Playing the sock-game

As our Khan Tengri - Pobeda 2017 expedition grows closer, we get into the nitty gritty of our preparations. It's always about the details and at this stage we're all-in what I'd like to call the sock game. Now is the time to make dozens of big 'mini-decisions'. And so we make our way through a seemingly endless cycle of options and choices. The stressful thing about it is that once you arrive at basecamp, what you brought is what you get!

".....last year my toes where really cold. Should we get different socks? and what kinda? Should we add linersocks? and what about vapour-barrier methodes? What trousers do I take? How many tents, pee-bottles, sleeping bags? Do we need technical ice-axes and how about sattcomms on the mountain? ....don't forget! Note to myself, bring flip-flops. Last year I forgot them, but don't think twice you're gonna enjoy them in basecamp...." 

What I’ve learned has little to do with the stuff I’m taking, it’s all about the team.

This is just a fraction of thoughts currently going through my mind. However, what I've learned from last years expedition has little to do with the stuff I'm taking with me and has everything to do with the people I'm going with. You see, it's in this stage of the expedition that you get to learn your team and expedition partners! We all have different qualities and the key is to listen, to see, to adapt and to give eachother the space to make a contribution.

To give a small example, I enjoy to work together with our partners. To see what they need and how our story can add to that. I love to write and maintain a good website. I'm really no good at doing research and simply lack the patience to make a good analysis on things like socks or what type of chloride to take.

Fortunately this where Allert steps in. He thrives on making big analyses on what sometimes seem to me as small questions. However, I've learned that eventhough it may take some time, the result is a weighted decision and that's where we as a team all benefit! 

So there you have it. Working together is all about making small decisions together.  

Gijs Schuurhuis