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Chapter 9 Chapter 6 Approaching Mount Everest

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 4371Words 2023-02-05
They arrived at Tingri on June 19th, and now they can seriously engage in exploration work.It took a full month to get there from Darjeeling, longer than London to Darjeeling, a long detour to avoid Nepal.However, the march across Tibet gradually acclimatized the climbers to the high altitude.From a mountain behind Tingri, they had a magnificent view: across the plain stood Mount Everest, forty-four miles away, and several large peaks to its west, including the twin, Cho Oyu. ①Passing heavy Kangfeng ②, the former is 26,867 feet (8,201 meters) high, and the latter is 25,990 feet (7,952 meters).

Note ① Cho Oyu: Located on the border between Tibet and Nepal, with an altitude of 8201 meters, it is the sixth highest giant peak in the world.Cho Oyu is an 8,000-meter-class giant peak with a higher summit rate. 4-8 meters) are easier, so many mountaineering teams report here every spring and autumn.Refer to the list of China's Baiyue in the book "Super Mission" by Gao Ming.Editor's note Note ② GyachungKang: The elevation is 7,952 meters, the highest peak among 7,000 meters.Editor's note However, there are intervening mountains that block the view, because the peaks of the Himalayas do not rise alone.And Malory's problem is quite complicated.He is now on the west northeast ridge of Everest's northeast ridge, which is his goal.He was watching from the opposite side of it the same face he had seen from Darjeeling; he had yet to find out whether there was a way to the northwest, and whether there was any better access to the summit than this northeast ridge.Probably nothing but cliffs and icefalls, as Archduke Abruzzi found in K2.Without increasing the altitude effect, Mount Everest may be very difficult to climb in terms of physical characteristics.That's what Malory had to figure out before he could get any closer to it.His immediate job was to find a valley, one that would take him to Everest.This may not be easy, because he is faced with a maze of mountains, and in this rainy season, Everest itself is often lost.

Tingri is indeed a good base for mountaineering work.From there on June 23, Malory and Bullock headed straight for Mount Everest while the rest of the expedition, including Wollaston, embarked on their own research surveys, geological surveys, and collections.The two climbers brought with them the sixteen most chosen porters, plus an Indian foreman.Because they heard that there was a long canyon leading to Mount Everest, they headed for it.After crossing a ridge, they reached the Rongbuk Valley, and then climbed up to reach the mouth of the Rongbuk Glacier on June 26.The glaciers splashed down from here, fully visible from Mount Everest, just sixteen miles away.Go straight up the glacier and there is a road leading to Mount Everest.

Looking so close, what does Mount Everest look like?This is what many people want to know.Now Malory and Bullock could take their time to witness the spectacle.The first thing they noticed was its large and simple line structure.It does not have a standard snow-capped mountain shape with a snow-covered top, icy sides, and gentle undulating slopes, nor is it a broken, rugged, and steep mountain.It is just a huge mountain, a huge stone coated with a thin layer of white powder; the white powder is blown away from time to time and flies around it, only on those slightly protruding rock ledges and a few larger gentle slopes. , there will be snow all year round.Its appearance is rather smooth; since the rock formations run horizontally, a yellow stripe cut vertically stands out.This scene seems to be full of strength, fully emphasizing how broad the base of the mountain is.

From where Malory stood, two sharp and sharply defined ridges could be seen: the northeast ridge (which was also visible from near Darjeeling and Gangbazong) and the northwest ridge; the two ridges In the middle lies the magnificent north face of Mount Everest; it falls steeply to the Rongbuk Glacier. Malory's camp, which later became Base Camp, was 16,500 feet above sea level, so the climbers were already higher than the mountainside.Therefore, the highest peak in the world is not as towering as it looks from the south, nor is it as majestic as Kanchenjunga seen from Darjeeling.It rises less than 13,000 feet above Base Camp, so from here it looks more like Mont Blanc in size and scale.Only Mont Blanc lacks the grim side of Everest: between the summit and the camp, there is no human habitation, no trees, no meadows, hardly any life, and no pleasant valley breeze; all grim stones, snow and glaciers .Even at the base of this valley, in midsummer, the biting wind still blows hard.

The mountain was before him, and there was a way to climb it: the glacier was a means in itself.Not wanting to waste a single day, Malory immediately set about trying to walk up the glacier, determined to find a way to the northeast ridge that had haunted his heart for a long time.For the northwest ridge, as he could see it now, was so steep near the top that it was out of the question.The northeast ridge also attracted him because he noticed that at its terminus, which might be called the northeast shoulder, there was a subordinate ridge that formed the north wall ridge; it might lead down to a A gorge is the neck or saddle between two mountain ranges; an intervening pinnacle is there that obscures the actual appearance of Everest.

The Rongbuk Glacier proved to be more of an obstacle than a thoroughfare to the summit.But it is a surmountable obstacle, and one full of strange beauty.In the higher parts, it is a fairy tale world of ice cones; the ice melts into countless small spiers, the largest being about fifty feet high.They were like a huge upside-down system of icicles; the icicles poking upwards from a mass of ice all resting on a veritable floor. Mountaineering teams experience a particular kind of burnout as they climb upwards; this burnout drains their energy.That was what came to be known as glacier lassitude, apparently caused by sunlight burning the ice and filling the air with moisture.Both porters and climbers felt it.

When Malory went further up and saw the mountain more clearly, he realized that climbing Mount Everest was more difficult than he had imagined.Now the cliff that was blocking him in front of him showed a hideous and terrifying appearance, which was very different from the long and gentle snow slope shown in the photos taken from afar.The ultimate method he first thought of was to crawl on his knees regardless of east, west, north, south, and climb on gentle slopes, from the camp to a gentle snow-covered mountain shoulder.But now he sees that no such labor is required here.The need for rock climbers here is not the kind that gets dizzy halfway through.Everest is a rocky mountain.

But he has yet to find a way across the glacier to the mountain.In order to explore the source of the glacier below the cliff on the northeast ridge, he set out on July 1st and walked up the glacier.Here he made a major discovery.Because of the high cloud cover, he saw it only briefly, but he did see the prominent neck now known as the North Col; Zhangzifeng, the North Peak of Mount Everest.Rolling down from the North Col to the Rongbuk Glacier is a broken glacier, or icefall. The climb up to the North Col by the western road might be possible, and Malory didn't write it off as an absolute impossibility.But after assessing the situation, he believed it should only be used as a last resort when nothing else could be done.Its difficulties lie in the great height of the icefall, and the possibility of avalanches, but the chief hindrance is its complete exposure to the dreadful westerly winds.That wind would gather all its fury and hit the climber directly, for this glacier was at the top of the funnel to the North Face.

Not so much based on any practical needs, but out of an irresistible mountaineering spirit, Malory and Bullock climbed to the top of a peak two days later. 520 feet (7038 meters), located on the west side of Rongbuk Glacier.But from there they could see that the upper part of the North Face sloped back, not too steeply to be overcome, especially as the route from the North Col up to the Northeast Shoulder was used for subsequent climbs. So now the way to the summit is becoming clearer.From the North Col through the North Wall Ridge, you can climb up the Northeast Ridge from the North Col to the peak.

The next question is: How to get to the North Col, that is, by a better path than the one that Malory saw earlier climbing up from the mouth of the Rongbuk Glacier.But before he could find the answer to that question, there was one more thing to figure out: there might be a completely different route to the summit of Everest!If he could get behind the long west ridge and go round to the south side of Everest there might be a way there.No one has ever seen that side southwest.Maybe there's a secret path up the mountain there.That's a possibility worth exploring. After days of preparations, on July 19 he reached the top of a col at the end of the northwest ridge of Everest; from there he looked down on the Nepalese side of Everest.It was a beautiful landscape, but there was no path.There was a 1,500-foot cliff with no hope of crossing, and a glacier at the bottom.He thought that he could reach the source of the glacier by crossing obliquely, but later found that it was impossible.The upper half of this western glacier is terribly steep and fragmented.From the southern side, he couldn't see the way to Mount Everest, and if there was one, he had to go up from Nepal; from the north, there was no way around it. But what a view the climbers would see if they were allowed to ascend from the south!If the Mount Everest seen from the north is so magnificent, the one seen from the south must be even more magnificent!Malory could see a group of lovely hills in southern Nepal.Does anyone know about them?Their height and position are known because they have been measured, just as the height and position of Mount Everest can be determined from observatories in the Indian plains.But what beauty, what woods and flowers, do they contain?And what a splendid view we can see from them looking back in the direction of Malory from where they stand!If they had been a great mirror, and Malory could have reflected his side in that mirror, he would have seen the most beautiful scenery in the world: a steep canyon covered with jungle in the foreground, and beyond, countless cliffs, Mount Everest, which protrudes from the cliff, embraces Mount Makalu on one side and Mount Cho Oyu on the other. Smaller but still huge mountains stand side by side to the west and east to the extreme distance; All gleamed now in the bright sun, but their whiteness was tinged with a violet tinge by the mist that hung over the southern sky. Malory had seen other glorious vistas at this high altitude, and the conclusions of the exploration could be drawn.Looking west from the top of Qilin Peak, there are two mountains within easy reach: Cho Oyu Peak and Gezhongkang Peak, both of which are huge and heavy; as for the slightly lower but perhaps more beautiful Pumori Peak③, he also I saw its elevation of 23190 feet (7170 meters), and the shape of the mountain is very charming.He also saw vast worlds of glaciers, filled with snow and ice that flowed down from snow-covered peaks; and these glaciers were bordered by cliffs as hard as iron, and had a formidable appearance. Note ③ Pumori Peak: 7170 meters above sea level, a world-renowned giant bamboo-shaped peak.Editor's note After scouting these mountains, he came to a conclusion: there is actually no convenient way to get there from the Rongbuk Glacier, the main road that seems to go straight to Mount Everest.It is well surrounded by cliffs, and there is no other way to approach it than climbing the steep icefall to the North Col, but that is the last resort in unthinkable times.It is also impossible to climb from the Rongbuk Glacier to the south of Mount Everest, and try to attack the summit from there.Even if you can go from the south, when you want to go south, you will be blocked by a cliff facing south. However, the exploration of the Rongbuk Glacier this time produced an important conclusion: he was convinced that starting from the upper half of the mountain, the peak was easy to attack.He inspected it from the peak, and it can be seen that the section from the northeast ridge to the peak is a gentle slope about three-quarters of a mile long. Secondly, although the ridge of the north wall from the north col to the northeast ridge is a bit steep, it is Still passable.But how to get to the North Col?This problem has not been solved yet.Once the North Col is reached, the way up is easy: there are no overhangs, no steep, slippery walls on the ridge of the North Face; it's a rounded edge, fairly flat and continuous. So far so good.Now Malory and Bullock had to go around to the east of Mount Everest, on the one hand to solve the problem of how to get to the North Col, and on the other hand to see if there were other better paths.The south face of Everest was impassable; they had also checked the western half of the north path.Now, they have to explore its eastern half.
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