Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 8

Generally we have been getting up in the morning between 4:30 and 6:00 am. However this morning we got to sleep in until 10:00 am and even then it was -20 F. Last night and tonight I'm sleeping with 2 pairs of socks, slippers, underwear, long underwear, shell pants, snow pants, 4 layers of clothes on my upper body, two hats, mittens, a coat laid over my waist and a -15 F sleeping bag. Needless to say its been getting really cold. To make matters worse, during the night we need to keep the doors open by about 10 inches to let the moisture from our breaths out. Without letting this moisture out it freezes to the walls of the tent so when you wake up it looks like a mini ice coffin. With keeping the door unzipped it becomes very challenging to breathe the cold air and stay warm. I find myself putting my head completely inside the sleeping bag and sometimes waking up gasping for air. It's never a good nights sleep like you would have at home, however we are in the tent at night for close to 12 hours so there's time to make up for lost hours of sleep. 
Generally at home I would to go to the bathroom once a night. Not too bad jumping out of bed walking over to the bathroom trying to keep your eyes closed and not missing the toilet. As easy as that sounds, we have a better system here on Denali. We sleep with a dedicated Nalgene pee bottle. Without going into too much detail, we pee in the bottle so you don't have to climb over our tent mates, and walk the 200 feet through the snow and wind to the designated peeing area. With trying to prevent altitude sickness, by drinking a lot of water to keep hydrated, I would generally need to pee two or three times a night. You can imagine peeing for a third time into the same liter bottle it would be over flowing. Luckily we have a little pee dumping spot an arm reach outside our tent. 
Today we took it really easy and didn't get on the ropes and start moving until 12:00 and only hiked for 4 hours. As we are on the ropes hiking we are several feet away from the people in front and or behind us so we are unable to have a conversation. This gives me a lot of time to think. I find myself thinking a lot about business ideas and other life goals. Tomorrow is a rest day, so we will be hanging out at camp getting ready for a long day of climbing. 

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