The La and Shish 2011 the end of the story
On the plateau
The first day walking up to 4200 m to make our base camp had to have been one of the hardest days for our film crew. One of my colleagues ended up carrying some of their stuff and they were very slow. As we arrived it rained very hard and putting up the tents was difficult for everyone. I’m so glad I have a tent that pitches outer and inner at the same time so everything stays dry.
The next few days were spent trekking, abseiling, visiting some lakes, learning survival skills and doing a night time search and rescue exercise. We had a mixture of sunshine and showers, better weather than I had imagined as its monsoon here in the summer. This training expedition was so much fun as we had such a skilled and eager team. I have never had the luxury of working with a team we picked our selves; after all guides don’t often get to choose their own customers. The food was not so good, as we had to eat instant noodles everyday for lunch. Breakfast was often not so much and even though the evening meals were usually pretty good, I lost quite a bit of wait just on this ten day trip.
The walk up to base camp took us through a landscape of giant boulders and our first rock and scree slopes. But much to everyones surprise base camp was on grass. There was plenty of vegetation around and it was not so cold even though we were were over 5200 m high.
After getting settled in to base camp for a day or so we took the students up to 5700m for some top roped ice climbing and walking on a glassier.
When the first group left we started preparing for Pompari and had a few days climbing up and down carrying gear to Advanced base camp or as we called it.
Far Far Away Camp (FFAC) as it was about 8k away and we carried a lot of the gear our selves. In this time we climbed to 6000m and then spent about a week living at over 6000m with the huge south west face of Shishapanma as our back drop.
We did not managed to climb Pompari we did not have enough time for such a difficult mountain. This was lucky as if we had more time to climb the mountain we would all be dead. An earthquake knocked down the side of the mountain where we were the day after we came back.
On our last trip to FFAC to bring back equipment we arranged that wanglei could stay over night as she was tired. However an hour or so after we had left she decided to descend to base camp alone. She got lost as it was snowing hard. This almost put a complete end to our expedition and we all ended up involved in a 3 day search and rescue which by day 3 we thought we were looking for a dead body. She had set off a GPS SPOT device so everyone from Hong Kong to Beijing knew she was lost; this also included her family in the US. She then switched off the SPOT so we could not find her!
After a long time trying to find out the coordinates systems that the SPOT used we set off into the snow and found her.