January 10, 2007 - Feeling the Effects of Altitude

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Making our way across the high desert in our 4-wheel drive trucks

It’s the 10th of January and I’m calling you from our high camp which is at 19,100 feet (5820m).  Many of us walked up here today very slowly for conditioning and also to carry up a bit of equipment which we will need.  Of course we will return here tomorrow in order to spend the night and stage our climb of Ojos on the 12th of January.                              

Guilherme visits high camp todayWe are climbing higher and higher and definitely feeling the effects of altitude.  The crossing of the desert which we just did yesterday by four-wheel drive is still fresh in our memory as we are now high on the slopes of Ojos.

We unloaded last night at Atacama Camp and set up a permanent base camp for us really.  Erin, who is now walking up slowly with Opus on the road below me from high camp, will stay back there as support when we go for the summit, just as she did last summer on Elbrus when Opus went on to the summit.  Also Guilherme will be waiting at Atacama Camp.  He is climbing up here today to see what high camp is like but both Erin and Guilherme will be waiting at high camp while we climb higher.

Jerri always has her iPod around her neckJerri still uses her mp3 player everywhere she goes and she’s got great photographs of her sons, Duncan and Adam that she keeps on that thing.  I think besides the music she enjoys looking at the photographs of Duncan and Adam while she is in the high desert and beyond as we climb even higher on the mountain, the iPod is always around her neck.

This morning at about 7:30am we heard by radio that a party of three Germans were already at 6500m and continuing to climb on to the summit of Ojos.  So that is really good news…[lost transmission]

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters