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Gavin Bate Everest 2002 Expedition

DATE: SUN MAY 19 2002 LOCATION: Advanced Base Camp

Gavin and Willie have returned safely to Advanced Base Camp and they are still suffering from the last four days of extreme exertion. Both have health problems - not life threatening - but never the less very uncomfortable and limiting their sleep and ability to feed themselves properly.

They now have two days of rest ahead of them, then the yaks will arrive and they will start on their way back to Base Camp and on out of Tibet. Gav's main problems revolve around his throat. He told me that he has coughed up most of it's lining which makes swallowing, drinking and eating very difficult and painful. His tongue and lips are also "shredded and ripped". He says he hasn't slept much now for four days and is really finding it tough. On arrival back into camp today he collapsed and burst into sobs of tears - one can only imagine what it must be like. It has been a very emotional few days for both of them.

Willie's knee is causing him problems still. It is badly swollen and looks very unsightly. He is unable to carry any gear and is in a lot of pain.

They were unable to enlist any help from Sherpas yesterday and had to carry all their gear off the mountain. Willie's knee made it impossible for him to help so Gav had to take on the whole 60kgs... you are meant to carry 10kgs at that height.

Both the boys have had Sherpas coming up to them and congratulating them on their efforts. An incredible honor for any climber. Gavin says once he has powered up his laptop batteries he will try and send out an email in the next couple of days explaining exactly what they have been through. To be honest I don't think I could not do their story justice so I'll stop now. Needless to say they are going to be ok and will recover - which we all hope will be soon.

That's all for now, Take care, Richard

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Willie and Gav's tent at Base Camp