We are now up at camp 2 or Nido De Condores (5,600m) and are having an easy day so we can adjust to the rise in altitude. Usually when I arrive at this camp i am stricken by a pretty intense headache and even vomitting. This time however my body was adjusting really well and I felt really good. Mike was still battling with illness but was somehow improving so at this stage he was still in the game. Matt had a dull headache but nothing a couple of pills would not fix.
I decided that we needed to go for an acclimitisation hike up to camp 3 or camp Berlin (5,850m) but only carry a really light pack with water and snacks in it. This way we would sleep much better as we will be sleeping lower than the height we climb too and we will adjust better tomorrow when we shift up to camp 3. It was a long slow climb up especially when Matt stops to look at all the different rocks he passes. One time i wanted to see what the fuss was all about so i peered over his shoulder to see him captivated by a rock which to me looked identical to all of its brothers around it.
Sometimes I find I am so focused on the plan that I tend not to absorb the surroundings as much as I should. Once we reached Berlin we walked around the camp to yarn to a few climbing teams to get some intel on the weather and their tactics. There are many ways to skin a cat and Acon is a pretty damn big cat! so it is interesting to hear how different groups plan their assault to the summit. Some people prefer to camp lower so they sleep well but have a longer summit day, and others a more conservative approach to sleep as high as possible. One crazy team from Mexico was even planning to make a run for the summit from camp 1! (which i find pretty loco, and they didn’t make it).
After a good night sleep we moved up to our final high camp called Cholera (5,950m). Personally I would prefer a name like Camp Awesome or Camp Yougotthis as I cannot see the appeal to sleep in Cholera. This camp has a reputation for throwing tents off the mountain and providing the coldest and worse night of your life as camping at 6000m is a pretty big call! You can find out how our fateful night in Cholera went in the final part 3 of the climb tomorrow 🙂