The problem with FT8 is that it is now seen as a DX mode. If you have an exotic call you will be over run, if not it takes time with only the idle willing to give out a QSO. YMMV.
Well done on escaping the clutches of the washer women and getting to and down from the summit without rowing.
Certainly in those days life at the barracks would have been pretty basic. Even a modern day camper has luxuries on hand that would be unheard of to those people.
Isolated as anything as well.