Episode 027: You’ve Got Mail!
Mountain Man. Wow is it windy these days. We’re experiencing some of the worst weather events in recent memory up here! It wouldn’t be so bad if you could just be outside a little bit. I don’t think anyone comes to Everest to sit in a tent all day when there’s a blue sky. It’s strange, the sky has been brilliantly clear and there’s been no rain or snow, but we’re still pinned inside for fear of blowing away.
The time spent “inside” has given us the opportunity to catch up on emails and writing our dispatches. This has probably been keeping us sane even though you can really feel the onset of cabin fever. A lot of people have been following the expedition over the internet back home in the States. This is so cool, and we’re constantly getting emails from total strangers telling us how inspired they feel from the news we’re sending back. It means so much to us…
The one thing going for us is the food here at our camp. Dawa is a freaking genius with a skillet and pressure cooker. Most of the other teams are constantly complaining about how bad their food is but we’re looking forward to each meal. Thank you Dawa, thank you. We owe you our lives. To top it off, Major left his bottle of Mountain Man Hot Sauce and we’re putting it to good use. Thanks for the fiery morning constitution, Major!
Total Running Time: 18:36
Dispatch 28, May 3, 2003,: Base-camp
Whew! This is my last rest day before taking off tomorrow for ABC! Not a minute too soon either, I’ve been resting pretty hard. In fact, I think that when it comes down to resting, sitting in a chair and corresponding with all of you is the best way to insure I won’t be stressing my body out at all!
Our plan is to leave tomorrow, May 4. We will be making the twelve-mile hike to Advanced Base Camp and then resting for a few days before plodding our way up the North Col and into two more camps before we will be camping at just over 8300 meters. We will make our way up the remaining 1500’ from 27,500’ to the summit on what will ideally be a perfect weather day between the 10th and 14th of May. Anything less than a perfect day or a day like we are having today where all the tents are whipping like johnson grass in the wind and the 70 mph jet-stream is stripping our future trail of snow, and well, we may not make it. Folks, that is the luck of the draw.
As I prepare for the climb, I want everyone to know that I appreciate all of your support. The prayers, the questions, the curiosity and the stories we have shared over the last month have been very comforting amidst such adverse conditions and truly allowed me to focus intently on appreciating and understanding the experience so that I can relay it to you. I am also inspired by the heartfelt and inquisitive responses that I have gotten from so many of you who I know have no desire to be here but are still interested in this amazing experience.
On our summit day we will leave around 4 AM, it will be very cold and I will be very determined to stay focused on survival and making good judgment calls each step of the way. Most mountains I go to I know whether I will make it to the top or not, this one…we can only see. That isn’t the greatest draw of the experience but it certainly peaks my interest as an explorer, with so many factor’s present I can only assure one thing, I will do my best!