Basecamp Rongbuk Glacier Oct 4, 2001
things do not bode well for us here in Tibet at our
Advance Basecamp as far as the weather goes. Today we
suffered more high winds and more snow on the upper
reaches of Everest.
are receiving weather forecasts and reports from Roy
Strasser at American Airlines Weather Services. Those
reports indicate at least two or three more days of
unstable weather and high winds on the upper mountain.
final date that we can go for the summit is Oct. 8th.
Even that late date will cause a lot of logistical
juggling. The yaks arrive here at ABC on the 11th to
transport all of our supplies down to basecamp; some
team members must be here at that time. Going for the
summit on the 8th really puts us right to the edge as
our departure date from basecamp to the Nepali border
is on the 15th.
some point during each day we all find ourselves
silently and intensely staring at the sky to the south
and west. We're thinking and hoping that the sky will
clear and the winds will abate, giving us the window
that we need to safely ascend the world’s highest
mountain. We must be patient and not over zealous for
this is also the world’s highest graveyard.
time we ascend the North Col we need only look off to
the right of our route to be reminded of this, as
there lies the body of a fallen climber forever
interned on Everest. What dwells within each of us
that creates an inexplicable draw to compete in this
contest? In his book, author and climber Joe Simpson
calls it “This Game of Ghosts.”
of us on the team are working as hard as possible and
playing all the angles toward success yet all the
while keeping in the forefront of our thoughts and
focus that this is only a game. True success is to
play the game, if you choose, until you’re too old.
hope is that we can move up tomorrow and that the
weather reports and forecasts will be inaccurate —
in our favor. We are not alone in this. The Hungarian
team is encamped a few yards away and is also waiting
for the chance to move. As I sit here now and listen
to the wind-driven ice pellets pummel our tent, it
does not look like tomorrow holds great promise for a
on these days of waiting and stormy, cold nights,
being here within the realm of the magnificent Everest
cathedral brings me comfort and a quiet peace. Though
things are not what I wish, it is the pure honesty of
the mountain that envelops us.
would like to send some photos, but they would have no
definition to them. Just wind-driven snow over gray
will close this for now with hopes of a “good
news” update tomorrow that this team is gaining
on the Expedition