I was very unsure about our “group capabilities” to take us down again since it was getting darker and the wind was so strong that we could hardly see our own steps up to the mountain. So I took the lead down quickly, to track the trail markings still with my sunglasses on, after a while I felt that I knew the way down so I stopped to try to put my mini skis on but my hands were so frozen and I didn’t know exactly how to put them on (of course I should have tried that before) so I decided to use them as a mini snow board sitting on them and it was ok to speed down the frosty slope but down at the bottom of the slope I had to throw myself off the mini skis to avoid crashing into the rocks it was very fun and a little bit dangerous, but it worked and I was very glad that I had the chance to try my concept a little bit, it was even possible to sit on just one mini ski. I saved a lot of energy and got down very quickly which was a safety issue in this particular expedition.
After a long while we decided to take a quick stop to make some “Varma Koppen” to warm us up and get some new energy for the final climb down the mountain. Our Polish “members” politely declined our intended hospitality. But our decision didn’t seem to be so smart because we had to wait for the other climbers and my shoes and gloves were soaking wet (it is not so good to have water proof shoes once you already got water inside them) because when some snow gets in it will start to melt, so I started to freeze, and then we had problem with one of our cookers and it took a lot longer to get our “Varma Koppen” hot and then one of the girls were suddenly feeling very bad (she probably had ignored to take enough fluids and eat enough food) so then it got a little bit stressful again, at least according to me. I could clearly see how bad planning and unexpected factors could jeopardize an entire expedition. I know understood why the Polish team had continued and I remember their words “big group big trouble” maybe not entirely true, but I knew that this stop had cost more than it was worth. Fortunately we were not so far from the base camp but it had started to rain a little bit which made the trail very slippery because of the mud. I slipped, I stumbled, I fell as Elvis Presley sang. I can’t even remember how many times I did that and I thought I was the only one who did that, that was not true of course.
I also felt that someone was worried because we still hadn’t come down I thought it was the owner of the base camp but I later found out that it was the Polish team and the girl who had to go down earlier because of her injury. But since I could see the base camp and it wasn’t real dark yet, I felt confident now although I could feel the soreness in my body especially in my knees, legs and ankles.
Finally down at the riverbed it was now dark around us, We just took a quick rest at the cooking house sitting down on a bench it was easy to just stay there, but hunger and the longing to take a hot shower was strong enough to motivate me to walk the last hundred meters back to base camp. Once in the hot shower I realized that I could shower almost everything of my dirty equipment. Nice to do that and at the same time getting warm and relax my body in the artificial hot waterfall.
After that I just put everything in the drying room. Then we had a delicious meal with rice, tuna and vegetables sitting on the floor of our simple room. Even though everyone seemed quite tired we had a “circle talk” in the common room drawing up a simple plan for tomorrow (the plan was to sleep to 10:00 a clock a simple plan for most of us). Bedtime!