Despite a feeling a tad frazzled at this fairly hectic stage of term, the thirteen group members who were heading off to the Indian Himalaya this summer all made it down to the OEC to meet up with Ian and Helen from Outlook for our March 10th-11th training weekend. This started off with a reconsideration of what the aims and objectives of the expedition were and then moved on to some heavy duty consideration of such things as altitude sickness (we will be going over 6000m –20,000’ in old money) and hygiene. The latter caused a degree of mild hilarity when the Bristol Stool chart was discussed (for those interested have a look at http://www.sthk.nhs.uk/library/documents/stoolchart.pdf), until the consequences of Delhi belly out on trek were realised.
It was then time to head out to our camp for the evening where we played with the tents which we will be taking to India and had a chance to work out who will be sharing with whom. This was followed by preparation of the evening meal (dhal and rice, a first, but I am sure not last, taste for some), which was accompanied by scrupulous hand sterilising and personal hygiene. I suspect we are all going to return a little OCD.
Everyone was in bed by a quarter to ten and I don’t think anyone stirred until dawn, when we awakened to a beautiful misty day and a chance to go for a leg stretch up onto Winterfold and use a few scenarios to examine issues such as river crossings, a lost group member, security on steep ground and the pace we are likely to be walking at altitude. There were numerous opportunities for discussion of the many issues concerning group members which were considered as we walked.
The weekend concluded back at out campsite with the leaders pulling everything together and reinforcing the many messages and lessons from a very useful, practical and enjoyable weekend. Only four months to go now. Things are starting to get rather real…