(Sent from Base Camp by e-mail Saturday, May 24, 2003
1:03:17 AM) THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THE KIND EMAILS AND
PRAYERS. I can truly say that I felt them all along
the way. One quick story...
After making the summit I was descending the Lhotse
Face (all vertical blue ice) with only one crampon.
Of course I was slipping and falling constantly and
the weight of the pack made this very painful. I had
been climbing for over 20 hours strait in a white-out
and was totally exhausted. I took one fall that was a
little longer than normal and became quite frightened.
As I stopped to collect myself the white-out opened up
and I was looking down on the sun and clouds. Just in
front of me was a beautiful sun dog in the middle of
the sky. It was quite an extraordinary site. I stood
there admiring it for a few moments and reflected on
all the blessings and good fortune that had been
bestowed on me. As quickly as it came, the sky closed
again and I went back on my way.
Much of the last
several days has been in the hands of luck, and whatever contribution you each
made to that in your own unique way was felt at every moment. My most sincere
thanks and gratitude to each of you. That's all for now. It's quite painful
typing with the frostbite, but I wanted to get that out. Many more exciting
stories and photos to come! With love, Charlie