After I had a sleepless night of hacking and coughing, we packed up the bivy and started rappelling down the wall. Unfortunately on our first rappel yesterday we dislodged a loose rock that fell down the wall and chopped one of our ropes about 40 feet from one end. Fortunately Mark, who went first, noticed it and didn't rappel off the end of the one rope where it was cut. To enable us to do full length double rope rappels down the wall, we tied a knot in the one rope to attach the 40 foot piece that was cut off. This meant that everyone had to pass this knot around their rappel device each time.
|Rappelling down the Ramp|
|Halfway down the wall we rappelled through the rock band|
It took over 30 rappels to get from our high camp to the glacier at the bottom. In spite of all my coughing and hacking, I was able to get myself down OK. Mark and Freddie traded setting anchors that we almost entirely V-threads in the ice, and I went last pulling the backup ice screw and any other gear left at the rappel station.
|Rappelling into the Great Couloir|
|We were all exhausted|
|The final rappels to the glacier below|
We arrived at our skis a couple of hours after dark around 10:00 PM. I was exhausted and had a hard time keeping my balance skiing back to ABC. I fell several times, which was something I hadn't done before and I was nervous about skiing over the several crevasses along the way. Unfortunately Thinless and Tashi did not keep a light on at ABC and we had a hard time finding the tents in the darkness on such a big glacier. We eventually found the camp and had some tea and a bit to eat. It was after midnight that we went to bed - I didn't realize at the time that in just I few hours I would wake up with a serious breathing problem.