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Chapter 11 Chapter Eight North Col

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 2358Words 2023-02-05
The North Col is the only really uncertain part of the entire ascent.It is the weakest link in the chain.From below the summit of Everest to the North Col, Malory had determined that no serious difficulties existed.Wheeler also saw that there was no great difficulty in ascertaining from the main Rongbuk Glacier to the base of the North Col.Now, what Malory, Wheeler, and Bullock had to decide was whether it was possible to climb the forbidding icefall they had seen from Herapala, the only access to the North Col.In fact, the North Col itself is covered in a peculiar shape by this glacier.They also had to decide whether the east route to the North Col would be easier than the west route Malory had seen as he hiked up the Rongbuk Glacier.

Such was the task before them when they broke camp and left Herapala on September 23rd.After leaving the summit of Herapala, they descended into the upper basin of the East Rongbuk Glacier.They made the 1,200-foot steep descent without serious difficulty.The party then moved slowly across the basin, finally camping in the open snow at the foot of the North Col.The altitude there is twenty-two thousand feet. The place where they camped was surrounded by mountains on three sides, so one could not help but think that there must be no wind and no wind, and they should have passed a peaceful night.But the reality is quite different.A violent storm shook and battered their tent, threatening to tear it from its moorings.The annoyance of the fierce wind and the high altitude effect made it impossible for these climbers to sleep soundly.

It was impossible to start early on the 24th, because the weather was extremely cold, and at this high altitude, it was difficult for people to start moving before the sun came out.Now, a difficult and possibly dangerous task lay before them, so they could only take a few of the most capable provocateurs to choose a total of three.Within an hour and a half, the small party had climbed the first few slopes of the great icefall.Then began to climb the steep slope, which is about 1,800 feet (about 550 meters) up the snow-covered ice.For an expert, this is not too much difficulty, but it does require judgment.Malory took the lead, as he always does when challenged by climbing technical problems.

The following part is a very simple march, just burying your head up all the way, except for a short period of time when passing a protruding rock, the climber must chisel forward.They first slanted up to the right, onto a partially frozen avalanche pile, and then made a long sloping traverse to the left, toward the crest of the col.But not far below the col, there was a section of slope that really made them anxious.That was the slope that came to be known as the last two hundred feet.In 1924, Malory himself, along with Norton and Somerwell, had gone to the same spot to rescue four provocateurs trapped on the rock.The snow on that slope was on a steep incline and deep enough to retreat.They chiseled hard about five hundred steps before the worst was over.By 11:30 a.m., the team was on the North Col.

The main obstacle to the summit is now overcome.The climb to the North Col was not only found but tested, and it was time to crown the exploration phase with victory. Looking from the North Col to the ridge of the north wall above, and looking further ahead to the northeast ridge, Malory no longer doubted that it was approachable.His impression from a distance was now fully confirmed by the mountains in front of him.From here it was a long way up, with gentle slopes of rock and snow, neither dangerous nor difficult, as Malory now thought, and later found, to be.So, that's the practical way to get to the summit.That is the easiest way to go; and indeed it is the only practicable one of all possibilities.

What the expedition was sent from England to discover has now been found.But there is always a hope cherished in the hearts of these climbers: Maybe they can do more than explore the way; maybe they can go up; who knows how high it is?Malory personally harbored this fervent hope.His condition is enough to climb further, but it is not suitable for the whole team to go further.Wheeler thought he could push harder, but he couldn't feel his feet; Brock was exhausted, and sheer force of will would take him any longer, but perhaps not for long.Malory had slept better than the others the first two nights, so he figured he could climb another two thousand feet.But once he had achieved that goal, he would be forced to turn back and spend the night in his tent at the foot of the North Col before dark.

No further progress could be made, then, and at this moment a decisive factor occurred: even when the group was standing downwind of a small ice cliff, there were frequent and violent gusts of wind blowing up, driving up huge quantities of snow. Powder, suffocating.Outside of this leeward place, the entire North Col was blowing with an incomparably stern wind.Further up, the sight was even more terrifying.The freshly fallen snow on the huge slope of Mount Everest is rolled up and thrown into the air, becoming a wave of broken waves, while the ridge that the climber will adopt is exposed to the full force of the severe wind due to the prominent terrain. Down.The blown snow flew obliquely upwards, and a moment later fell hard as it hit the ridge, sending down a terrible blizzard downwind.Climbers struggled to get out to test the wind, exposing themselves atop the North Col to feel the intensity of the storm.But that kind of trying for a while is enough.They struggled back to shelter from the wind.This is the final stop of the first season of the Everest expedition.

When the little narrow path leading to the summit was discovered, the wind blocked it.Compared with the lack of physical strength, and even compared with the high altitude effect, the wind will be the main obstacle for the next two expeditions.This has to be taken into account when preparing for an expedition.In the worst cases, a person cannot even stand. Malory was not quite willing to give up hope of going further up the hill.When he returned to the camp at the foot of the North Col, he imagined the possibility of setting up a small camp on the North Col.But rations were low, pickers were unwilling, and if any mishaps happened, how to climb the 1,200-foot steep slope back to Herapala.Also, is it possible for this gale to stop?No way, nothing works.

So no further progress is possible, and any progress is unnecessary, as the mission they were sent here has already been accomplished.They've found a realistic possible route to the summit, and tested the hardest part of that route, not to mention its high-altitude effects.After the most experienced and only two mountaineering generals who have dealt with the Himalayas have lost one after another, they can still achieve this achievement.So they turned back to the main camp area. I won't say much about the journey back to India.In Howard.Under the leadership of Belly, the goals of the expedition team have been achieved.In addition to finding the way up the mountain, they also drew a map of the entire Everest region; they also made special surveys for the adjacent mountains.They also conducted geological exploration, natural history research, and specimen collection.Within a year of the expedition's departure from Darjeeling, a monograph containing expedition reports and maps was published for reference on the second expedition.

A good foundation had been laid; the next two expeditions were well aware of the benefits they had inherited from this first expedition.
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