Episode 019: The Climb Begins

Time To Climb! Finally, the Everest climb has begun in earnest. Today, the team consisting of Lhawang, Ben, Lhakpa, Boca Lama and Pasang started up the trail to Advanced Base Camp. Well, the five of them and 40-50 yaks and their herders, or “Yak Boys” as Lhawang calls them. I feel like I’ve been gone from the USA (and my wife) for several months now even though it’s only been a few weeks. It was amazing to see the team off. All of this effort, planning, waiting and anticipating and now they’re finally starting to climb Everest! I will be staying down here at BC for a few more days before joining the rest of the team up at ABC for some more filming.

We are expecting four more climbers to arrive any day now from Kathmandu. Apparently, there are going to be two French climbers, a Belgian climber and finally Dawa Chiri Sherpa will all be coming to round out the 12 person climbing permit. Also, Lhawang has told me that Karma has promised my gasoline-powered generator will arrive with them. For a camera-guy in the middle of nowhere with a job to do and not much battery power left to do it, I’m pretty excited about that generator! The non-stop filming has also been taking it’s toll on me. I need a little break to organize my gear and clear my head. This is the perfect opportunity.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 23:18

Email Between Jon and Ben’s Parents, April 22nd, 2003
Jerry, Jon here. Ben is up at ABC and doing fine. We have had some
issues with reaching ABC by radio but we’ve been working on the Base Station Radio set that just arrived today. Much more powerful. ABC is behind a minor peak in front of Everest and that’s why the radios haven’t been working. I’m planning on sending out a guest book dispatch soon as I get some info from Ben, the man with the plan. My health is kind of being creamed by a cough I can’t shake, otherwise Dawa the cook and I would head up to ABC right away to check it out. I’m fine, but will have to wait a few more days before heading up to 21,000 feet. Rest assured all is well with Ben and I’m sure he’s having a blast! The sherpas he’s with are so much fun and are extremely good at what they do.

Ben’s doing it, he’s really doing it.


Thanks for the update Jon. You go easy, get plenty of fluids and continue
to acclimatize. We weren’t worried about you all – I figured there was some
kind of problem with power or radios. There are always technical glitches
that occur when you try out new equipment and methods. Just keep us posted every 2 or 3 days even if you don’t hear from him. Makes us feel better!