Dispatch 28: Descent from Camp I to Base Camp

Lina and Javi preparing for the descent from Camp I in high winds
Dhaulagiri blasted by high winds viewed from the plateau below Camp I on descent.
Mauricio rappelling the final slope to base camp

Today, we woke up at 5:00am, ate a small breakfast in our icy tents, and packed our things for the descent. We began descending at 6:30am in high winds, struggling to keep up a fast pace to bring back circulation to our frozen hands. We made it down to the traverse in an hour and quickly passed through the dangerous sections before the rappel. We arrived to our very snowy base camp in time for breakfast. Ryan broke trail the entire way through deep snow. The winds even at altitudes as low as Camp I far exceeded the forecast wind speeds. We made the right decision in descending, as to climb up to Camp II in these winds would have been hazardous, not to mention the accumulation of new snow that had fallen the previous day. We took showers and watched as the usual weather moved in and snow fell again in base camp. My leg was fine on the way up, however, was quite painful on descent. I had a hard time sleeping in the evening and finally had to take an NSAID and muscle relaxant in order to sleep.