Episode 056: The Last Hurrah

Off With Their Beards! This afternoon our camp was buzzing with activity. Quite literally, actually! See, I seem to have been the only person at BC to have brought an electric shaver with me…like everything else around here, it’s become a shared resource.

The guys from the Northern Ireland team came over and spent about an hour taking turns shaving off two months of beard growth since arriving at Everest all the way back in early April. Richard Dougan went first and looked quite dapper afterwards. I even went over to the Russian camp and borrowed their “Hello Kitty” mirror. Hey, shaving a beard off after an expedition is a big deal; I wanted to do it right. It’s amazing how different Richard looked sans facial hair.

Next up was Jamie McGuinness, the owner of the expedition company they have been using: Project-Himalaya. Man, he REALLY looked different without a beard. Lastly was Richard’s good friend and climbing partner “Banjo” Bannon. Banjo didn’t shave his entire beard off, just wanted a trim. See, he and Jamie will be staying at Everest for a bit longer to give the summit one more crack. Banjo just wanted to shave enough of his face to get a better fit with his oxygen mask.

I really don’t envy these two guys. They’re going to head back up just when everyone else is getting ready to head home. In fact, this evening we had quite the last hurrah over at the RNRM camp. It was a nice party with plenty of beer, an awards ceremony and even a few drunken skirmishes. It was a great time and a nice way to begin the last 36 hours at Everest.

It’s hard to fully comprehend that we’ll be leaving in less than two days. I mean, it will be weird to have a change of scenery. This has been the most remarkable experience of my young life, but I cannot wait until I’m back at home (and lets face it, in bed) with my wife, Heidi.

My heart starts racing just thinking about it.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 17:56