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Chapter 24 Chapter 21 Another Disaster

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 6188Words 2023-02-05
At this moment, it is General Bruce who is more attached to than anyone else.At this juncture, his good humor, his laugh at the little jokes, his ability to brush aside difficulties with ease, is worth a whole team of new challengers.Even for Norton himself, Bruce, who was radiant at base camp and hadn't fought a snowstorm for forty-eight hours at 21,000 feet, would have been an inspiring figure.Norton had already been hardened by hard life, because he participated in the Mons retreat and experienced the world war firsthand.But, as we all know, at fifteen thousand feet the human temper becomes irritable and aggressive; at sea level a man who is calm, self-controlled, and even-tempered becomes very violent at twenty-one thousand feet. Irritability and depression.For Norton, after half a year of careful planning and organization, he was finally caught by the blizzard and thrown into the air. Such a result must make him bitter, so he may easily lose his temper and make the team members even more depressed.And these members may also lose control of their emotions and become whiny and critical.If the head of the expedition cannot guard himself, corrupt factors will easily intervene, and vitality will be lost from the expedition.This kind of thing often happens even in places closer to sea level than the base camp.It was the honor of Norton and the rest of the regiment to try to prevent any of this from happening, and they at once set to work on a new measure to replace the original plan, which had been brutally smashed to pieces.

Note ① Mons is a city in southwestern Belgium. In 1914, it became the first battlefield where the British army and the German army fought. In the end, the British army lost and all launched the Retreat from Mons. The first thing that must be done is to challenge the spiritual reconstruction.They've had the worst of it so far, and it's worth trying to cheer them up.And the most effective way to cheer up is the blessing of Lama Rongbuk.This is what this group of people want most.Many of them were Hindus and the lamas were Buddhists.That's okay.What they want is the blessing of a man of God.They may not be particularly religiously inclined on weekdays, but now they feel the approach of the gods.How close they were to death; the hardships and dangers they had experienced must still be haunting their minds; the biting and frightening wind, the nagging melancholy, the danger of avalanches and slips.They risked their lives against the wind and snow and all the evils of that treacherous height; they wanted to gain the confidence that they were doing what was worth the risk.If they were a band of robbers who were about to engage in some murder and robbery, then they would not dare to ask for the blessing of the gods.But what they are doing is a noble cause, so they want to have the assurance that the gods are with them, and the blessing of the holy lama is such an affirmation.The Lama has dedicated his life to the pursuit and inspiration of good deeds, so he can speak to them on behalf of the gods.As long as they can get his blessing, they can feel that God is with them, and they will be able to face the dangers and hardships in the future with a happy heart.This is their simple belief.

On the day after returning to the base camp, the interpreter Kalmar.Paul was sent to Rongbuk Monastery to ask the lama to bless the people; the lama agreed.On the appointed day, May 15th, the whole expedition, climbers, Gurkhas and pickers, walked four miles down the gorge to receive blessings; each received two rupees as an offering to the Lama.Upon arrival, the Gurkha sergeants and pickers were ordered to stay in the wider outer courtyard of the monastery, while the climbers were summoned to the lama's reception room, where they were entertained with meals by young lamas.Afterwards, they were brought before the holy lama, who sat in front of an altar in the hall, accompanied by twelve lesser lamas.The British were all guided to the seats arranged along the wall of the hall opposite the lama, and the pickers filled the entire hall.

Then, the British walked up to the lama's altar, and the lama held the silver prayer wheel with his left hand and touched their heads one by one.The Gurkhas and pickets then walked up to the altar, seemingly deeply moved by the simplicity of the ceremony.The lama then gave a short but impressive speech, encouraging the crowd to go forward with courage and steadfastness, and promising his personal prayers for them.Everyone left with a reverent attitude.The influence of this great lama on those people is well known by Geoffrey.Bruce's words about the performance of those people are eloquent testimony.His prayers and blessings gave them new courage.By the time they walked back to base camp, they had almost returned to their happy self.

At the same time, Norton and Bruce also drew up a plan for the reorganization of the heavy-duty troops.In order for them to have the best performance, they will be divided into three teams, and each team will choose the best provocateur to command, and the second best will serve as the deputy commander, in case someone can replace the commander if something happens.These commanders and second-in-commands will be given additional pay, roughly the same as that of non-commissioned officers.There was no great difficulty in choosing these six conductors, for the hard experience of the past week had clearly shown who was the most reliable.Those chosen were summoned before Norton and Bruce, who explained why they were chosen and what was expected of them.They were then allowed to choose, to the extent possible, the members of their squad.They seem to like the idea.And the program has an added bonus: it provides a bit of healthy competition for the entire load-bearing unit.

Hingston has also been very busy, because there are many patients to attend to within a day or two after the expedition returns.The next morning he and Bruce set out to bring Shamsher down, as he thought the poor man's only hope was to be taken to a lower altitude.They brought him down from 1st Battalion with the utmost attention, but he failed to make it through the distance and died half a mile from Base Camp.A few days later, the cobbler Mambaja also died.Even if he survives, he will lose both feet from the ankle down.They were all buried in a sheltered location, and their names, along with other victims of the three expeditions, were inscribed on a monument erected near base camp.The loss of Shamsher is particularly regrettable because he was known as Geoffrey.Bruce speaks of a gallant and faithful young man; who, throughout the expedition, gave his best with zeal and zeal, and was most distinguished.

The day after the lama bestowed their blessing was a fine, clear day; there was not a single cloud in the sky, and the mountain looked clear and peaceful.The weather seemed to have stabilized, so they decided to start up again the next day; that was May 17, the day they had planned to make their final push to the summit.Malory has already drawn up a new plan, marking the actions that each climber and each team of provocateurs should take in the next ten days; the intention is to implement the original plan again, but finally The summit date was postponed from May 17 to May 29.This might prevent the seasonal rains, but there was nothing they could do about it.

The pre-work was: the Gurkha sergeants and a small group of people left the base camp on the evening of the 16th and re-entered the first battalion so that they could actually set off the next day without any delay. Everyone hopes that things will finally improve now.But on the morning of departure, the first new shock came.Bitan could barely move because of severe sciatica.He was just recovering from dysentery, and it was sheer willpower that made him fit for the expedition.Now, he's completely broken.That was a serious matter because, not only did he have a lot of enthusiasm, but he also had climbing experience and skill that no one else had.There are not many climbers left today.

But other than that, there is no obstacle to fording the glacier.On the evening of May 19th, the expedition entered the third battalion.Norton, Somerwell, Malory, and O'Dell were in the third battalion, Irwin and Harold were in the second battalion, preparing to go to the third battalion;Bruce was in the first battalion, ready to go to the second battalion; while Hinston and Bitan stayed at the base camp.Weather conditions seem to be much better than previous days.There were some cumulus clouds over the mountains, but overall the sky was very clear. The North Col, the main obstacle to the summit, was now to be dealt with, along with a safe route to the 4th Battalion.The trail is completely ice-covered and more or less covered with fresh snow.Here, the crevices and fissures of the glaciers are different from year to year, and every expedition needs to be re-explored.Seven provocateurs were killed in an avalanche in 1922, so we must deal with it carefully this time.Moreover, it is not just for a few skilled climbers to climb, it must also allow the challenger with a load to feel confident traveling on this road.All Sherpa pickers are heroes, but they are not experienced mountaineers.If there's good hard snow that drives the stakes tightly, and the slopes have crisp steps hewn by the climbers, and the dangerous spots are railed, and good food and warmth are guaranteed at the end of the day. bed, they will, according to Malory, go up and down steep slopes happily, confidently, and securely, without the slightest doubt.However, a few inches of snow greatly increased the difficulty of climbing the North Col with a heavy load.What was once solid and secure is now slippery and uncertain.The provocateurs did not walk up the steps with a straight body full of confidence, but crawled on the ground with a lot of suspicion, hugging the ramp.All sense of security slipped away.Moreover, there was more snow this year than in 1922, and the temperature was relatively low.The challengers were suffering badly from the cold, and the extra snow on the North Col made good trails all the more necessary.

With this in mind, a capable mountaineering party set out from Third Battalion on the 20th of May; Norton to Malory, suffering from high-altitude bronchitis, and Somerwell, suffering from mild heatstroke, might not be able to Participate in the whole process and join the team in person.Now, there are three of them in this team, plus O'Dell, and the provocateur Lakpa.Lhakpa Tsering carried a pack of alpine climbing ropes, as well as stakes that came in handy for the tougher trips.At first their pace was slow, and soon Somerwell was showing signs of lethargy.In fact, his heatstroke was quite severe.He tried to push forward, but Norton and Malory forcefully persuaded him to go back, and so, in extreme nausea and discomfort, he returned to Third Battalion.

What Norton and Malory had to do now was to find a way without risking an avalanche.They could see a deep and wide crevasse of the glacier running across the great slopes of the North Col.The slope up to the fissure was steep but safe, and the fissure itself would probably be a barrier against avalanches.So they'll try to get to that crack and follow its lower side until they find a safe way to the ledge on the North Col and pitch a camp. So the first goal is to try to get to that crack.Norton and Malory walked together in front of Audell and the bearer; both of them shared the heavy work of chiseling the steps, or steps, which were hewn on slightly convex slopes, mostly following gentle angles. Lead to the right end of that glacier crevasse.They encountered two smaller fissures; the last climb up the larger one was so steep that it was evident that fixed ropes had to be fastened to facilitate passage.But apart from this incident and having to chisel the steps, the Great Crack was reached without encountering more serious obstacles.However, dealing with that big crack itself is another matter.It was not easy to walk along its lower side, for it was broken in half, and the broken place had to be dealt with with great care.They had to descend to the bottom of the chasm and climb the nearly vertical wall of broken ice to a narrow opening, or chimney.Only through this chimney can the lower edge of the great glacial chasm be reached again. Note ② Chimney: a climbing term, referring to the upright gap on the rock wall.Annotation This was what Norton and Malory faced as they stood on the edge of that glacial crevasse.In order to follow the lower edge of the fissure, they had to overcome this nasty breach anyway, and the only way to do it was to go down to the bottom of the fissure and climb the ice wall and chimney. Faced with an insurmountable mountain obstacle, Norton said: Malory's behavior has always been characteristic: you can clearly see his nerves tense like strings.To use an analogy: he's like having his loin laced up, and his first instinct is to go first.Ascending the ice walls and chimneys, he leads with care, agility, and beauty all his own.Norton followed him as his back, offering him the handle or the tip of the ax from time to time.Like most ice walls, this one isn't as steep as it might first appear, just a careful chiseling up.As for the chimney, it conceals an unexpected obstacle.The snow at its base could not chisel a foothold, and seemed to wrap a bottomless crevice.It was of smooth blue ice all round, and so close together that steps could not be carved in it.The chimney is the steepest, hardest slope you can expect on any mountain, Malory said.At ordinary altitudes, that is already a severe physical test; at a height of 22,000, it is almost exhausting to the limit. From the chimney they came to a pleasant little platform on the other side of the lower edge of the great glacial chasm.They were walking now along the lower edge of this great glacial fissure, with the great fissure to the right and the steep slope to the left.The road was not at risk of avalanches, but it was steep and more steps had to be carved out.Then, at the end of that chasm, came more trouble.Norton and Malory were now standing on a steep slope of snow that rose about two hundred feet high and sloped so steeply that the snow powder could barely hold onto it, and the other end blew into a large ice cliff (crack) bottom of.For convenience, this section may be called the last two hundred feet. That was really the most dangerous part of the climb.The physical exhaustion here is not as great as that of the chimney, but it is more dangerous.The snow on that slope could flake off, sending climbers into the deep valleys below.In 1921 the slope did crumble in the interval between Malory's ascent and his descent.Faced with such a situation, Malory's nerves were as usual, he immediately responded to the mission's call to him, and once again insisted that he take the lead.In order to minimize the danger, they decided to climb up the steepest section of the almost vertical slope, and then cut to the left when the top slope slowed down.After the crosscut, it was the edge of the stone shed or ledge where the fourth battalion was to be set up.O'Dell had joined Norton and Malory by this time; he and Norton were going to grab Malory from below from a safe corner formed by the serac in the glacier, so that when the seemingly solid but brittle ice surface peeled off, he could be crushed. Hold up.Fortunately, no such unfortunate thing happened.Half an hour later, they climbed up the ledge one by one, following the steep steps Malory had carved out with great effort on the half-ice and half-snow slope. On the ledge they were able to bask in the sun, and were comforted by a wall of ice to the west that shielded them from the fierce westerly wind.Not a trace of the old tent from 1922, for that mishmash of snow hills and ice cliffs is part of a real glacier, and they are constantly changing.The ledge itself is narrower than it was in 1922.Now it was a humpbacked hump covered with brilliant white snow that had never been trodden on; its level part was only large enough for a small tent six feet square. The ascent was labor-intensive, because every step along the way had to be walked or chiseled with an axe to create a clear and safe path for pickers to climb up the next day.But they were happy to rebuild the toughest section of the entire climb.O'Dell and Malory still had enough energy to explore the way from the ledge to the actual North Col.Norton nailed stakes to secure a rope that swung down the last two hundred feet of steep stairway. Malory had worn out his strength from the chiseling ahead, so now Audair took the lead.Between the position of the 4th Battalion and the real North Col, there is a maze of snow hills and some hidden glacial crevasses, so the road leading to the North Col must be found.O'Dell happily found a bridge across the worst crack, and a safe and secure path was established.A productive day came to an end here; at 3:45 they began their descent. But they were completely exhausted.Out of sheer ennui, they allow themselves to take risks they would normally be careful to avoid.They took the old road of 1922 and accelerated.Norton and Malory walked ahead without ropes, and Audrey and the picker followed.First, Norton had a narrow fall, and then he slipped his foot. He was only tied with a flat knot in the rope, and then the flat knot came off. Fortunately, he was blocked by a pile of pine snow, which prevented fatal disaster.Now Malory himself was in serious trouble.He has stepped into an obvious glacial crevasse.He picked up the snow that blocked the crack, thinking he was safe.But suddenly the snow all loosened and he sank in; he fell about ten feet before he stopped, unable to breathe, and half-blind; for as he fell the avalanche fell all around him; In a panic, he was almost fixed by his ax. The ice ax still held in his right hand stretched out to hook the edge of the crevasse in the glacier.His ice ax was lucky to hold him steady, for there was an unpleasant black hole beneath him. At first he didn't dare to pull away forcefully, for fear that more pine snow would fall and bury him.But when he looked up at the hole his fall had made, he could catch a glimpse of the blue sky, and he opened his mouth and yelled for help.But his cries for help were in vain, his cries were not heard, and he was not seen as he fell, for he was ahead and those who fell behind had their own troubles.All he can do now is to crawl out on his own.He pushed the snow away bit by bit very carefully, and at the same time made a hole beside him, and then, after crawling carefully, he managed to escape from the horrible position he was in, and finally he was able to stand on the slope again superior.But now he was on the wrong side of a crevasse in the glacier, and had to chisel across a treacherous slope of hard ice and down through some cloudy and unpleasant snow before he found true safety.After such a tiring day, and the time-consuming and laborious chiseling work, his endurance was almost at the limit. At last he rejoined his companions and walked together towards the third battalion; they were all ashamed that they had been careless through fatigue.But even at night, Malory did not get a good rest.His throat had been uncomfortable for the past few days, and now he had fits of coughing; fits of coughing tore him to pieces, and sleep was impossible; besides, he had a headache and a general malaise.Others are not much better.They can only console themselves that at least we have taken the lead in leaping over this most serious obstacle.It's time to let someone else do the heavy lifting.
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