Episode 038: The Wrap Party

Tastes Like Chicken. The live broadcast seems to have gone off without a hitch, but the propaganda continues. Immediately after the on-camera introductions everyone was corralled and photographed. In a way, it was very nice. It was cool to meet some climbers that I hadn’t met before.

The Russian climbers from the St Petersburg team seemed to avoid the entire event like the plague. At yesterday’s rehearsal, Dr. Dima was very clear that he didn’t much care for staged events like this; having grown up in Soviet Russia. It was all too familiar, he said. Because of that, I was surprised to see his head poking out from behind a semi-circle of climbers on TV. I guess he was interested in the promised food as well!

Man, what a spread. The Chinese camp seems to have a surplus of everything. I understand they have dozens and dozens of climbers, technicians, guards and TV producers here. To feed everyone they have several different kitchens all serving different types of food. After the Chinese climbers were ceremoniously sent off to the summit push, they opened their camp to those of us still there. It was very generous. They even had fully cooked chickens in sealed bags.

Everest gets more surreal by the day.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 19:31

From: Jonathan Miller
To: Susan Miller
Subject: Hello!
Date: Thu, 12 May 2003

Yesterday I was a participant in the first live broadcast to China from
the Chinese camp. CCTV channel 1 is just a couple of hundred yards from me.

Yesterday they kicked a week of live broadcasts off leading up to a
potential live summit broadcast with their climbers on the 17th. The
event was a lot like being at the Olympics if the opening ceremonies
were held in a gravel pit…lots of energy and people mingling and
different languages and team uniforms. I filmed the entire thing and
the Chinese filmed me, too. We were broadcast to (apparently) 1 billion viewers.

I was in my element. There were cameras everywhere and
reporters and producers and radios and wires. It was great. They were
so nice, let me wander and film wherever I wanted to. I got some great
footage. Afterwards, they fed us and we wrote our addresses down.

When the highlight DVD is produced in July, we’ll all get a free copy. Very cool.