Episode 047: Onward & Upward

The Summit Push Begins. I tried and tried to get in touch via radio with Ben today, with no luck. As far as I know, the guys are heading up to 7900 meters today.

This is all very disconcerting for me. I know that I can’t really do anything to help them, but I’d just really like to know where they are on the mountain. It’s truly ironic that we have all of this technology here at Base Camp. I mean, we’ve got state-of-the-art satellite communication gear and all it is good for is getting in contact with ANYONE but Ben, Lhawang and Lhakpa! I can easily call my wife back in Colorado–the other side of the planet–but I can’t get in touch with Ben who’s no more than 8 miles away as the crow flies.


Base Camp is actually pretty empty right now as everyone is up higher trying to take advantage of the weather window that is supposedly about to open up. I don’t know. It still looks pretty windy up there but I guess time is running out. The great monsoon is heading our way from India and when it arrives: Game over. Apparently Base Camp will be under 6 feet of snow then.

For the past couple of weeks the atmosphere here has been pretty casual. In a way, it’s felt kind of like summer camp back when I was a kid. Of course, now that the summit push is on it’s like summer camp where all of the campers might die.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 28:39


Date: 05/17/2003 02:48AM
Subject: Re: from your Mom’s English class

7. I’ve received a lot of recognition for the job I’m doing up here.
Everyone’s really impressed with my work. I’ve sent some video to the
BBC in England and they were really pleased with it. The BBC is
probably the best out there in terms of Television. So that felt really
good. I’ve also been asked to put together a 5 minute or so piece from
my footage about BC life for Chinese Television CCTV. It’s the largest
TV station in China, based in Beijing and they broadcast to over 1
billion people. They have a camp set up here, too, following the
progress of a team of Chinese climbers. They have been doing live
broadcasts from BC all week and one of the producers has seen me
filming and I’ve shown them my footage. They were blown away. We’ll see how that works out

Here’s the life lesson I’d like to tell you…and read my entire answer
before you just brush it off as a cliche.

Follow you dreams.

See, my dream has always been to create TV shows. Last year I produced an entire season of a show for the Outdoor Life Network. I enjoyed filming the show (it was a bird hunting show with dogs…and I loved working with the dogs). We got to travel around the country and meet all kinds of nice people. I produced 14 shows and various companioning commercials. I won awards. It was great. The Network kept saying it was one of their most popular shows and they wanted to keep renewing our contract for years to come.

So, I thought I had it made. I was making good money and feeling successful. It was great.

Then, just after I got married I received the news that the show would NOT be renewed. It was like, BAM! all of a sudden I had no job. No income. Nothing.

Apparently, the network had cancelled our contract because they didn’t
have money for it. They had put all of their resources into a new
reality television series called Global Extremes, Mount Everest,
4Runners of Adventure. The premise of the series was to take 50 amateur athletes from around the country, put them through a series of
challenges and the 5 who win will get a chance to climb Everest for
free. Well, it’s costing the Network a TON of money and so they trimmed the fat…which unfortunately was me.

But here’s the deal. I never let go of my dream of producing quality
television programs. So, through a series of seemingly random events,
here I am, typing to you from 16,400 foot Everest Basecamp, Tibet, and I can step out of the tent and see the Global Extremes Camp. And I’ve got a NEW contract paying me really well for my time. It’s not a coincidence, I made this happen. I just didn’t forget what I wanted to
do. And here I am!
Well, I guess that’s it. I hope you can manage with these answers. If
you need anything else, just email. Just give me a couple days to

Thanks again,
Jon Miller