Episode 043: 20,000 Leagues Above The Sea

Bob’s Your Uncle. Today I spent most of my time filming over at the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (RNRM) camp. What an amazing operation they have out here! They are a really good group of people and I’m proud to know them.

Being a military expedition they have more resources than your average Everest team. That being said, having proper funding to buy equipment does not guarantee that said equipment will work properly. The group came out here with several new laptop computers that were specially ruggedized to military specs. Unfortunately, they were not tested at high altitude and were crippled by hard drive failure. Not all hard drives work properly at Everest due to the low air pressure up here.

Anyway, the RNRM needed some video sent back to the UK for promotional purposes and I volunteered my services. My computer gear was working perfectly so I was able to film, then edit video and send it back over the satellite. What I was able to film gives a nice overview of what life is like at Everest for this team.

Having spent so much time over at the camp without filming, I’ve become good friends with the team. One of our running jokes is the confusion that arises from the differences in our language. Richard, the team’s Base Camp Manager has said that the British and the Americans are “Two great cultures separated by a common language.” It’s true.

One day my friend Dave was helping me fix our generator and kept saying he needed a “spanner”. Well, all I had was a crescent wrench. As it turns out, they are one and the same. When I handed it to him finally, he fixed the generator, started it up and said, “Bob’s your uncle.”

Actually, KEITH is my uncle, Dave.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 24:54

Subject: from your Mom’s English class
Date: May 14, 2003 6:04:43 PM MDT
To: jon.miller

Dear Jon,

My name is Anders Eckstrand and I am in your mother’s 9th grade English class. We have an assignment to interview a “Person of Courage”. Your Mom said you are climbing on Mt. Everest, and she would like me to interview you. May I? So, with your permission, I have a few questions to ask you. Here they are:

1. Tell me about your experience; what made this experience memorable? How old were you at this time?

2. Why did you do what you did? Did you have a choice? Did you have to fight physically or mentally to save yourself or another person?

3. Was there a point at which you felt hopeless or like giving up? Did you feel fear?

4. How did you get through the times when you were afraid or wanted to give up? Was there someone or something there to help support you during this experience?

5. What did you do to get back on your feet and move on with your life? Reflecting back over your experience would you have done anything differently?

6. Did you experience change in any way? Negative or positive?

7. Did you receive any recognition for your actions? Is there any specific lesson in life you learned that you could tell me?

I hope you have time to answer my questions. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely yours,

Anders Eckstrand