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Everest 2003: Charlie Wittmack
Dispatch 23


 Current Nepal Time

NOTE the latest NEWS is at the end...

(Transcribed from satellite phone voice message left 1:07 AM, May 9, 2003 )

Camp II 21,300 feet May 9, 2003: One last day in Camp II … we hope!

Last night we decided to push our summit attempt back one day on news that our friends in the Indo-Nepalese expedition were doing the same. The 11th had been a borderline day for weather and a few logistical problems remain to be resolved. The 12th seems to be a popular day, and many teams are scheduled to make the ascent. While our group prefers a bit less traffic, our small size prohibits us from attempting the summit alone.

Nothing is harder for us to endure than an unplanned rest day, especially one at this stage of the climb. Most of the rest day distractions of books, cards and music were left at Base Camp. Now, each of us is left only with our thoughts and it is hard not to dwell on the next three days of anticipated agony.

I did bring a pen and a small pad of paper, and have been occupying myself by writing “Top Five” lists (as we are way too high for a “Top Ten”) … “Top Five Art Exhibitions,” …“Top Five Meals,” …“Five Most useful Pieces of Climbing Gear,” … things like that.

So I will close with my “Top Five Books for an Expedition:”

1) Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

2) Don Quixote – (Book One only) – Miguel De Cervantes

3) Jailbird – Kurt Vonnegut

4) A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

5) Captain’s Verses – Pablo Neruda

Tomorrow?  Camp III?

Update May 9th in Nepal about 9:05 PM: Charlie just called and said that the weather indeed was turning bad, as the “GOOD” forecasts had indicated it would.  He also mentioned that Sean Burch was being interviewed on CNN at 10:30 EDT today. He will stay at Camp2 tonight and then reevaluate in the morning.

Dispatches

 





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