Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 9--Chansal Pass

Today we rolled off of our therma-rests early and began the hike up to Chansal Pass. It was a steady and moderate climb.

At the top Cathy and James attempted the 'jump shot'. After about 17 takes this one worked.

As Sheele pointed out after starting his international emergency medicine fellowship, "it's mostly women that want to save the world". So true. So true.

The gang...can't you just smell the polypro??

Rockin' Shishue and MC Cathy Lee Bustin' Rhymes at the top.

I am never sure if it is all in my head regarding the altitude and how I am feeling. We've been taking it easy and acclimatizing slowly but I still feel like my chest is tight and a bit more short of breath than I'd expect. I am a wuss.

I've been taking diamox and am loving the fact that I am on a diuretic whilst hiking with a group of 20+ people, in the alpine, where finding a little rock pile to pee behind can be a challenge.
The diamox also makes you sun sensitive. I forgot about this as well and did not put enough SPF along my hairline. Thus (as you can see the sun shining off my forehead) I got a bit of a burn today. I can't wait until my hairline starts peeling. Hot. That is going to look hot.

The transient extremity parasthesias have been another interesting side effect. I am glad that Sheele told me about this possibility or I am sure I would have thought I was getting MS or something on the trip...

Two of the members of the team are down with what appears to be altitude sickness, two others are in the gut-clutching-running-to-the-poo-tent realm. The upside to that is at least there are spectacular views from the poo tents.
I am feeling tired and dirty. We're only on day 4 of camping which means there are still a couple of weeks of tenting left. This is going to be interesting.

My fingernails are disgusting. I am using wipes at night to give myself some semblance of cleanliness.

I think I will have a nap now. My heels are tingling.

So I have this super deluxe therma-rest which has a thin layer of down in it, and inflates to about 3 inches thick. It gives me, by far, the most comfortable sleep I have ever had in a tent. The mat is inflated by using the bag which it comes in. You close the bag (with air inside) then hook up the mat to the bag, squeeze the bag of air into the mat and it inflates. This process usually takes about 7-10 bags of air to inflate the mat to my desired thickness (wuss thickness). You can't blow in the mat to inflate it or the moisture from your lungs will rot the down in the bag. All along this has been fine and dandy, until today. Apparently when you are camping at 14 000 ft the air is a little thinner. Thin air=80-100 bags of air to inflate my little air matress by 3 inches. By the time I had it almost inflated for my nap I was ready to shred the contraption. Eventually I just blew a few lungfulls of air into it. Mouldy down be DAMMED!


Keet said...

You and your dammed down.
I love that we are wuss campers.
I so wish I could have rocked that with you.
One day... when i tire of the rat race of public health policy...
Maybe I can write a funding proposal for your next trip or something...

Albinoblackbear said...

I do recall inviting you on the trip Mr. King but you were all "gotta make cash so I can buy a new cashmere sweater"... :P

Better come next time!! :)