Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Sunday.

12th April.

Our first real rain day! Not bad really being only 5 degrees from the centre of the sun's orbit in a region renown for 'rain every day'. Feels far from tropical in our 12500ft basecamp, thermals and gore-tex have been de rigour, specially today.
Our basecamp is at the head of Easy Valley, two tents and a portaledge perched on a ridge above said valley toward the North and the main trail up to Mt Kinabalu below, to the south and our original acces route. Flat ground is a rare comodity as thick brush takes all the pockets of soil leaving us a couple of flat-ish rock terraces.
The route has been progressing well all the necessary trinkets and tools have been hiked and rapelled down to the base plus we have five pitches climbed thus far. Being such a large team it has been easier to divide and conquer. Conrad & I ferried loads the first day while Mark & Alex began the steep quest. Yesterday was our turn on the precipitous granite and today (third climbing day) has us wondering their progress. As per sod's law (Murphy's in the US) the weather held while Jimmy, Mark & Alex rappelled into the valley then the clouds cut loose soaking everything. Could be a very interesting day or perhaps the seriously steep nature of the cliff will protect their progress. Yesterday Conrad experienced some rain while engaging his lead but I only heard it from the safety of the belay station. The climbing was moderate aid climbing, nothing too death defying, hard placements/moves yet sufficiently interspersed with good gear. Following todays team's effort the plan is to commit to the wall with portaledges & all neccesary accoutrements to live on the vertical plane.

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