Aconcagua - Rainier - Squamish - Washington - Liberty
The Traverse, Day Twelve

This was the tough day! We had moved up from 16,000 to 19,000 feet yesterday, and did the traverse today to 19,500 ft. We packed all of our gear for the traverse, since we werenít coming back this way. It took us four hours to traverse. We really hustled and expended a lot of energy.† Every segment of the climb we did to date had been fast and efficient.† But moving 60 to 70 pounds of gear at this altitude was something else!† I was tired and weak.

We set up camp and took it easy for a few hours after that, and thatís when my headache came, a real nasty one. It was a problem because if it did not go away soon, it meant that I was not adapting fast enough for the summit bid tomorrow.† So I took two Tylenol and a Diamox pill (to help acclimatize), and napped for two hours.† It was gone when I woke up, but I had to be very careful until the next day.† If I woke up again with a headache, the summit was off and maybe we would have to go down to a lower altitude for a day to properly acclimatize.† That would leave us with only one other day to try for the summit. I didn't really want that.† I opted to keep pressure breathing pretty much the whole evening, to help me acclimatize. I think it made all the difference.† I didn't sleep much, it took a lot of effort but the next morning, I felt good! No headache and ready to go!




Moving Up Going for the Top

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