asked me if he could borrow my hiking boots for the summit attempt, otherwise our Sirdar would not allowed him to
go to the top as he only had poor boots. Two weeks ago I lend him my plastic
climbing boots and of course I again
of the summit I did not sleep well. It was -15 Celsius and my sleeping bag was
too thin. I put on several layers and still felt uncomfortable. We got up at 2
AM and had a bit of breakfast in the crowded kitchen tent. The garlic soup was
nice. Garlic seems to help you to fight high altitude sickness. We packed the
gear and finally left at 4 AM. I followed Klaas who was going strong. We first used a steep trail that took us to
High Camp at 5500 m we reached after 2 hours at dawn around 6AM. This was the preferred
camping site but we ran out of time and skipped it. A German group followed us
closely and in a steep part their leader shouted once how to follow. That day
some 5 groups tried to climb Island Peak.
started at 5800 m. This part was steep and we put on the crampons. Klaas using
his clip-ons was fast but I wasted a precious half hour as they wouldn't fit
being a bit small. I was now with the rest of the group and we slowly moved up
the steep snow ridge which had a significant drop on either side and I wondered
why we did not use ropes. At a distance we witnessed a large avalanche coming
down Ama Dhablam .
We finally reached 6000 m at 10 AM and here there is a large
glacier-covered plateau. Our Sirdar Phurba Sherpa warned us not to leave the
trail because of snow-covered crevasses.
I got very
sick by the altitude 
and no one was able to climb the last 70 m high ice-wall
and another 100 m of steep ridge as we were all
very tired. I waited for cooky to return so I could get back my comfortable hiking
boots and ask him to guide me down. Finally, at 11AM some of the top climbers
returned. Cooky and also my boots had a successful summit attempt despite the
lack of crampons. On going down we now fixed a rope at the steep snow ridge at
the start of the glacier as it had a vertical drop of 500 m on the South side. On
the rocky part we switched boots and the going was now much easier. At the camp
at 5000 m my sickness was gone. My boots were soaking wet and would stay wet
for another 3 days but they reached the top.
to Chukung a Sherpa guide of the German group said that one of the group
members died that morning. Most of the Germans were too tired and went back but
two kept going. One of them sat down at the glacier plateau at 6000 m and then died.
Cause of death was probably HACE, High Altitude Cerebral Oedema, the brains
filled with water. They took only one week to get here from Lukla. They left
him on the mountain as Sherpas never touch a dead person. He was going to call
what to do, take him down by a specialized rescue team at a considerably
expense or bury him in a crevasse.
I got the second room of the simple
lodge as I did not see the point of sleeping outside at –12 and wanted some
privacy. I slept very long that night on a comfortable bed and a warm room,
around 5 Celsius. The next morning my group members complained about the cold