Glacial High Camp 2 5525m -
Thampa Camp 4500m
...We were going backward again, and morale was as low as ever. Another dead end. Reverse and left side, maybe? We were stuck in an extensive loose boulder section a few minutes later, the worst place to be. I caught sight of another abandoned piece of seemingly decent gear to my right. In proper condition, a faded down jacket maybe only a year discarded, judging by the color, which still held firmly. I turned and crashed straight into Pema, who had halted forward motion.
"Scott...there is a dead body there..."
He muttered in a solemn, hushed tone shaking his head. A quick second glance at the jacket confirmed his morbid observation as I noticed the head. My mind sunk with my heart. A man curled up seemingly peacefully in the fetal position lay, his torso pinned down by a Cadillac-sized boulder, forever entombed in the glacier. The feeling of sadness for the man and desperation for freedom from this hell encompassed my entire being so uniformly that I could hardly function. This foggy terror-filled state of stagnation lifted after about ten paralyzing seconds, and a metamorphosis occurred within. A firm resolution from the depths of my soul. We were getting off this loose rocky, icy maze tonight, or die trying. I'd sooner perish with my mango expedition clown boots on than my puffy silver down moon shoes in my tent! Fear, doubt, and low morale were replaced with a reservoir of positivity, strength, belief, and energy. I didn't even have to ask Christine what she felt. She flatly refused to look at the dead man. She was suffering, perhaps worse than me, still nursing a damaged swollen ankle, but she is an absolute animal on the trail. We pressed on with all we had, full of purpose and the will to live. The choice to survive at any cost...
Upper Pisang 3100m
...After Tashi Laptsa, Christine "Black Toes" Cramer has been the firm favorite to win the GHT's “worst feet”. But here in Pisang, there was a new development when my paws were prominently displayed.
"That is the most fucking disgusting thing, Scott!...I've never. Ever. Seen anything like that in my life! I'd take care of that straight away!"
My feet were dirt brown, actually caked in coagulated donkey shit... Between my toes, everywhere, really. It was indeed a shocking scene. Mixes of laughs and extreme embarrassment came next, but it was dangerously too cold to wash them. When the toilet flush water bucket is frozen solid, it's a sure sign that there will be no foot washing to be had. They hadn't had a scrub since Prince Harry's town more than a week prior, and they were grim as it gets. I used an old sock to pry out most of the more substantial poo nuggets and hid my feet from sight behind another pair of old rock stiff socks. The smell. My God. I shrugged, accepting my utter dereliction. What's another week at this stage? Eh?...