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6 December, 2001

"Shakedown, continued"

Dinner on our first night at "shakedown" consisted of dehy (dehydrated) meals: Sierra Chicken for Nancy and Mushroom Pilaf (yucky) for me. Poor Nancy, as I sat dazed and aching in the tent, she prepared dinner--explaining and demonstrating along the way how to light the stove, melt snow for water, and cook dinner without dirtying any dishes! I have learned so much from her and truly appreciate her time and patience. In no time dinner was made, and the tent was actually *too* hot!

It was easier than I thought to fall asleep in broad daylight--although it was already 10pm! Sleep, though, was rather restless because I had no idea what the next day would bring.

Breakfast the next day was delicious--or seemed to be (tomato soup, hot chocolate, and a granola bar. Piece of cake to prepare.

Going to the bathroom was a bit more challenging. A 10 gallon metal drum had been set up about 300 feet downwind--in the middle of a snow field. It was lined with a trash bag and came complete with a styrofoam seat. You would drive your skidoo and park in front--which allowed some privacy and doubled as a windbreak. It was, of course, BYOTP (bring your own toilet paper)!

Even with these "deluxe" facilities, you literally can freeze your rear end if you take too long, and although the view is fabulous, it's still difficult to relax and "finish business". Enough said on that subject.

After morning preparations, we returned to yesterday's "crevasse site". Fortunately, this time no hiking through snow was included in the day's activities.

Instead, we were to take turns lowering *real* people into a *real* crevasse, and "practice" rescuing them.

Unfortunately, time was short and after lowering (and saving) Nancy and Cari, it was time to return to camp. Phew! Instead of being lowered into a crevasse, I served as "point man" and "hung out" over the crevasse to make sure the victim was doing "ok". Needless to say, my "hanging out" over a crevasse was more of a "peeking over the edge" as I lay on my stomache prusiked to an anchor rope. Many many thanks to our field guide, Jamie, who served as back-up to the point man (me!).

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