January Calendar Sheet Nr. 1
This Christmas I gifted my grandparents an “India calendar” with photos of my travels. To each photo I will be add story every month during this year.
I would also like to share these stories with you.
And here is the first story of the January calendar sheet:
It’s 6:30 am. We are about a hundred meters from the summit. From now on it gets really steep, about 75% incline. But the snow is still well frozen so early in the morning, so that our crampons can easily drill into the hard snow and we can push ourselves upwards. We take step by step, like on a ladder. Every few steps we take a longer respite. At about 5900 meters the air is thin and we get easily out of breath. Since we are roped together, it is not so easy to find a common rhythm of pause and climbing. But we are a well-rehearsed team and we are progressing quite well. We, that are Jogi, David and Me. I’m in the middle, Jogi in front and David makes the end. I am the most inexperienced of us and very happy to be in the safe middle. We have been climbing since 3:30 am.
It was not easy to get up so early and to prepare for the summit ascent in a three-person tent in darkness. But already the night before, we had sorted our things well, so that everything went quite smoothly. We lit our little gas cooker and cooked tea, pulled over our warm thermal underwear, fleece sweaters, jackets and pants. For “breakfast” there was muesli with strongly sweetened powdered milk. We didn’t care what we ate, the energy we drew from, was more important to us.
Then the most difficult part came: In the dark, the seat belt and crampons had to be fastened. David and Jogi took care of the rope and roped us up. We shouldered our backpacks and climbed deep (and High) into the night.
I was glad Jogi led us. Despite the headlamp I had no orientation at all. Everything was pitch black around us. Only from time to time a shining flash light shrugged up behind us. Somewhere, far behind us in a valley, it seemed to be thundering.
From time to time, clouds of fog rose and I saw even less. But with the sunrise the clouds disappeared and were pushed further down into the valley, so that we had a breathtaking view over the mountains of the Indian Himalayas. We stopped for a little break, switched off our headlamps and enjoyed the unique mountain panorama. At that moment I thought, “That’s why I take all the effort and deprivation on me: just for that view.” It was simply indescribably beautiful when the sun dipped the mountain peaks in a soft light. A moment that I will never forget and will carry forever in my memories.
After that we made our way higher and higher up, over steep ice and rocky ground. First towards the ridge. Here we had to pay attention, as there was an unstable overhang of snow, which was better not to be run over.
We traversed the area a bit and then climbed up in a straight line.
Now we are seemingly close to the summit. But for the few meters that it lead us up almost vertically, we will need a good forty-five minutes more. Then we are on top. We reached the summit of Hanuman Tibba, 5932 meters high. Around us only vastness and nothing but white mountain peaks.