Episode 034: New Friends, Old Weather

Hot Males, Hotmail And Virucide. Not long after Ben left camp this morning we were visited by some Chinese military officials. Apparently there were here to disinfect Base Camp. I mean that literally–they were clothed in their crisp green dress uniforms, boots, paper masks and spraying apparatus. SARS, or Severe Acute Respitory Syndrome has been on everyone’s mind this season and the Chinese are going to do something about it. These men walked all over BC spraying some sort of foul-smelling concoction around tents and toilets. Yeah, I feel sooo much safer now. Thanks for that.

Of course, the irony is that BC is probably one of the safest areas in the world from a pandemic. Anyone who may have been sick has already had to leave. The climbers remaining are now effectively cut off from the rest of the planet by the immense mountains that surround us. Aside from climbing Everest, it’s pretty safe here.

After the exterminators left, our camp was inundated by bugs of a different sort: climbers! I’ve been fortunate to make several new friends up here and it seems that everyone still at BC has now migrated over to our comfortable Dome. Now, I know they enjoy my company but let’s be realistic …I’ve got internet access. Everyone wants to check their email. Email is the drug of choice to help pass the time waiting for a break in the weather. I’m happy to push it on them. I just hope no one downloads a computer virus while checking their mail. Oh, well, that’s probably what the Chinese were spraying for!

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 17:20

Email from Friend (and future Everest summiter) Thomas Haines

From: mtnman
Subject: giddy up
Date: May 8, 2003 2:09:59 PM MDT
To: Jon Miller

Hey Ben,

Sounds like things are getting kind of crazy. I have been checking the
internet daily on how things are going with you and other expeditions.

Wow, some people got rocked. I was on Longs Peak last weekend and got stuck in a pretty intense storm, and all the while I was thinking that it probably didn’t compare to even your good days of weather.

Well I just wanted to say that I’m glad that you guys didn’t get blown off. I
will be thinking about you tons this next week and praying for your safety.

Good luck, and kick some ass!
Thomas Haines