|Namaste from a
very windy Everest Base Camp!
the last couple of days, our plans to advance to higher camps have
been thwarted by the strong, high winds that have been blasting the
mountain. We decided to relax and refresh rather than fight Mother
Nature on this one. Our plan of attack is now to depart to camp One
as soon as possible and head on up to the higher camps 2, 3 and 4
over the next five days or so.
I plan to keep
Christine at BC posted via walkie-talkies about the team's progress
and she will relay these dispatches on. I'll send images from high
on Everest via Sherpa descending to BC, which Christine will also
send. We'll continue to video document the team's progress on the
As we are writing
this dispatch (Sunday), the wind continues pounding the tents and
throwing up snow in and around BC and in the Ice Fall. When we make
plans to begin moving up the mountain and the weather prevents us
from doing so, we have to invent things to keep ourselves busy.
We take care of
business, so to speak, moving tents that have suffered wind damage
or glacier shifting and reinforcing our "luxurious" blue toilet tent
(safely hitting the target, the blue barrel, is a continuous test of
one's balancing skills).
We also make
delicious concoctions out of not so delicious dried food packets for
our team. One of our better creations was a blueberry cheesecake
with graham cracker crust shared among 14 team members, including
the cooks, Sherpa and kitchen boys.
What a great time
to give a special thanks to our Sherpa, especially young Nima
Sherpa, our cook's tireless assistant who keeps the warm liquids
flowing on these cold, windy days. Nima has mastered our personal
drinks of choice, which we greatly appreciate.
Thanks also to TSD
for use of the video camera and to the wonderful support team back
in Austin - Dennis, Chris, Jodi, Joni, Dan, Brian, Andy Cockrum and
Reid Nixon of Firelight Pictures. Without you, the message of TE '03
would not be where it is today.
I ask again for
your continued support for the Coalition of Texans with
Disabilities. They are good folks who have changed the way I view
myself and others; their work has improved the quality of my life.
By supporting such an organization, we are helping to ensure equal
rights and freedoms for all people.
Talk to you again
Gary Guller, TE '03
note from Chris Watkins who is currently in Australia:
Even though I had had a life threatening HAPE and HACE, I elected to
return to Everest and was able to climb on Everest's Khumbu Ice Fall
during the 50th anniversary. This fulfilled a personal dream to at
least climb on part of Everest this year. I had to leave BC because
the HACE had stared to reappear after climbing on the Ice Fall, but
I have no regrets in again climbing up through the Himalayas to
rejoin the team and to actually climb a bit.
Now in Australia, I
am proud to have carried the Team Everest '03 message "Freedom to
Explore" to the top of the highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko,
located in the Australian Alps of New South Wales and one of the
seven summits (the highest mountain on each continent). I dedicate
this climb to the effort of all TE '03 members.