They told me that they did have a bit of trouble finding the path and there was a significant, although not dangerous, amount of snow. Team France was even kind enough to draw Richie a map so as to aid my journey. Whoever says the French are rude has never met Andre. Although they did themselves deviate from the trail a bit at one point they were confident that I would find my way. One must traverse what is essentially a large valley enclosed on all sides by obnoxiously high peaks so there are few options, unless you want to play Bionic Mountaineer and do a Spiderman impression. This was encouraging news but the fact is I was still going to be alone soooo….
The Englishman I'd met that had just crossed the pass was about to engage the peak and was waiting for his guide to appear to begin preparations. Team England was a bit hesitant to face the peak as this was coming at the end of his trek and he was not really in the mood for the prolonged exertion, to say nothing of the cold. But being a trooper he decided to soldier on. Then his guide and cook showed up. His guide's English skills were on par with my Korean. And the cook? Well, he was smashed on roksi (homemade wine). Not such a propitious start.