Carry Loads to Berlin

Slept lousy and I’m tired. I heard one group leaving for the summit at 5:00, in the morning. They were back by 10:30, exhausted and nauseated having not come close to the summit. The altitude hit me. I’m dehydrated and very light headed. It’s hard to think straight and I’m having a hard time packing. After drinking two liters of Gatorade, I felt much better. The trail to Berlin was not hard but is extremely steep in some sections. At 19,600 feet trying to do anything is a challenge. The Gatorade did the trick for me and I was feeling great despite the altitude. We headed down and with all the snow and steepness of the slope made it back in 20 minutes by going straight down.

Cold last night, and difficult to get a good night’s sleep at this altitude. We got packed and started up, it was really windy but the sun was hot. We made it to Berlin with no major problems. Actually there are three hut’s called refuges. The Plantamura, Libertad and the trashed Berlin. The Plantamura is the smallest and can sleep three, the Libertad is the largest and can sleep four and the Berlin is unusable. With the strong wind the huts offer at least some shelter from the wind noise. I started getting a headache while cooking dinner. The hut is so dark and the light is so bright coming through the door. My right eye felt like it had a knife in it and my head was pounding. Stan got concerned and said we would move down if it wasn’t better in an hour. I’ve experienced cerebral edema before and know what it feels like. I needed to drink more and was again dehydrated. I loaded up on more Gatorade while I laid in my sleeping bag and slowly my headache went away. Of course, we didn’t really sleep. You just lay there and listen to your heart beating at around 130 bpm.

Rest day at Berlin
Woke up early to strong wind pounding the hut. Glad we’re in the hut instead of a tent. I jumped out to take a look at the weather. It was clear but really windy. We decided to bag it for the day and try to prepare for the summit attempt tomorrow. I really hate to let an opportunity go by, but I think we need to make our attempt with as strong a body, mentally and physically, as possible. I finally got a couple hours of sleep in the morning. We sat around doing nothing most of the day. Oh the joys of mountaineering! The French guys who are bunking with Matt left for their attempt. At around 1:30 the wind died down a bit and we had some company come up the mountain. One of the guides named Rambo had a Welsh climber with him.

Rambo carried everything up the mountain for the guy and was really his personal Sherpa. The guy only had 10 days to get to the summit and that starts from his home in Madrid, Spain.

That is really too fast. Rambo has everything set up and is preparing dinner. Late in the afternoon, the Frenchmen, Erik and Pascal, came down the mountain. One of them was staggering all over the place. These guys are around 20 to 25 years old and look trashed. Erik staggered to the hut and collapsed face first. I helped the guy get his boots and clothes off. He looked like he had the start of cerebral edema and was a bit hypothermic. I put dry socks and a dry shirt on him. We got everything ready for our summit attempt tomorrow. I feel 100-percent better than yesterday and I think the rest helped out greatly.

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