Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stage One - Blog update (delayed)

[Sumanth's blog update at the end of Day one- Stage one]

Well, we arrived at base camp last night after a one and a half hour drive into the desert.  Base camp was at Rio Grande.Managed to sleep well and woke up well.  Apart from Michelle the other Indian competitor, we have among others, Jagjit and Tan from Malaysia, Len and Stan from Canada, Pam from the US and Richard from HK.  Great people, I have made several new friends today.

Stage 1 was navigation through rock.  A total of little over 35km with three cheeck points.  Starting altitude was a little over 3,250m and we come down to 2600m at the end of the stage.  got through CP1 and 2 in 4 hours.  Terrain can best be described as a roller coasteer of loose gravel and very soft ground, followed by a walk through a winding canyon that was once actually a river bed/basin at some point in time.  Most important lesson learnt was that distance can be deceptive, followed by the importance of water conservation.

The run/walk from CP2 to CP3 was what beat the mickey out of me.  We ran through a undulating course that just keot going up and down and up and down and up again forever.  It was at a slightly higher altitude and given that we were coming down, I did not expect an uphill climb again.  Further, the route was absolutely still, no air passage at all and at times, I got a bit breathless so had to force myself to stop.  I had a great companion for CP2 and 3, Gavin from the UK.  Thanks mate.  He was who got me through CP3 and onward to Camp 2.

Covered the entire distance in 7hr15min, including R&R of 45 minutes.  I stopped several times enroute to CP3 and then to Camp2.  Took a short nap before I wrote this up.  Now it dinner time and then bed in a short while.  Back hurts like hell after lugging my backpack, so will probably stretch a bit.

Tomorrow, we tackle the slot canyons.  41.8km through difficult terrain.  So will write, once I complete the stage.

Thank you all for your kind wishes.  Nandita, Atri - love you very much.  Your pictures are what kept me going and provide inspiration.  See you all in a week, successfully.


Originally posted here 

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