Blue Lagoon Base Camp
Edward Bailey Glacier, Renland
N71 Degrees 11’ 500”, W026 Degrees 10.318’
We are back in BC resting following a successful first foray up on the wall. Next time we leave we go up for 15 days and to the top.
The weather has been stunning, stable, clear and calm since the moment we arrived in Greenland until 1400 hours yesterday when it slowly deteriorated to heavy drizzle and thick low cloud which has returned after a brief respite earlier. All prayers for this system to move along swiftly, returning our precious high pressure.
“Photo by Matt Pycroft / Coldhouse Collective”
The 24 hour daylight has led to a significant shift in our sleep cycles. We are operating on ‘night shift’ to benefit from the colder conditions for travelling across the hazardous crevassed glacier up to the wall, but tend to be working a 26 hour schedule, essentially going until we’re knackered and then stopping until we’re ready to go again resulting in some confusion of am/pm times and dates.
I have just woken from 15 hours of sleep following a 24 hour shift that commenced in Bedouin Camp, perched atop a flake shaped like Saudi Arabia, 200m up the wall and ending back in BC.
During the shift, we made significant progress and cracked the first major puzzle on our chosen line – a confusion of mixed geology leading from the distinct ‘pink ribbon’ feature to the prominent golden corner system that is our gateway to the upper wall.
As time goes by and with each gentle push higher, we become more comfortable and confident in the hostile, somewhat unwelcoming environment that is our home.
There are myriad dangers at every turn, but so far, good judgement, careful timing and a slow, steady pace are mitigating the risk to an acceptable level.
Already many difficult obstacles have been overcome, but ahead lie countless more. Soon, the white hazards of serac collapse, crevasses and avalanches will be replaced by the vertical life dangers of loose rock, lead falls and flaming port-a-ledge camps.
I find myself constantly distracted by the endless increasingly complicated, ever more committing problems to be solved; the safety of all the primary concern, the completion of our demanding dual goals of climbing this thing in the best style we can, and documenting it to the highest, being the reasons that we are here.
Although complications with the hazardous approach glacier and snow slopes below the wall have hindered our schedule, so far, all things considered, we are in the optimum position to enjoy the hard earned delights of the upper head wall.
Most importantly of all, we are having a blast out here in this dramatic landscape – completely self-sufficient and isolated; each on our own trips but together on this epic adventure!