We (the Black Ice team) are one week out from departing for Kathmandu, Nepal. Upon arrival there, we will take a couple of days to get gear sorted and recover from jet lag. Then, onwards to Lukla, where we will begin a long uphill journey to the Ngozumpa glacier, at the foot of Cho Oyu.
As I sit here on the floor of my apartment and write, surrounded by a massive pile of boxes filled with field gear and food, I cannot help but feel excited for what lies ahead. True, many challenges await. We have hundreds of pounds of gear and equipment to sort out and keep track of during our trip. Just today I counted how many AA, AAA, C and D batteries we have. Close to 100!
Weather reports coming back from Gokyo indicate that temperatures are already freezing. Equipment tests continue this week, while wearing gloves, so we know how to manage the instruments, despite sacrifices to manual dexterity. Our kit includes GPS, sonar, water temperature sensors, buoys, an inflatable raft, a dredge, air temperature sensors, a field spectrometer, a laser rangefinder, and a lot of climbing gear (ice screws, pickets, ropes, etc.). We will write more about the instrumentation as the project progresses, so stay tuned!