The Expedition to Climb Mustagata - Day 8

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The fun begins here. Right outside Camp 1 is a fixed line everyone must follow. The reason for the fixed line is that a climber taking a fall followed by an out of control slide will end up either smashing into the rocks at Camp 1 or plummeting to the valley floor, 15,000 ft below. After the fixed line one must navigate a dangerous field of crevasses. The problem is that every time it snows (and that is almost every night) the crevasses are covered by precarious snow bridges. An inexperienced climber sees only a peaceful-looking field of snow. An experienced mountaineer sees a death trap, underneath a thin crust of ice and snow there is a maze of crevasses, potentially dozens or hundreds of feet deep. The guides and the staff MUST go first and establish a route. Expedition members MUST travel in rope teams. Everyone must be well trained and prepared to execute an arrest and a crevasse rescue. It is really not a matter of "if someone will punch through", but "let's see who will punch through today". After getting through the crevasse field the steeper slope begins, like a tilted desert, and it will be a VERY long way to Camp 2!