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Chapter 29 Chapter 26 Audrey

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 5730Words 2023-02-05
O'Dell's actions must now be recorded.His actions are quite dramatic.His role was to support Malory and Irving.On the day after they left the North Col, he also left the North Col with a picket, climbed up to the Fifth Battalion, which he had visited on a day trip, and left with Harred.Now, since the provocateur who came with him was obviously unable to serve the next day because of altitude sickness, and since the four provocateurs Malory sent from the Sixth Battalion arrived that afternoon, O'Dell let them take him go downhill. So O'Dell was completely alone in this eerie little camp, at an altitude of 25,300 feet.No one has ever had such an experience, and this is what we are going to detail.As already mentioned, the sky was fine that evening, and the view around us was impressive.Looking to the west, it is a wild jungle composed of peaks, uprooted from the Rongbuk Glacier, standing proudly upwards, the highest is the magnificent Cho Oyu Peak at 26,750 feet, and the Ge Chongkang.They are all bathed in the most delicate shades of pink and yellow in varying shades.Directly opposite is the thin and forbidding cliff of the North Peak. Its huge pyramid-shaped rock structure looks so close, adding to the sense of distance between it and the distant horizon, and its dark giant drives make the distant Some peaks on the northern horizon appear opal in contrast.To the east, floating in the thin air, a hundred miles away, are the snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga and, a little closer, the ever-changing contours of the Gyangkar Range.

O'Dell has climbed many mountains alone, and has seen many sunsets with his own eyes, but this time, he said, was the most transcendent experience of all. We can take his word for it.He was in the middle of the most awe-inspiring place on earth, where God would almost appear.What was revealed to him now was strength and dignity, purity, solemnity, the majesty and nobility of this earthly giant.Alone, and at the climax of this great adventure, he must have been in the state most susceptible to impressions, though the impressions were not to be discerned until later in peace. If sunsets are so moving, the awe and majestic stillness of night, and the brilliance of the stars in the liquid blue sky, must be equally memorable.

Then comes dawn: the freshest ray of the sun, gradually increasing its color, with wine-like transparent and delicate hues, brushing the first halo on the mountain peaks, and the liquid sky then turns to the clearest Sky Blue! Has anyone ever enjoyed such privileges so exclusively as Audair?What he sees at this moment will make him in a state of ecstasy for life. The next day, he rose at dawn.The great day of victory and defeat has come.It took him two hours to prepare breakfast, to put on the boots at that height, and those things required enormous effort.At eight o'clock he put on his knapsack, set out with provisions in case the Sixth Battalion ran out of food, and climbed alone up the steep snow-covered slope behind the Fifth Battalion to the top of the main ridge.Norton and Somerwell had previously followed different paths; theirs had followed the face of the mountain obliquely and kept below the ridge, but the path taken by O'Dell may have been the path taken by Malory .On a clear day, there is a magnificent view of Tiger Hill stretching beyond Darjeeling, but O'Dell may not have seen it, because he said that although the weather was clear in the early morning , and it wasn't unusually cold, but now layers of mist began to form, sweeping across the vast mountain.Fortunately for him, and for Malory and Irving two thousand feet above him, the wind had not increased, and there were indications that even those clouds might be confined to the lower half of the mountain.So O'Dell had no doubts about the progress of Malory and the others after they set off from the Sixth Battalion.The wind is very light, so it shouldn't hinder their speed along the ridge.He reckoned that Malory and Irwin were on the last leg of the journey to the ultimate pyramid.

O'Dell's own plan was not to follow the ridge, but to find a more circuitous route across the north face.As a geographer, he wanted to examine the geological structure of the mountain.He found that its lower part was composed of various gneisses, but that the larger part of its upper part was mainly a highly variable limestone, here and there interspersed with small amounts of light granite; overlapping with other strata.For the layperson, the main implication of this statement is that Everest must have been submerged in the sea in the past, which accidentally reveals the fact that it contains a lot of power.

O'Dell writes: The slope of this whole range of mountains juts out at thirty degrees, and since the general slope of this mountain range from above twenty-five thousand feet is about forty to forty-five degrees, this is This results in a series of tiers of rock slabs nearly parallel to the ramp, and presents many hillsides over fifty feet high, which can be traversed by easy but relatively steep paths, most of which can be completely detoured.Overall, these rocks are not structurally weak, as they were once incorporated into the granite by a process of fusion, which added considerable hardness.But these rock slabs are often accumulated with small gravels sprinkled from above; once the gravels are mixed with fresh snow, climbing such a slope at this altitude will not be difficult for the effort and suffering. imagined.Technically, there is no difficulty, but the foothold is uncertain, and the slope is not steep enough for hand grip, which makes the journey quite embarrassing.

It was on the halfway between the two highest battalions that O'Dell caught the last figures of Malory and Irving.He was amazed that they were still so far from the summit when it was late.While thinking about the reasons, he continued to walk to the sixth battalion.By the time he reached the 6th Battalion at about two o'clock the snow began to fall and the wind picked up.He placed his bundle of fresh rations, etc., in the little tent, and hid there for a while.In the tent are spare clothes of various colors, plus leftover food, two sleeping bags, oxygen tanks and parts of oxygen equipment.Outside the tent are more oxygen equipment, as well as parts of the aluminum alloy handling device.But the two climbers didn't leave a word, so O'Dell has no way of knowing when they set off, or what caused the delay.

The snow continued to fall, and after a while, O'Dell began to wonder why the weather conditions up there hadn't forced the two men back.The Sixth Battalion, this small tent, was situated in a more secluded place on a ledge with a small cliff behind it.Under normal circumstances, the mountaineering team returning to this camp may have to go through some setbacks to find it.So O'Dell got out of the tent and walked up to the top of the hill, and after crawling up about two hundred feet, he started whistling and shouting, hoping that the two of them could be heard when they came within range of these sounds.He then shelters behind a rock from wind-borne hail.Due to the density of the atmosphere, he could only see a few yards away.Trying to forget the cold, he examined the surrounding rocks.But even his enthusiasm for geology began to cool in the biting gales that accompanied the snow, and within an hour he decided to turn back.Had Malory and Irwin been on the way back, they would not have heard him in the weather if he had called to them.

When he returned to the sixth battalion, the blizzard had passed, and soon the entire north face was bathed in sunlight, and even the highest cliff could be seen clearly.However, the two climbers disappeared without a trace. O'Dell is now in an embarrassing predicament.He wished with all his heart to stay where he was, or even go up further, to meet his friends.But Malory, in his last note, had specifically instructed him to return to the North Col to vacate the Fourth Battalion, and to walk down to the Third Battalion with him and Irwin on the same night in case the monsoon rain suddenly broke out.The reason why O'Dell had to go back without hesitation was because the sixth battalion was just a small tent that could not accommodate more than two people.If he stays, he must sleep outside.And sleeping rough at 27,000 feet means only one thing.

So, albeit reluctantly, O'Dell had to do what Malory wanted.He took a little food, leaving a large pile for the two of them, tied up the tent entrance, and left the camp at about four-thirty, walking down the highest ridge of the northeast ridge.He stopped now and then, looking up at the rock above him, trying to find the two climbers.But his search was in vain.By that point, they should be on their way home, but even if they were, it would be difficult to recognize them at such a distance and against such an intricate background unless they were walking through a rare The snow, as it was that morning, or walking on the edge of the mountain, highlighting the figure.At 6:15 he came to the same level as the Fifth Battalion, but, seeing no reason to get near it, continued down; Going downhill requires less effort than going up to a lower altitude.This gave him confidence that unless the two climbers above were completely exhausted, they would find that the descent was faster than they had expected, and they would not have to travel after dark.Odell spent only thirty-five minutes between the 5th and 4th Battalions by skidding.

Note ① glissade: a mountaineering technique, that is, to balance the body with an ice ax and slide down the snow.Annotation At Battalion 4, Harred welcomed him with a good pot of hot soup and plenty of tea.Recovering, the two set out again to find Malory and Irving.The night was very clear, and they watched until late at night, but still found nothing.They surmised that the two climbers must have been delayed for some reason; they hoped that, in the moonlight reflected from the surrounding peaks, they would find their way to any of the higher camps. The next day, June 9, early in the morning, O'Dell searched the two small camps thoroughly with his binoculars, but saw nothing.Due to extreme anxiety, he decided to go back to the mountain again.He made an agreement with Harred to spread a sleeping bag on the snow during the day, and to signal with a simple flashlight at night.After much trouble, he persuaded two pickers to go with him; and at twelve-fifteen they set out on the road.On the way up, he encountered a biting headwind from the west. The wind hardly stopped, and the two pickets were blown tremblingly.But he reached the 5th Battalion at about half past three.He had to spend the night there, because it was impossible for him to climb to the higher camp that night.As he had expected, there was no sign of Malory or Irwin; looking ahead, it was dark.

The weather was also miserable that night.A violent gust of wind blew across the face of the mountain, threatening to uproot the two small tents from their flimsy shelter on the ledge, and throw the tent and man to the foot of the mountain.Through the flying clouds, the setting sun in the storm looms.After nightfall, both wind and cold increased.The cold air, driven by the wind, was so severe that O'Dell could not sleep. Even though he put on all his clothes and wrapped himself in two sleeping bags, he still shivered all night. At dawn, the strong wind continued and the cold was still bitter, and the two provocateurs refused to get up.They seemed to be extremely sleepy, even nauseous, and the only message they showed was that they were sick and wanted to go down the mountain.It seems that continuing to climb up in this storm is something they cannot do.The only thing O'Dell can do is to send them back and advance alone. After watching the two provocateurs set off safely, O'Dell set off for the sixth battalion by himself.This time he was on oxygen.In the tent, he found the oxygen equipment he brought up two days ago, and now he is carrying it on the road, but he only has one oxygen cylinder on his back.He hadn't had much confidence in using oxygen, but now he hoped it would allow him to ascend faster.At this point, however, he was disappointed.The violent and piercing wind kept blowing from the west across the ridge, giving people an extreme trial, and he could only make a little progress walking in it.From time to time he hid behind a rock or crouched in a hollow to regain some warmth.After walking for about an hour, however, he found that the oxygen hadn't done him any good.He thought it might be because his inhalation method was gentler, so he changed to deep and long inhalation.Still, the effect was negligible, perhaps relieving his sore legs a little.His adaptation was so good that he didn't need oxygen, so he turned it off.He decided to carry the equipment on his back, but instead of holding the nasty mouthpiece between his lips, he breathed directly into the atmosphere.He seemed to be ascending well, although his breathing rate would have amazed even long-distance runners. Continuing in this way, he finally reached the sixth battalion.Everything there was the same as when he had left, no news from Malory or Irving.Then there was no doubt that they had died on the mountain. The question is: how did they die?When did you die?And did they climb to the summit before they died?With the vague and tormenting desire to find their traces within the limited time, Odell dropped the oxygen equipment, and immediately followed the path that Mallory and Irwin might have walked down the mountain. That was the top of the ridge, that is, them. The place where he was last seen.But Everest is showing its harshest side.A dark atmosphere hides the horns of its head, and a gust of wind races across its stern face.After hours of constant struggle, looking in vain for any possible clue, he finally understood how unlikely it was to find the two of them in such a vast expanse of rocky mountains.If you want to search the ultimate pyramid more extensively, you must form a team.In the time available, it was impossible for him to search further.Reluctantly, he turned back to the Sixth Battalion. Taking advantage of the temporary weakening of the wind, he struggled to drag the two sleeping bags out of the tent and up the steep rock behind the camp to a steep snow-covered cliff above the rock.The wind was still so violent, he had to use all his strength to carve out the steps before he could put the two sleeping bags on it.He placed them in a T shape as a signal to those 4,000 feet below him that there was no trace of Comrade. After sending this mournful signal, O'Dell returned to the tent and took Malory's compass and Irving's oxygen unit, the only two items that seemed worth taking.Finally, he tied up the tent and prepared to descend. But before setting off, he looked up at the huge mountain top, and from time to time, it seemed to reveal its majestic appearance shrouded in dark clouds.It seemed to look down upon his insignificant being indifferently; he begged it to reveal a little of his friend's whereabouts, and it responded with a mocking growl.However, when he stared at it again, there seemed to be another emotion crawling across its soul-stirring face.That towering ghost seems to have something extremely attractive.He was almost bewitched.Therefore, he understood that any climber would be so bewitched; he also understood that anyone who had climbed close to the top of the mountain would be led to go on, regardless of any difficulties and obstacles, and only wanted to reach the most sacred and highest peak. The place. O'Dell felt that his friends must have been so bewitched; otherwise, what else could have prevented them from delaying their return?Perhaps the seduction of the mountain is the answer to this mystery.The great mountain invites and rejects.The closer one gets to the top of the mountain, the greater the intensity of the attraction.The mountain would suck out the last of his energy, snuff out the last spark of his courage, lest he be conquered by his indomitable will.It will force out his greatness, let him perform his ultimate bit by bit.It is for this very reason that he surrenders his soul: it allows him to be the best version of himself. The mountain was very unlike anything else in the world.It is one of the mysteries of its existence that, instead of binding one's feet, its most terrible, most terrible, invites one to go, to his short (perhaps brief) suffering, but at the end of it is intense joy, and this This intense joy can never be experienced without an adventure. O'Dell himself had apparently been so attracted, and had it not been for the anxiety he might cause his companions, he would have stayed that night and sprinted to the summit the next morning.Who knew he wouldn't reach the summit?He was, after all, the strongest man who had ever been at that height. However, that wasn't the way it was going to go, so he set off again down the mountain.Equipped with clumsy oxygen equipment, he staggered forward. He didn't need oxygen, he just wanted to relive the friendship of his dead friend.In the fierce wind that seemed to pierce him through, he had to concentrate on climbing over the overhanging slabs and avoiding slipping on the debris that fell upon them.Farther down to the east there was gentler ground, and he hastened his progress, but from time to time he had to seek shelter in the lee between the rocks and check himself for frostbite.At last he reached Camp North Col, saw the note that Norton had left, breathed a sigh of relief, and thanked himself for correctly predicting Norton's intention not to stay on the mountain because of the imminent seasonal rains.It might be possible for him to make it to the top, but the storm might also prevent him from surviving.Now that there is no one behind to do Olympic aid, if he climbs up, it may just add another name to the already heavy casualty list. He can do nothing but come back, which is his duty to his comrades.But the captivating mountain top always lingers in his mind.Can he climb the highest mountain in the world?It was a question that would haunt him forever, making him ponder and speculate.
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