Big Wall Suffer Fest!

Location: Mavericks, Ulvetanna Base Camp, S 71 49.146′, E 008 21.867′
Temperature: 5 deg C, clear, high level clouds, Sunny, 5 knots.
Date – 13/1/13

So the major Hauling session to get most of the kit up to the ridge turned out to be a 12hour turn around. A Long day! The guys came back to ABC looking really smashed…think they needed their day off. I was in Base Camp at the time backing up data, blogging and doing charging etc. Just about to pack up and leave on my 2 hour mission to ABC when I got a radio call for some last minute items that I needed to collect. It took me near 2 hours to collect and find everything and rummage through everyone’s dirty clothing bags…but eventually got there.

I eventually arrived at the “Rock” as it is known (Just below the main hill to get to ABC) with a sledge weighing in around 100kg, the trip was a nightmare as I only had 1 pulk and it was so full it kept falling over on every minor bend in the path combined with the gradually increasing run up of the hill. I was met by all the boys who came down to help carry everything up to ABC. (Nice little welcoming party.) Al & I where chatting away (he seemed loads happier and positive than he had been the last week or so) and then he dropped the news on me. Seems like the plan had changed slightly and that they were all going up, Chris was being kidnapped. Which means I am going to be on my own for the next 10 days.

In some ways, it’s going to be a lonely, but in many ways I am glad Chris is going up to help, not only will it make filming a whole load easier as now we have 2 complete climbing teams, but mostly it was going to help for the return trip, as even with the new easier route down the mountain fixed in place, it was still going to be a complete Epic for just Al and Jas to deal with on their own (I can now see why Al seemed way happier, massive weight off his shoulders!).

Before going to sleep that night in ABC, we all enjoyed another amazing evening of Meat Meat and more Meat….mmmm There is always excitement in the air when Stanley works his magic on the stove, but last night was different, the Meat “Happiness” was being combined by the next day’s excitement/ Anxiety/ scariness/ anticipation…. Yes you guessed it. The next day was when everyone moves up “Blast OFF time” Continuing with this epic expedition. Stanley murmuring and chatting to himself, psyching himself up.  Jason singing out loud “Big Wall Suffer fest, BIG WALL SUFFER FEST!” in a kind of war chant, while holding his hands out staring at them, almost in a kind of appreciation of the painful swollen hands which he was about to experience. Al, was preparing his climbing harness and attaching all his camera and lenses pouches among his climbing apparel. Chris was kind of in limbo, still sorting general camp things out but still trying to get into climbing mode (being in a mindset of reading and chilling out for 10 days and then being thrown into 10 days of scariness can be somewhat of a shock).

Leo was of course the only actual person getting things ready for the trip, dashing back and forth, sorting kit out and almost lost in his own thoughts which the occasional shout out “everyone packed their Spork, Yeah?” or “who’s got the whiskey?”. Bed time was around 23h00 instead of the planned 21h00 but who cares when you munching on delicious steaks and Boere Wors.


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