Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Its all ended in tears

The climb of Annapurna, I mean.  And I thought it wouldn't, as I knew that, amazingly, no-one was killed on this climb. But the two who reached the summit - Herzog and Lachenal - lost their fingers and toes to frostbite.  And had harrowing weeks of being carried back, in terrible pain, over rough terrain, with the medic amputating bits of them, without anaesthetic, as they went.

Can it be worth it?  Even for a first climb?

Lachenal did try to get them to turn back before they got to the Summit, which is clearly what they should have done. But Herzog would not. And Lachenal would not leave him. Then Herzog lingered on the Summit, thinking beautiful thoughts - though Lachenal kept urging him to go. Though I think frostbite was inevitable once they hadn't turned back when they should.

I am looking forward to reading another view of this climb (I have the book in my hospital stash).  I am guessing from what I have read so far that Herzog found it worthwhile, but Lachenal did not.

An amazing achievement though - and to come back without leaving anyone dead on the mountain is quite something with a mountain like Annapurna.

I am in the middle of a painful arthritis flare-up and have had to return to my zimmer frame.I can't even make Col's sandwiches today.

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