After twelve days on the route, we summited the Sharks Fin at 140pm on October 2nd.
Often starting at night, we would climb through the day and back into the night, lost between light and darkness. Time and existence blurred. Always fighting upwards. Always pushing the line. We were momentarily confused when there was finally no place further left to go. Exhaustion and joy canceled each other out on the summit. We were numb for the descent. Another battle. Cold. Survival. After making it back down to our bivy in the sky, we spent a final night at over 20,000ft before we embarked on another 20 hour odyssey of endless rappels. Beefy anchors slowly waned through the day and night until eventually we were all anchoring in and rapping off single pieces. We would all stare, will the single piece of gear to hold as the first person would begin rappelling. "Don't rap off the end of the rope" became the mantra.
The sharp awareness of the void below began to dull as we dumped more and more elevation with each release of the brakehand on our rap devices, jolting ourselves down the ropes. Just like we wondered if there was a top to this thing, we began to wonder if there was a bottom. Down and down we went, through the day, through the night with wet semi frozen gloves. Exhaustion was setting in. Until, finally, we reached the lower snow slopes. As the angle eased off a bit, we down climbed. Slowly at first, facing in, kicking each step as carefully as possible, knowing we were getting sloppy and careless. Then, eventually facing out, stumbling, and soon, running downward towards freedom. We tripped, slid and fell shamelessly down the slope. Twelve days in our harnesses. We finally crossed the final bergshrund dropped the harnesses on the ground. We tossed packs, gear slings, cams, ice axes, screws, everything onto the snow. We were back in the horizontal world and finally free of the Sharks Fin.
Low point: Falling through the portaledge when it snapped in half on the fourth day at 19,000+ ft.
High point: Now
We're back in Delhi a few pounds lighter literally and figuratively. And, we have a few new stories. We're looking forward to sharing some of them when we return.
Starting the travel sequence home tonight.
Thanks for following. Here are a few more pics to chew on.