16th May - It is a go! David
just rang and the weather has changed again - An advance party of Sherpas
and one team have summitted to made sure the whole path is clear and David
leaves tomorrow - hoping to get to the South Col on the 19th, summiting in
the morning of the 20th and returning to base camp in the morning of the
21st. Our next contact won't be until he is back at base camp.
He is feeling a little nervous now,
though excited. He is still fit though has lost over 10kg in weight -
about 4" off his waist! I could do with this diet! He says the food has
been good but he has had enough of it now and one of the lists he has been
making (!) has been of all the food he would like to eat.
I asked about concerns re. queuing
at the Hillary Step; he says it will remain a concern, but many would-be
summitters have gone home (for various reasons) - so the chances for him
look as good as it can be. He is desperate to come home, and if all goes
well will try and change his ticket to get back on Sunday 27th May. We
are all in a tiz at home - excited, nervous, unable to concentrate -
probably as he is feeling but without the low oxygen excuse. Fingers
David rang again this morning - having spent a frustrating day yesterday
trying to get through - the satellite connection was demonstrably variable
as we were cut off mid-way through our conversation.
hugely frustrated as the weather has changed yet again - and now their
summit attempt has been put back to the 21st - 22nd May. The window is
lessening too (21st - 25th) which is not good for all the people who want
to summit from the South - you don't want to have to queue at the Hillary
Step! The weather was quite unsettled last week with a lot of snow and
high winds, and it means that when they do go through - one advance party
will need to clear the path through the deep snow. There has been much
jockeying of position by the teams, apparently - but it looks like one of
the larger parties may go first.
is tired of the waiting. He has climbed to Camp 3 and above, is fully fit
and raring to go and just finished his 10th and last book - so not looking
forward to the endless days hanging around. He has struck up a
friendship with an Italian pilot - but the other team member who was meant
to be climbing with him, Ishan, couldn't make it through the Lhotse ice
wall and so has had to turn back.
will try and call us just before they start for their final ascent (around
the 17th) and again as soon as they get down to base camp (21st/22nd).
May - At last, David rang again this morning; he was due to ring on the
4th, but didn't and I must admit that as time passed I got more and more
worried - which turned into cross, until eventually I spent a sleepless
night telling him off in my head! So probably just as well that it was
Dorothy, his mother, he got hold of when he called!
much news though - he still has a nasty cold, which is getting him down a
little, and the expected summit date has come forward to the 15th or 16th
May. Dorothy says he sounded quite homesick - I don't think these
personal challenges are necessarily fun - just very hard work. He is
hoping to ring on Saturday morning (12th) - so I will find out more then.
Earlier: Progress update - Climb High
South-East Ridge 2007 Expedition in aid of Motor Neurone Disease
28th April -
News from Base Camp. David and his team were climbing up to Camp 3 as planned
last week - when they heard that one of the porters on the Italian team had
fallen off the Lhotse face (between camps 2 and 3) and been killed. They all
felt they wanted to turn round, and I gather that teams are going up today to
recover the body for the family; terribly sad.
have 4 - 5 days rest at Base Camp; David is thinking of going down the valley to
one of the lodges (in desperate need of a shave, wash, and clean socks). They
will then go back up to Camp 3 (around 3-4th May) - going up to the yellow band
of rocks. It takes about 8 hours of walking to Camp 2, and a further 5 hours to
Camp 3 - and is, in David's work '*!£* hard' Then it is back down again...I
asked why they couldn't go to the summit now, apparently 200km winds are getting
in the way - even blowing down the loot and shower tents at base camp.
fine, apart from the dry, Khumde cough he has (I think our dog, Mocha has come
out in sympathy). Apart from the winds, weather is fine, still varying between
+30 and -10 on the Lhotse face (-2 at base camp).
Progress update - Monday 22nd April- News from
Everest Base Camp
Climb High South-East Ridge 2007
Expedition in aid of Motor Neurone Disease
22nd April - David rang from base
camp and told me about his team. There are only 4 of them in his
expedition: Ishan, a Bangladeshi-American who is an Immigration Lawyer;
Thomas, a Physics Professor and Christina who is an Italian research
scientist from the Pyramid research station in the valley. Thomas and
Christina are climbing Lhotse, so only David and Ishan are taking on
Everest. David is delighted with his Expedition group, one of the others
has 40 clients!
As I said last week, they have been
taking kit up to Camp 2, had 2 days of rest in Phereche (6-7 hours down
the valley - mainly so David could recover from a cold he caught from the
Canadians!) and are now back at base camp for a couple of days. They will
then go to Camp 2 with a view to climbing to Camp 3 around the 24th April.
The weather is rather amazing. It
was +35 going to the Western Cwym and then dropped to -15 overnight.
He is well, only having the dry cough
which is typical of that altitude - and for which he has an inhaler.
Otherwise, there is quite a lot of
hanging around and he says he spends his time making lists of what he (we)
are going to do when he gets back! Oh dear! ...I think this is the bit
that we at home - and the surgery, won't look forward to so much!
All of his kit is working brilliantly
- apart from his ipod which is a source of great frustration, especially
during the rest days; all the hours before downloading his favourite
tracks.....He is going to ring next weekend with the next update. I told
him that he has now raised over £14,000 for Motor Neurone Disease and he
nearly fell off the mountain!