Dispatch: Three updates
Update: Hello all, Jon
I'm going to switch into
summit mode and try to send out emailed information as soon as I receive it.
So, those of you off to bed will probably have a mess of emails waiting to be
read in the morning.
Dawa and I just reached
Lhawang by radio a few minutes ago. He said that they were sitting at camp 5
and waiting for the winds and snow to die down some more before they headed up
any further. They also requested a weather report which is what I've been
doing for the last few minutes here on my laptop. My friends with the HMA
Expedition (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, based in India) have given me
their reports that they have had 3 climbers reach the Second Step (the last
major hurdle before the summit) in a total whiteout. They've told me that one
climber turned back, while two climbers carried on. Unfortunately, the climber
who turned back also has the only radio, so we will not be able to get reports
of weather on the summit if they make it today.
I've been informed by Ben's
father that Ben's current plan is to wait for the weather to clear a little,
then bypass Camp 6 (at 8300 meters) and head directly for the summit today
(8848 meters) that's an elevation gain of over 1000 meters.
It's currently almost 12pm
Tibet time (10:45am Nepal time) and I'm going to pass the weather info on to
the guys momentarily. If I can contact them, I'll send another email in just a
few minutes to a couple of hours.
This is totally exciting on
my end and hopefully I won't pass out from the adrenaline...I have a job to do
out here to keep everyone informed!
My friend Dimitri from the
Russian St Petersburg team just came into the tent and said that one of their
climbers just made it to Camp 6 at 8300 meters. It is not too windy up there,
but it is still definitely windy. Hope that makes sense. Also, the path to the
summit has been fixed with ropes, so visibility isn't of absolute importance.
Just follow the ropes....
I'll be in touch, stay with
us... Jon Miller
Update: Ok, here's the
I could not reach Lhawang or
Ben on the radio. This probably means that they are climbing and the wind is
drowning out the sound of the radio or they'll contact us when they stop for a
rest. Of course, this is just speculation, but the reports from the other
camps say that other climbers are making progress up the mountain. Faithful,
persistent Dawa will continue to try to contact the guys and will fetch me
from my post next to the St Petersburg team's generator (may ours rest in
The weather looks positive
for a summit attempt from now until afternoon on the 23rd. This is really
positive, because it gives Ben options, a luxury on Everest.
The mood here at Base Camp is
really something to experience. Everyone is excited and people are wandering
from camp to camp looking for information about each team. Everyone is
welcomed into every camp...we're all in this together and everyone is
acknowledging that fact. Unfortunately, Everest is completely obscured by a
massive fog-like cloud, so no one can zoom in on the North East Ridge to try
and get a glimpse of the climbers. Oh, well, we'll just hope they stay safe.
Apparently, Ben's other
climbing Sherpa, Lhakpa is staying at the camp on the North Col. Once he's
been told that the weather is worth climbing in, he'll ascend from the North
Col at around 7000 meters to Camp 6 at 8300 meters! This man is a climbing
machine and probably one of, if not, the strongest Sherpas on the mountain
today. He truly is an amazing individual...and he's been living up at ABC
(21,000 feet) and higher for over 40 days without respite at the lower
elevation of Base Camp!
That's all for now, you'll
hear from me as soon as I get more information. Jon
Update: Hello everyone,
I've just returned from the
British camp where I've been passing the time and trying to reach Ben on the
Anyway, I've got my camera
pointed at the Mountain, and with the next dispatch I'll send some video
stills to show everyone what you can see from Base Camp, where it is now
Hang in there, Jon