m it’s cold and windy.

We will be climbing nearly double that to 8850m in a few weeks.

On our trek out we had to avoid an angry confrontation with teahouse owners who thought they had our booking.

14 western trekkers with dinner and breakfast is a lot of income to miss out on.

The men of the village threatened to beat our Sherpas who called the local police.