Episode 042: A Day In The Life

Stone Throne. Many people have asked: When you’re in the wilderness for months at a time, what’s the toilet situation like at Everest? Well, as I’ve said before, it’s better than you’d expect and worse than you’d imagine.

After the windstorm the other week blew our toilet tent into the hole it was erected to protect, the guys built a bomb-proof stone toilet. Good thing, too, since bombs are dropped there every day! The toilet tent was terrible. It did provide privacy (which may have been needed at first but we’re WAY beyond that need now) but at the expense of lack of ventilation. The thing was windproof. Also, it was like a solar oven and in the intense sunlight up here the contents of the tent would cook and stew over the course of the day. It was terrible.

Anyhow, the Sherpas built a pit toilet with a nice horseshoe windbreak around it. I LOVE this toilet. Not only is it well ventilated and inoffensive, but it keeps you connected to your environment while you go about your “business.” It is truly a “room” with a view.

What an amazing experience to gaze upon the 13,000 foot North Face of Everest during the morning ritual. My bathroom at home will never seem the same. The finest squatter in Tibet.

I guess your priorities change out here…

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 23:14

From: Susan Miller
Subject: Re:
Date: May 11, 2003 5:49:27 PM MDT
To: jon.miller

Hi Jon,
I’m wondering how you are doing at base camp and how Ben is doing up
higher. Is he still up the mt.? I’ve been checking <everestnews.com>
and reading dispatches from other climbers (both north and south face)
and it sounds like the weather has gotten bad again. What’s it like
where you are? I hope you’re staying warm, that your tents are ok. The
Andersons are following now–very excited. Are you still having
problems with your generator? Do you hear from Ben? I hope you can
contact us soon. Everyone is so curious to know what is going on.

windy here today (not by your standards though!) and lots of thunder
storms. The Lilac Festival started this weekend. Great day yesterday
and pretty much a rain out today. I’ve been planting some flowers
between rain showers and grading papers, of course.
Looking forward to my little trip later this week and seeing Chris. Let
me know how you are and what’s going on as soon as you can.
Love, Mom