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Day 27. Camp 2 (September 27, 2010)

The Japanese climber making his way from Camp 1 to Camp 2.There is one thing that even fitful sleep for 12 hours leaves you: fairly well rested. After all, there hadn't been much to do last night - so after Dinner, with very little ceremony, we crawled into our sleeping bags and promptly fell asleep.

The rest of the team headed back to base camp for some much needed rest. That left Chhering and I to make our way to camp 2 by ourselves today. I didn't mind as I now knew the terrain and outcome of our efforts. I was also hoping to not make the same mistake I made yesterday and get sunscreen in my left eye - the whole hike up I felt like a pirate under my Optic Nerve glasses, one eye squinched closed in pain.

We made good time arriving at Camp 2 in about one hour and 45 minutes. Already, the sun was out and we were cooking. My poor face is fried. I am so thankful for my terramar long sleeve WHITE Terra T because without it, I would be fried completely.

We took a short break, stretched out on our Thermarest Ridgerests and at a Clif bar. Since we will spend more time at Camp 2 than anywhere besides base camp, we needed to make a stable tent platform. Easier said than done. Camp 2 is situated on top of a lateral moraine that directly buts against the mountain. Our goal was to somehow make a rolling, icy, moundy. sloping area flat.

Over two hours later, we were finished. 'Not bad,' I said to Chhering. 'Two hours to get here and two hours to set up the tent.'

Then, very much unlike polar travel, we climbed into the tent, ate some soup and tried to relax in the sweltering heat. Still, we were both pleased with our efforts - perhaps Chhering even more than I.

'In Camp 1, I had a big lump of snow in my back,' Chhering said. 'This is much nicer.'

It feels good to have made it this far. The second part of yesterday and all of today, I have felt my strongest yet. I have only had minor and fleeting altitude problems and have not yet to taken any diamox - a prescription drug that helps people acclimitize. There is still much more to so I am only thinking about the next unknown quantity - making Camp 3, but those worries are not for today.

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