Верхнее меню - Travelling notes

snow survival


Nicolai diary


Starting not very late. The railings’re under the rocks, ropes’re fixed on the Soviet titanium ice-axes and “U” -pittons. Dinner in a fog at the Swiss night camping. A very smart Dutch - for the third time on the Dhaulagiri. He was [there] last year, his opinion about the expedition with Ira Valenkova - somebody was stoling carabines from the railings, “robbed” his tent, didn’t pay 100$ to the sherpa, who carried Ira Valenkova downstairs. All together made the camping at Japanese.


[I’m in the base camping.].

Tolya’s group reached 6200 m Scandal’s on the radio. In the afternoon the tracking group of Hauser came. The group is of the 12 - Austrians and Germans and about 20 sherpas. They stayed beside. A young fellow Peter’s their guide. Sonam, our serdar, and his assistant, Debendra, came at night. They tried to break through thrice from the 3-rd till the 10-th of October. Last time they were walking for about 26 hours. Debendra had badly frozen his feet. Lesha noticed it only in the morning, when Debendra began to warm his feet in the hot water. Lesha stopped that “violation” and made Debendra take the medicine. A bad prognosis is - two toes may be amputated. Swiss (Allan and Alen) made an effort to conquer 7900 and turned back: Allan couldn’t tread the path alone.


Last day of the rest. Tolya’s at 6600 m - busy with the camp. Two Japanese, sherpas, are sitting 100 m above. Swiss are coming down. <...>


We were bothering in the morning. Stomachache after yesterday’s gluttony [the sherpas took the long-expected food]. Climbed up to 5800 m For a long time we’ ve been waiting for Lesha Shew. Snacked. The snowfall broke out. We were going up to 6200 to the touch. Nearly passed the caves, thinking those were the cracks, and all of the men were in the cave (I was walking with Lesha Shew., 20 min. later). Returned to the caves as to our native place. Stars’re in the evening sky. Tolya and 3 men spent night at 7250 m Novgoroders stayed at 6600 m Met Austrians. They were also at 7250, but didn’t spend night there. Worn and exhausted.


We’re sitting in the cave at 6600 m Drank well diluted spirit. Dutch Bart’s sitting with us. That is his third expedition to Dhaulagiri. Lesha is cooking the next meal. Lucky am I being in this team, everybody enjoys the moment. Why did Tolya and three his companions go down when two Novgoroders’re spending night 200-250 m below?



Michael: “It’s such a hard process, but the most difficult is to get the ass out of the trousers."

Lesha Shew. Returned down. He dreamt his dead parents. We’d got to Tolya’s tent and put down ours. On the route Novgoroders joined us. Slava nearly escaped death, getting out to the tent. Lesha and Vitya had a convenient idea that Slava had turned down (though I got out and shouted and he answered not far away). We’d to go down to him through the darkness and give him tea and treading the path.


At the same camp (7200-7500).

Lesha, Dima and later me got out up to 7400-7500 m to prepare the cave and conclude if to take a tent or not. Feet are cold. Fellows moved the tent, but didn’t change the snow-anchors.


I’m writing down in the evening, about 9 p.m. Climbed up at 7400-7500 m The cave is disgusting. It’s covered with snow and Kolya P. had broken the sailing. Crowded, low and cold. I was climbing the last as was fixing the snow-anchors. Instead of ice - axes and sticks - cans. Feet were very cold. Now they’re warmed and ache hard. At night I dreamt and fight for the sleeping place against Novgoroders.


In the morning - Slava’s fantasies of the sherpas. The effort to make one more camp and then - retreat. Talk in the cave at 7400 m The way down to 6600 m into the cave, together with Bart.


In the morning Kolya P. Has lost his memory, then slowly began to recall all of us. Everybody recognized as tired we were. And the only way was to go down. While we were bothering Jugene and Kostya came. Going down through the snow-storm up to 6200 m, then up to 5800 m Slava’s falling behind. Pymich rushed forward with the uprights of the second tent. We’ve been arguing for a long time if to spend night at 5800 m or to go down. At last we’d waited for Slava and about 4.30. p.m. went down. Reached the base camp about 10.30. p.m. The last ascents were hard, we were not waited in the camp. There was no supper. While drinking vodka, the kitchen-boy cooked meal. Dima and Misha: “There was no top, but the mountain was”.


The rest and unpacking. Tolya and Jugene climbed up to 7200 m


All the participants run across the mountain pass to Gomson.

Tolya’s at 7400 m


Tolya, Jugene and Kostya made an effort of climbing [I saw that in the telescope tube].

In the evening the radio said that one of the three [ i.e. Moshnikov, reached the top]. Sonam and 11 porters came.


In the morning everything was packed and our porters, Sonam and Krishna [our officer of communication KRISHNA PRASAD KOIRALA tourism office POKHARA NEPAL] and Aleksey Shustrov left for Tukuche.

About 9 p.m. the men went down of the glacier. I met them with tea.


Packing and preparing for start. At 4 p.m. started over the mountain pass through the storm.

Trackers, serdar and porters of Dutch Bart stopped in front of the snow range [of the French pass, and Bart himself is over the pass]. We crossed over the pass and camped out at 10 p.m.


In the morning - coffee, from 7 a.m. till 10.30. a.m. we were trailing along the “mine field” [one step from the invisible path, covered with snow - and you fall down under the snow to the waist] over Tapa pass. We’ve met Bart and Krishna with the porter - they hadn’t got food, but there were 5 liters of kerosene. We ate the last food - noodle - and went together over the pass. There was a “mine field” again. We crossed over the pass and due to Bart go to traverse well. We’ve found the path (“banana point”), then we lost the orientation. It seemed Tolya climbed on too much. Snowstorm got stronger and we had to put up tents.


There was no visibility at all. Staying doing nothing. Nothing to eat. Bart gives us water. We make coffee with the rest of the gas. Playing cards. Drinking spirit. In the evening - the conflict with T. dealing with the same business disagreements.


Just the same. The weakness appeared. It’s difficult to dig out the tent. It’s 12 a.m. now - 5 hours before our flight. [Bart is mistaken with the names - Aleksey was absent than, Jugene was instead of him].


Kostya went to urinate [put his penis out of the tent] and then there was a shout - “Men!” We grasped - we had to wake up and start. A discontented growling was in reply. Shouting, we woke up Bart. We managed to leave about 9.15.-9.30. a.m. The treading a path is very hard. Bart’s treading strong. We do little. The airplanes are flying below, the avalanches run aside. The weather got worse again. We were sitting about an hour, covered with the tent. Then we started again and saw the triangular hill. Bart shouted: “I know exactly where we are now - the path is 20 or 30 m below us”. We traversed the hill (last year his serdar in the same situation took him 400 m down and in the morning they were to climb up back). Not far from the hill is the camp. In the evening we gave medicine to Kostya - he had a heartache. He ate all the pills that Bart gave him and the heart attack began. I have an awful toe ache after the trental. Cold and wet and frozen boots in the sleeping-bag.


In the morning Bart burnt the last kerosine. The weather is dull but past 9.00. a.m. it becomes clear. We started. Worn and exhausted. Only Bart is able to break through. We saw the ridge that we had to climb up. We thought it was about 2.00. But it was really 3.30. p.m. The last 300-400 m are the most difficult - by one step closer to Marpha, beer and food - then it doesn’t work. Then children made me to go. The last metres - and finish. Bart went up and shouted... WE JUMPED OUT. [That evening we went down to Marpha and stayed at the guest house, that Bart recommended us, but I didn’t remember we had been drinking cider and somebody of us had been vomiting].

Here is Nicolai Shustrov next day after descending down to Marpha