May 1- It snowed all night and
the forecast is for more snow til Tuesday. But we are all down and in Base
Camp safe and recuperating. It gives us appreciation for being more than 6000
feet lower than our high point! Full meals, hot water, less cold, less
blowing winds, finally some relief - well deserved.
Being down brings some
appreciation for our Sherpa staff that has put in our camps, our Base Camp
staff that has done a phenomenal job in every way
in keeping our climb going
forward. The pause in the stress of climbing now brings the paradox of
malaise at Base Camp as we sit out this storm.
We get a fair amount of news
on what's going on in terms of other teams, the mountain and possible summit
strategies. Paula Stout, our BC Manager has kept up on all this, our weather,
as well as kept ongoing "public works" projects in Base Camp from building a
stone table in our mess tent to seeing that our tents are in good order while
we are high on the mountain.
She has maintained a constant
inventory of our favorites including my Pringles, Fanta Orange drink (which I
almost fried the PC with) and other goodies that make it all just a bit easier
that our brought up from Namche. The trail just going from our team mess tent
to my tent has changed 3 times while being here. Its nice to come down to a
clean mess tent, condiments, drink mixes snacks all in place for the
climbers. A tribute to our BC Manager's competency and attention to detail
and care for our team.( Of course rumor has it, she has been teaching the
Sherpa team card games and has been even been winning some rupees at some of
their "local" card games after dinner time).
A few words about our
"team". It is of course comprised of our four western climbers and two other
Americans "sharing" our permit, but in the forefront, is of course Apa Sherpa
and a group of highly dedicated climbing Sherpas that are really making this
climb a reality. Without the help and leadership from our Sherpas, a climb on
Everest is really only a dream. From carrying gear from Lukla to Base Camp,
organizing food, cooking food at all camps, establishing camps, putting tents
up, carrying member's gear and equipment, making sure each camp is stocked,
etc. etc. etc., there are countless things and an endless list of dangerous
and hazardous duties that the Sherpas on all the teams here perform on a daily
basis. Kudos to them all.
It has been an amazing
experience to have Apa as our Sirdar, and watch him organize and strategize
our climb. He is such a humble, yet confident person, and being with this
legend brings a calm even in the eye of our current adventures. Summit or no
summit, its an honor to be on expedition with such a great and revered
person. Its funny, Apa never goes and visits other Sherpas or climbers, they
come to our camp...a true sign of his status as a respected Everest fixture.
As for news on the mountain -
while we were on our venture to Camp 3, a Sherpa was stricken with exhaustion
and altitude related ailments and was quickly evacuated by a team of around 14
other Sherpas from high on the mountain all the way to Base Camp, a testament
to their strength and commitment to those who dare to be on Everest.
For our next steps --- WE
ARE CURRENTLY RESTING FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR SO - BUT OUR NEXT PUSH WILL
HOPEFULLY BE OUR SUMMIT PUSH!
We are excited but a bit
uneasy about not knowing exact weather, dates, etc. Waiting out the weather,
staying healthy, and keeping mentally sharp while losing great amounts of
weight are all small things that bear on us right now. But we are planning to
move up the mountain in the next 5 to 10 days to start our summit push that
may coincide for a summit date between the 10th to the 15 of May, weather,
health and gear in place all falling into the right order......Our Everest
Climbing For A Cure Expedition summit flags are all ready and waiting for that
summit.. so stay tuned...
More to come soon...... Rob
Everest Climber, author and
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