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Chapter 23 Chapter 20 Up the Glacier

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 6753Words 2023-02-05
So far, so good and then not so.Everything that can be thought of and prearranged has been arranged.Now, nature began to show its power.As soon as the expedition team reached the base camp, the snow fell, blocking the surrounding scenery, circling around the people, attacking them with biting cold air, and the prelude to the battle began.The regiment faced the enemy in full winter gear: they wrapped themselves in full woolen windbreaker overalls, eardrop hats and long mittens, with only their eyes showing.In this way they worked without ceasing until dusk; by then they were ready to send one hundred and fifty pickers up the mountain on the 30th of April the next day.

Norton's plan was to make the first assault on May 17th.But if you want to do that, you have to prepare a lot of advance arrangements.The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions on the Glacier must be established and deposited with applied items.The route to the North Col had to be re-explored by a team of mountaineers, since it must have changed since 1922 and may have been more dangerous than it had been verified at the time.Next, a fourth battalion had to be established, storing supplies and oxygen not only for the fourth battalion itself, but also for higher camps.Then the Fifth Battalion, at about 25,500 feet, must likewise be established and stocked with supplies.Finally, the Sixth Battalion at 26,500 feet, and the Seventh Battalion at 27,200 feet.All of this has to be done before real action can be taken.

And in doing it all, all crew members will have to contend with the altitude blues.That mental depression started at about 16,000 feet; it made the work a burden, and that was something they had to contend with besides the cold and the snow.Base Camp is at about 16,800 feet, where the melancholy has begun.Even the smallest effort, such as getting into a sleeping bag or putting on boots, is exhausting, and even lighting a pipe is a big undertaking, since a smoker's breath stops almost as soon as the match goes out, So the pipe also goes out before the smoker takes a second breath.Every stretch above base camp climbed higher and higher, and the depression and exhaustion grew with it.Norton admits that his first trip to the 1st Battalion was a painful ordeal for him.The weight of just one ice ax was so taxing on his right arm and shoulder that he thought he had to find a lighter tool.Just walking was hard work; and there was nothing pleasant in that terribly cold air but an uncertain sense of discomfort and anguish.

People can get used to such distress to a certain extent.Even so, there was no vitality in their activities.They are not like them below 16,000 feet.It is in such a frustrating situation that all the hard work of preparation has to be done. The hardest part of this work naturally fell on the pickets; and to save their labor as much as possible, one hundred and fifty Tibetans recruited by Norton were used to establish the first two camps on the glacier.The arrangement of remuneration is: a daily wage of one shilling, plus some rations.The terms of their employment are that they do not work on snow or ice and that they retreat quickly once the work is done so they can return to the fields.These people did not expect a tent, and camped out in the open, even at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

Furthermore, in order to save climbers as much as possible, Gurkha sergeants were hired to build the first and second battalions. On April 30 the work of building these tents began.Among Tibetans, there are men, women, and children.The average weight of a bale is about forty pounds.Geoffrey, who leads these efforts.Bruce gave the women and children the lightest bundles he could, but his efforts were in vain, for their customs were contrary to those of their own country.The Tibetan method of distributing bundles is simpler and more satisfying to themselves.They all wore garters over their boots, so beautifully braided and brightly colored that each could immediately recognize his own colour.When distributing bales, the distributor is responsible for collecting a garter from each picker, and then mixing all the garters together, and then pulling out one by one and throwing it on the bale, so that the owner of the garter will claim it. Dropped the bundle with all the garters he owned, no complaints.Now, Geoffrey.Bruce changed to this method, and the Tibetans hummed and told jokes as they packed their packs and set out on the road, because it was their method.

Two of the three Gurkha sergeants who commanded the supply convoy had participated in the 1922 expedition and were thus able to survey the route from the 1st Battalion to the 2nd Battalion without the help of climbers.Each of them must also be responsible for tending a camp on the glacier, looking after its food supplies and the welfare of every resident in the camp, and supervising the arrival and departure of convoys. The 1st Battalion, built for the trip to the Rongbuk Glacier, is located in a quiet and pleasant retreat.It sits on the East Rongbuk Glacier, a few hundred yards above the junction of the main Rongbuk Glacier and the East Rongbuk Glacier.It captures all the sunlight and escapes most of the wind.The sangars (fortresses) built on the previous expedition were still in good condition, and the door curtains of the Wyampa tents were stretched over them to provide comfortable shelter.

Seventy-five Tibetans were repatriated from the first battalion to the base camp, and another seventy-five remained to build the second battalion. They worked on this for the next two days, and then returned happily .The performance of women is particularly impressive.One put her two-year-old child on her forty-pound pack, went up from 17,500 feet to 19,800 feet, unpacked there and brought the child back, and Said that if the situation required, she could take another trip.However, among the 75 people who returned to the base camp, 52 people disappeared for no reason, which greatly increased the workload of those who remained.Nevertheless, by May 2, all the bundles had been delivered to the Second Battalion, and that night the remaining Tibetan pickers all returned to Base Camp, where they had a big meal and a small extra payment.They left in droves the next day, everyone looking content.

From now on, the expedition will have to rely on itself.Their next task was to get the 3rd Battalion and everything needed for the hill camp over the 2nd Battalion.For this work, the Nepalese heavy load troops will have to be mobilized.This troop was divided into two groups of 20 people each, and another 12 people were kept on standby.The first group took supplies and equipment to 3rd Battalion and stayed there in preparation for setting up a camp at the North Col.The second group left base camp a day later, moved to the second battalion, and then worked between the second and third battalions.The logistics team stayed at the base camp, preparing to replace the casualties.

The first group set off on May 3, led by Malory; in addition to pickers, it also included two pairs of climbers.Mallory and Irwin will help set up the third battalion and stay there for a few days to acclimatize and try out the oxygen equipment.O'Dell and Harold will continue up from the 3rd Battalion to conduct exploration and build a path up to the North Col. The day the first group of climbers and provocateurs left base camp was frigid, windy and daunting.Half the pickers shuffled slowly as they added their own items, such as blankets, to the already heavy bales.As a result, Malory left five bundles that were not urgently needed, and five pickers picked them up the next day.

They reached the 2nd Battalion on May 4th.It looks very unflattering.There were no ready tents waiting for the pickers, and the original idea was to build comfortable barracks or sangas there, with Wyampa tent curtains as roofs.This work must be done now.Malory and Irwin and three or four others set to work immediately.The others joined in after their breaks; they built a rectangular sangas about seven feet wide, and then Malory and O'Dell walked up the glacier to scout the way to the Third Battalion.They climbed a hummock, from which they could see the whole glacier rising to the south; at last they found a simple path which followed a stony narrow ravine, through those fantastic clusters of tall ice cones; in the group.

The night of the Fourth of May was frighteningly cold, with a lot of snow on a violent wind.The next morning, it took a while for the gang to get out of the tent and start cooking.Then there was the question of what rations, what blankets and cooking utensils could be left here in bales.In the end, you have to decide who is suitable and who is not suitable to continue upward.So it finally took place at eleven o'clock in the morning. However, the path leading to the glacier, which had been clearly marked the previous evening, was now blurred by snow.The glaciers, which seemed innocent and harmless at first, don't look like that now.The wind had blown away the upper surface of the glacier; these slippery hard round ice blocks, almost as hard and smooth as glass, without the slightest rough scratch.Between those protruding ice blocks, there is a new fine snow.To carve steps in ice, or make steps in snow, a great deal of labor must be expended.The ravine, about fifty feet deep, was about one-third the length of the trail, and was an easy hike up.But when they climbed the exposed glacier, they were hit by a vicious wind, and when they turned the corner and walked up the North Peak, the wind hit them from the North Col. Now the provocateurs are almost exhausted.They feel the altitude effect badly, and every step up is a pain.At 6:30 in the afternoon, they reached the third battalion.It was colder then.Because it was too late for them to establish a comfortable camp, the climbers and pickers suffered greatly throughout the night. Malory knew right away that the high-altitude sleeping bags for 4th Battalion and higher had to be used here too, because the temperatures were much colder than they had ever experienced.But those sleeping bags were still in the second battalion, so he decided to return to the camp the next morning to fetch them. The sun fell on the third battalion early; at about seven o'clock Malory was able to start.He left instructions that half of the pickers should go down to the second battalion, and meet the pickers who had climbed up a quarter of the way, and help them bring up the most important bundles.As he had wasted some time trying to find an easier road to the glacier, he unfortunately failed to meet the second group of pickers before they set out.It was too late for them to turn back, so he took them up to the third battalion.According to the original plan, they were supposed to send the bundles to the third battalion and then return to the second battalion.However, that was no longer possible now because they were so overburdened they wanted to spend the night in the 3rd Battalion and brought extra blankets.Malory had to throw cold water on their willingness, for conditions in the Third Battalion were bad enough.He therefore ordered them to unpack as close as possible to the 3rd Battalion, and save their energy to return to the 2nd Battalion.Malory sent them back and climbed up to the third battalion on his own. His own first group had been demoralized by the cold and altitude effects, and he didn't want the second group to be paralyzed. Returning to the 3rd Battalion, he found that things had not progressed much in his absence.The three climbers are all newcomers and have not yet adapted to the high altitude water and soil.They and the provocateurs all suffer from the cold and altitude effects.None of the pickers were deemed fit to bear weight, so none were sent out to meet the climbers from the Second Battalion; not even much was done to build the walls.But Ordell and Irwin went down to the bale drop and brought up some special needs, like a Primus stove. On the night of May 6, the temperature dropped to minus twenty-one and a half degrees Fahrenheit (minus twenty-nine and seven degrees Celsius), or fifty-three and a half degrees below freezing.It was the coldest temperature experienced on any of these expeditions; the cold was especially acute for someone already depressed and debilitated by the 21,000-foot altitude.Malory himself was well kept warm at night, but in the morning even he was unwell.The situation of O'Dell and Irwin is obviously not good.None of the pickets were fit to carry packs anymore, and several were in such a bad condition that they were not fit to remain in the 3rd Battalion.They almost had to be dragged out of the tent.One of them has almost lost the spark of life; his feet are so swollen that he can't wear socks and has to go straight into boots.He could barely walk and had to be supported.At last the sick were divided into three groups, and each group was tied together with a rope.These people were sent down the mountain under the care of Gurkha sergeants.Weary and staggering down the glacier, they reached the Second Battalion almost in disfigurement. At the same time, Hared, who was less miserable than his companions, together with some of the best conditioners, was sent to the unloading site of the bales. meet.This meeting was effectively accomplished, and another seven bundles were brought to the 3rd Battalion.But that's about it.No one had the strength to make the 3rd Battalion more comfortable.The morale of the first group, in Malory's words, was dead. Such was the condition Norton encountered when he arrived at the 2nd Battalion on May 7th, and he immediately tried in earnest to cheer himself up.All supplies and tents intended for the higher camps were unreservedly unpacked and distributed among the suffering challengers; high-altitude tents were pitched, high-altitude sleeping bags were given out, and the priceless The solid alcohol was also chiseled; overnight, the energy of the second battalion was doubled, and a certain comfort was produced.On May 8, when Malory came down from the third battalion again, Geoffrey.Bruce also came up from the base camp, and a precise plan was drawn up.He wisely decided to let the sick and weak of the first group rest in the second battalion, while Somerwell, who had previously been with Norton, was well liked by the staff and always able to get the best out of them. He was ordered to lead the second group of men to go up to the place where the bundles were unloaded empty-handed, and took sufficient supplies and bedding to the third battalion to make it habitable.If the remaining men of the first group can recover their strength, they can support the third battalion with the supplies of the second battalion.Shebier, who had extensive knowledge of the local people and language, was called from the base camp to the second battalion.Harred replaced Shebier at the base camp, where he oversaw the money, fuel and meat rations.Such was Norton's heroic effort to stem the rising tide of misfortune. Geoffrey.Bruce also brought with him the reserved challenge.They carried the heaviest packs because they hadn't put in the work, and their energy and enthusiasm poured into others.So, on May 9th, Norton, Malory, Somerwell, and Geoffrey.Bruce was able to set out for the Third Battalion with twenty-six pickers; they carried a lot of supplies, some of which were piled up in the temporary places on the way, and some were taken to the Third Battalion. It seems that the situation has really improved at the moment, but it is not.There are more poisonous tricks that nature has not used!Not long after this group of people left the camp, the snow fell and became bigger and bigger as the clock ticked by.The wind also strengthened.By the time they reached the 3rd Battalion, the wind and snow had been strong enough to constitute a blizzard.The third battalion presents a picture of desolation and loneliness.Although it was situated on the only possible camping spot in the area, it still suffered from gusts of icy wind.No one moved around outside the camp, and there seemed to be no sign of life at all.The fearful blizzard, with its furiest force, blew the galleys who remained in the camp into despair.They huddled in their tents, many too paralyzed to cook for themselves to eat, even with stoves and oil pushed into the tents.Fortunately, the eight strong men from among the candidates (among the twenty-six pickers who carried the bundles from the second battalion to the third battalion, some were sent back after sending the bundles to the halfway piling place, and these eight were sent back Geoffrey Bruce went on to bring the third battalion) and also helped cook the food to make everyone a little more comfortable.But beyond that there was nothing to do, for the fierce wind made activities outside the tent almost impossible.After a quick meal, everyone tucked into their sleeping bags, at least there was still some warmth to be found there. Outside, the blizzard raged through the night without a break; the fluffy snow powder was blown into the tent and settled on everything an inch or two thick.The uncomfortable feeling is very sharp.Just the slightest movement of the body can set off a mini-avalanche; snow will fall into the sleeping bag, leaving the bedding wet and cold. The next day, May 10, the snow stopped, but the wind picked up, with sudden gusts driving away the fresh fine snow.It was now clear: there should not be more climbers stuck in the third battalion than needed: they would simply consume their stores, their fuel, and grow weaker and weaker.And so far Malory and Irving had been the main force, so they were sent to the Second Battalion; there they could spend some more peaceful time with Beetham and Noel. The wind still blew across the glacier, picking up powder and sweeping it into the tent.But no one was frightened: Norton and Somerwell led seventeen provocateurs, groped their way down to a temporary pile about a mile away from the camp, and brought up nineteen bundles, and the two Englishmen also carried a pack.When the pickets returned to the third battalion, they were utterly paralyzed with exhaustion; struggling up in the piercing wind exhausted all their strength; and as soon as they plunged into the tent, they lay still.Luckily Bruce and Ordell had a hot meal for everyone while they were away.They force pickers to eat and drink, remove their boots for them, and watch them slip safely into their sleeping bags. When night fell, the wind came from all directions with greater force.The wind seemed to be jetted into the air over the North Col, Lepiola, and Herapala, and then beat down from the zenith on these little tents, shaking them like a hound biting a field mouse in a rat hole. Dump like that.That night, the tent was filled with snow again.The sound of the wind and the wild flapping of the tent made sleep impossible.The temperature dropped to minus seven degrees Fahrenheit (minus twenty-one six degrees Celsius). At dawn on the 11th, the storm was still raging; at nine o'clock in the morning, the temperature was still below freezing.Within a few days, it became apparent that the North Col could not go up.The second group of provocateurs with good stamina are now sold out to the same miserable extent as the first group.There was nothing they could do but retreat before a bigger storm came, and they should retreat directly to Base Camp, where the whole expedition could recover. Yet even retreat is a struggle.Those people are all shrunk in the tent, don't care about life and death.Even though they knew they would have comfort, warmth and good food back at base camp, they still didn't move.They almost had to be dug up.But Geoffrey.Bruce stood up at this juncture to deal with the difficult situation.He stood in the middle of the camp against the strong wind and directed: fierce words for those who are just insensitive; lots of mercy for those who are really sick; pity.Gradually, the tents were dismantled, what was boxed into boxes, what was bagged into bags, bedding, supplies and fuel were all discarded on the spot; the load to be brought down the mountain was fairly distributed.Finally, a more lively group finally left the place where the third battalion had been an hour before, but now it was just a pile of stones.May 11th is Geoffrey.blues day. Instructions for retreat had been sent to Base Camp in advance.By the evening of the 11th, Malory, Beatan, Irving, and Knoll were at Base Camp, Somerwell and Ordell and half the pickets were at First Battalion;Bruce was in the second battalion.The next day, the latter two continued to set off to the base camp, leaving tents and supplies behind, as if they were still waiting for someone to use them.Somerwell in the 1st Battalion was extremely busy as the number of wounded continued to mount, some were even seriously ill.Worst of all was Gurkha sergeant Shamsher; he was virtually unconscious because of a blood clot in his brain.Manbahadur, a cobbler, is also in dire condition, with chilblains on both feet up to the ankle; another suffers from severe pneumonia.Several had mild physical disturbances.All left except Shamsher, who was not fit to be moved; a Gurkha sergeant and two provocateurs stayed behind to look after him. By the afternoon of the 12th, everyone except the above four gathered at the base camp.When they first arrived two weeks ago, the place seemed desolate, but now it looks like a haven of rest, with large warm tents, plenty of hot food, and luxurious and comfortable tent bedding.Best of all, Hingston had arrived the day before to cheer on the crew during this critical time and to get things needed for the injured to make them comfortable. Thus ended the first round of efforts to attack the hill.
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