Home Categories Novel Corner Everest Epic

Chapter 15 Chapter 12 Trying Oxygen

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 4929Words 2023-02-05
As Malory and his team descended from the North Col, they met Finch, who was using oxygen to ascend the mountain.He is an avid man in the use of oxygen.A university professor of chemistry, he had the zeal for applying science that all men of science share.No matter what action he takes, his approach is always both large and small.He had been in favor of and advocated the use of oxygen from the very beginning, and from the time the British decided to use it he was assigned all tasks related to it. Oxygen has always been used by pilots, but so far no climber has attempted to use it on a climb of the scale of Everest.There was no equipment previously designed for this purpose.Therefore, the equipment used by the expedition this time is specially ordered, and when these equipments are used, many shortcomings will inevitably appear.Fincher spent a lot of time fixing the shortcomings of those equipment and training climbers to use them.It must have been a thankless training job, for no sane person could take pleasure in carrying such a cumbersome and awkward piece of equipment, let alone the suffocating feeling of first donning that dreadful mask. .But of course, Fincher is a fanatic, as anyone who wants to push a new idea can be.

As an oxygen enthusiast and mountaineer, this gentleman's determination will not be overcome by any difficulty.He may not have been in very good health when he left England; in Tibet he suffered from gastro-intestinal problems.However, by sheer force of will, he somehow overcame his stomach ailments and left Base Camp on May 16th unharmed.Originally, Norton intended to accompany Finch on this oxygen trial trip, but because Finch was unwell, Norton set off with Mosshead first, joining Malory and Somerwell.Therefore, Finch took Geoffrey.Bruce travels. From the point of view of the British Mountaineering Association, Geoffrey.Bruce is not a climber.He's just a walker.Yet he was a very good hiker, tall and lean with the build of a climber, without being too stocky and stocky.He also has a good heart, which is almost a given, because it is a common attribute for the entire climbing team.Mentally, he also has a certain flexibility and adaptability. Whether it is in mountaineering techniques or the use of oxygen, he can learn with humility, which is only second to real experience.

The third member of the oxygen team is the short and lean Gurkha Tejbir (Lance︱Corporal Tejbir); he will carry the cylinders storing oxygen to the highest possible point, so that real climbers can continue to climb Walk.He has to offer hard work so that others can build up their merits.There is always someone to play this role in mountaineering, and no one is more indebted to them than those who deserve credit for their labor. Wakefield originally wanted to join the team, but the high altitude effect on him was stronger than he expected, so he had to give up.He is not as young as he was when he took up those famous climbs in the Cumberland region of northwest England.Now, he satisfies himself as a forward base medical officer; he accompanies Finch and Geoffrey.Bruce came to the third camp to give them a final medical examination, so that they could engage in higher climbing in good condition.

Note ① Cumberland is a flat land with plenty of air, and a person is like a dragon; at high altitudes, the air is thin, and a person is like a worm.review On the way up the glacier, Geoffrey.Bruce and Tajbi receive instruction in ice-cutting and mountaineering techniques.On May 19th they reached the Third Battalion, and on the same day Malorina's team mounted the North Col.Oxygen equipment, especially the mouthpiece, had more to be improved and corrections had to be made in Camp III.On May 22, Finch and his teammates climbed up to the North Col to meet Malory and his teammates and conduct a final test of the oxygen device.They reached the North Col in good time and returned to 3rd Battalion that same afternoon.They spent three hours up and fifty minutes down; Finch was pleased with the results.

Now Noel joins them.Noel is just a photographer and a hiker, but like other members of the expedition, he has an eager desire and firm determination to climb Mount Everest.This thought has haunted him for years.He has a deep affection for nature, and he also has a very delicate sensibility for the beauty of mountains.His ambition was to create a perfect record of the expedition in both still and moving images.He wanted to capture and express the spirit of mountains, the awe they inspire, their terrifying nature, their power and glory, and their irresistible appeal.The artist soul in his heart is working strongly.He is also a tireless person.After the expedition team came back, every member said that Noel worked hard than everyone else. If he was not taking pictures on the side of the mountain, he was developing photos in the tent for several hours.It was a trying environment for developing photographs, with constant, harsh winds that would blow dust or powdery snow everywhere, and cold that would instantly freeze water or any solution of any kind.Another disadvantage of this area for photography is that it is extremely dry.When the hand lever of the photographic equipment is twisted, it will emit electric light, thus destroying the picture.

Sending Noel and his photographic equipment to Mount Everest is not something that can be done by ordinary means of transportation.However, the North Col was within range, so when Finch and Geoffrey R.Noll followed them when Bruce set off on May 24th on what might be called an oxygen strike on the hills.They spent the night at Camp North Col, and on May 25th Finch and his team left Knoll, and from there they set off again to make their way up. Twelve climbers, carrying oxygen tanks, a day's food and camping equipment, accompanied Finch, Bruce, and Tajibi to set off.Those who set out last also carried more than thirty pounds each, which is the weight of the oxygen equipment, but because they could breathe oxygen through this, they overtook the provocateurs at an altitude of 24,500 feet and continued on. , with the hope of camping at an altitude of 26,000 feet.But that turned out to be impossible.At about one o'clock, the wind picked up and the snow came down. The weather became threatening and camping must be found immediately on the spot, because the pickers had to return to the North Col, and their lives must not be lost because of encounters on the downhill. Dangerous due to blizzard.

The team now rests at an altitude of about 25,500 feet, which is lower than the climbers intend to reach, but even so higher than the recommended altitude.There were still 3,000 feet to climb between it and the summit, and such a distance could not be climbed for a while.Since they could no longer climb that day, the group set up a small platform at a selected location, on which the tents were pitched, and the pickers were sent back to the North Col. Finch, Bruce, and Tajibe's tent was pitched in a precarious spot.It can be said that it grasps the hillside with its fingertips, and it is not firmly planted on the firm ground, but on a slope.They're on the edge of that terrible cliff that cuts four thousand feet down to the Rongbuk Glacier.A blizzard is brewing, and the snow is falling heavily.When the fine snow powder was blown by the strong wind, it penetrated into the tent and penetrated into every item in the tent.It was bitterly cold; the three of them huddled together in the tiny tent, trying to warm themselves up by boiling the snow into a hot drink.But even that wouldn't be much more comfortable, because at such a high altitude, the boiling point of water is so low that it's impossible to have a really hot drink.Except for some random tea or soup, there is nothing to do.

After sundown, the blizzard struck with full fury; it tore at the flimsy little tent, threatening to blow it and the humans within it off the cliff like straw.From time to time the three of them had to walk into the vortex of the ice storm, fasten the stays and stack more stones.All night long, this struggle with the forces of nature must continue without letting up.Sleep was out of the question, for the wind was beating violently against the tent, and they had to be constantly alert lest they be swept off the cliff.The spiraling wind and snow swept violently over tents, berths, and clothes, causing the sharpest discomfort.

By dawn the snow had stopped, but the wind was just as fierce.In any case, there is no hope of going up, not even going down.They must stay where they are.By noon the storm intensified.A rock cut a hole in the tent, making the situation worse.Then, around one o'clock, the wind suddenly dropped to a strong breeze, which gave them the opportunity to retreat quickly to the North Col. If safety first is their code, retreating is the action they should take.But the indomitable spirit of the climbers has yet to be conquered.They are still determined to climb up the next day.Before sunset, the exhilarating supply corps arrived.There was a sound outside the tent, and Noel's pickers from the North Col appeared; they brought hot beef tea and tea in thermal containers.

This little incident just shows once again how the achievements of mountaineering can be elevated.People were sent to deliver thermos bottles at an altitude of 25,500 feet!Even in inclement weather, even in the middle of the night!What kind of loyalty did those people do this!The beauty is that this kind of charity will naturally inspire how much enthusiasm for upward struggle in the climbers! The climber gratefully accepted the thermos and sent the picker back to the North Col.But they are exhausted now.Lack of sleep, combined with an all-night effort to hold the tent, had worn them down.The body is weak, and the cold effect appears.A dead, paralyzed feeling crept over their limbs.In this extreme situation, they thought of oxygen.From time to time, they took a sip of it to warm them up.Throughout the night, they took one or two breaths of oxygen intermittently like this, and with this refreshing medicine, they managed to get enough sleep.

They got up and prepared to climb the mountain before dawn.The boots were frozen hard, so they lighted candles to restore them, which took an hour.At 6:30, they set off; Finch and Bruce each carried oxygen equipment, cameras, vacuum flasks, etc., weighing more than forty pounds, while Tajibi carried the other two oxygen tanks, weighing about fifty pounds (approximately twenty-three kilograms).It is a cruel burden for the man who has to carry that weight; the confidence that makes one willing to do so is enough to move Everest.Whether that confidence has been validated is another question. Finch's intention was to follow the ridge of the north wall straight up the mountain ridge, and let Taijibi climb to the starting point of the mountain ridge with two spare oxygen tanks on his back, and then send him back to the camp to wait for Finch and Bruce to return.But the burden was too much for poor Tajibi, and he was paralyzed within a few hundred feet, and no amount of Bruce's coaxing could persuade him to move any further.So, he had to be sent back.What he has accomplished is indeed extraordinary.His beautiful grade deserves all the glory and it was awarded to him.He reached an altitude of almost 26,000 feet above sea level. The two remaining men now went on; as the ramp was not difficult to climb, they removed the rope.They passed two nearly flat areas large enough to camp and reached an altitude of 26,500 feet.Then, as the wind picked up considerably, Finch decided to leave the ramp at the ridge of the north wall and instead cut directly across the north wall.He hoped to find better shelter from the ice storm he expected to encounter on the real ridge. But the journey on the north face was no smoother than on its side ridge.Generally speaking, the slope angle is much steeper; the rock formations are generated in an outward, downward direction.Sometimes the rocks are replaced by unreliable snow powders that form deceptively thin crusts that give the impression that they are thick rocks.In this case, the foothold is not always safe.However, in order to save time, Finch still did not use the rope, and he and Bruce climbed over the north wall independently. After leaving the ridge of the north wall, they did not make much progress upwards, as they moved almost horizontally.But in terms of distance, they were much closer to the summit; that was exhilarating.At 27,000 feet, they cut diagonally up to the ridge leading to the summit, about halfway there, until Bruce's oxygen equipment failed in a minor accident.Finch linked Bruce's oxygen tank to his own so Bruce could still get oxygen, then tracked down the trouble and made a satisfactory repair. Tracking down the trouble and making a satisfactory restoration is a feat in itself, because, at 27,300 feet, human faculties are almost paralyzed to the point of non-existence.The climbers could only shuffle mechanically, their minds blank.But Finch still retains a certain kind of mental vigilance and willpower to be able to repair those devices. However, they have gone far enough.They were weak from hunger, and from fighting the wind all that night, they were exhausted.They were still too far from the summit, and their chances of getting there were slim.They may have been only half a mile away from it, but they were a good seventeen hundred feet below it.There is no real goal to sprint upwards ahead, they can only go back, because the difficult facts stand in front of them. The highest point reached by their efforts was 27,235 feet above sea level on the north face of Mount Everest.what did they seeWhat do they think?There are very few records left; why there are only so few memories of the activities in their minds, the reason is simple: they go up the mountain and then go down the mountain immediately.The best Finch could say was that there were a lot of clouds, and that beautiful 23,000-foot Pumori peak was barely visible at first because it was hidden by a small snow-covered knoll next to the Rongbuk Glacier.He doesn't even remember taking pictures, although he has a camera on him.Their whole mind was thinking: go down the mountain! Having decided to turn back, Finch and Bruce soon began to descend; now they were tied to each other with ropes in case one of them lost his footing if the oxygen supply was accidentally cut off.Downhill progress is fast, but care must be taken.At about two o'clock in the afternoon, they reached the ridge of the north wall again.There they unloaded their four steel canisters and arrived at their tent in just half an hour.In the tent, they found Tajibi wrapped comfortably in the sleeping bag of the three of them, falling into a deep sleep after collapse.The pickers were now up the hill to carry the tents, and Finch handed Tajibe over to them and continued toward the North Col.Shaking with exhaustion, they could only stagger forward, but they managed to reach the North Col camp at four o'clock in the afternoon.There, Noel had set out hot tea and a bowl of tinned pasta for them.After gradually regaining their strength, they continued on the road at 4:45, Noel accompanied them, took care of them, and let them walk safely down the steep ice and snow slope to the almost level glacier basin below.By five-thirty in the afternoon they reached Camp III, that is to say, they had descended six thousand feet from the highest point they had reached. Attempts to reach the summit failed, but the oxygen climb was a remarkable endeavor.Few can match the calm and unwavering determination displayed by climbers.
Press "Left Key ←" to return to the previous chapter; Press "Right Key →" to enter the next chapter; Press "Space Bar" to scroll down.