By Bas Visscher
There is no 4G or WiFi at our Base Camp. On the other hand we really need good weather conditions for our summit push. Good snow conditions are also necessary for a safe ascent. So how do we deal with this?
First of all it's very important to observe the weather patterns once we are in the valley. What are the temperatures, air pressure, wind etc? After a couple of days we will have some feeling for the patterns. Very important is the freezing level. Above 5000m we need cold temperatures, otherwise there is too much risk for wet snow avalanches. Some melting and refreezing can greatly improve the snow conditions. For the Kachqiant ridge we hope for good neve conditions. We decided June would give us the best options since we can benefit from the spring snow. I went to Pakistan in August 2016 and it was way too hot. Very comparable to a dry and dangerous Chamonix in August but then around 5000m. Rockfall everywhere and very slushy snow. Global warming is no joke. We will be on our guard for bad conditions once we start to climb.
On a previous expedition to the Western Kok Shaal Too we had the same shitty weather everyday. It started with a beautiful morning, and after a couple of hours the weather detoriated, to finish with afternoon rain.
We were planning to climb the Great Wall of China and we had to wait two days in our very small Bibler tents under the wall. Then the sms came on our sat phone. 3 days of very good weather were predicted. It turned out to be true and this gave us the opportunity to top out the wall. The message proved to be pretty crucial as it gave us confidence to start the long summit push.
Vincent Perrin will be our weather man and secret weapon during the expedition. Above you see him in the base camp above the Virjerab Glacier, operating a sat phone and laptop. Besides being a good friend and a strong climber, he finished a PhD in Physics. His thesis was about the micro drops of water in clouds, so he knows a thing or two about the weather. Vincent will keep us up to date about the weather. Thanks!
We had some difficult weather during our expedition in 2016...
Hopefully more luck this time!