This is the second letter from Eric Shipton, but as it is dated arriving in Kitale on July 13th it is doubtful if Wynne read it. Amazingly, it is written on the climb – in his usual pencil scrawl.
Second letter from Eric Shipton
19th June .
Camp 4 (22,500 feet). Kamet
Dear Mrs Jackson
A short, grubby note about our progress might interest you. We spent many days trying to find a route up to here from Camp 3, and at last yesterday this camped was established by Smythe and I who spent last night here. Tomorrow he and I intend to push a light bivouac camp from which we hope to have our hit at the summit. We may be joined by Holdsworth who is at the moment at Camp 3 with the others.
We really seem to be on top of the world here. Great Himalayan ranges have sunk beneath us and the eye travels for hundreds of miles amongst the highest mountains of the world. Through a gap there is a wonderful view into the vast plains of Tibet – a stupendous contrast from these ice-bound regions. Kamet towers above us – a wonderful sight amongst its snow devils and ice armour.
Our ice bed gave a series of great cracks during the night, which made us suspect that we had camped on a small hanging glacier. We passed a good night though. Nights are long up here as even when the weather is fine one has to be in one’s sleeping bag by 4.30 or 5 unless one is climbing.
I hope you will excuse this letter – altitude has a queer effect on one’s mind as well as one one’s limbs – for instance Smythe has just put a throat pastille in his mouth a lit a match!
My salaams to you all, yours very sincerely, Eric.