Episode 035: Picking Up The Pieces

Yard Sale at 23,000 Feet. Lhawang, Lhakpa and Ben were finally able to return to the North Col today. It was a scary climb, not because of any technical moves but because of what they might find at the top.

The news had been spreading around BC that almost everyone’s gear had been blown off of the mountain. This wasn’t entirely true, but they did discover gear strewn all over the place. We had known that our team’s gear was beaten down but at least it was till intact. Just exactly what condition it was in was the mystery. After the team reached their tents they did, indeed, verify that everything was going to be alright. The cached gear was fine.

Down here at base camp some things are falling apart. The constant freeze/thaw cycles and the constant wind are wreaking havoc on some team’s technology. Personally I’ve had a camera charger and a computer charger die on me. I don’t quite understand why since they have no moving parts. No matter, I’ve brought plenty of backup charging systems so it’s not slowing me down.

Truly, the only thing breaking down around here is me. I’ve developed a terribly severe cough from the altitude. I just can’t seem to stop once I start coughing. Nope, no fun at all.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 20:10

Email from Jon’s Mom

On Thursday, May 8, 2003, at 07:33  PM, Susan Miller wrote:

Hi Jon,
We’re all waiting to hear the news about whether Ben is going up again
and what gear survived the big storm.  What was it like at base camp
during the wind?  Were you getting snow as well?  How  is your
situation?  How’s the foot doing?  You must be really busy.

Take care, and write soon.  I’m really curious about what’s going on
and how you and Ben are doing.
Love, Mom


Mom, Ben left yesterday for his summit attempt. I’ll write you about
it tomorrow. Right now it’s almost 11pm and around 20 degrees and I’m
off for bed. We had our generator fixed today by the Chinese team and
didn’t get it back until late. I’ll fill you in on everything
tomorrow. Just wanted you to know that I’m fine.

Love, Jon