Current Nepal Time
May 12, 2003 Jean Michael sends
us an e-mail: After we had gone up to camp 2 and have joined a lot of people
of the first group but Nicolas, Eric and Bruno who did not believe in the
crenel [weather forecast?], it was necessary to take the decision to give up
for the moment the summit. That was not without difficulty and without
discussion but all other expeditions confirmed that the crenel [weather
forecast?] of the 12 and the 13 was hardly valid. Difficult to say today if we
were right or not, we cannot realize the force of the wind since the base
camp. Only the clouds blocked on Pumori enable us to believe that up there it
is not such terrible. Spanish made a success of Lhotse after the Japanese, the
mountain is more protected. Still a rise to camp 2 for nothing, we are all
gone down again including the Sherpas to the base camp. The good news is to
have accommodated yesterday the trekkers at the base camp and to have passed a
good evening with them. The more so as Jacques Glénat had brought a nice
bottle of Guigal... the trekkers takes the way of the return this afternoon
and could go to make a small trip to the Ice fall.
This evening the "Telephone
rings" with France Inter. Guy Chaumereuil settled to follow all the
expedition, he is dazzled by the landscape from camp II, sight seeing slopes
of Lhotsé in which camp III is installed.
This round trip with Berhault
costs me the skin of my face; I forgot to put cream and am burnt. The trekkers
brought us mail, it is brilliant because the mood is seriously down, the round
trips on the mountain tired us. The Ice cascade is from now on dangerous, it
is degraded, blown in everywhere, Ice Fall doctors have much work to maintain
it in good health. Dominique lost his snowboard in a crack but while cutting a
fixed rope, Serap our sirdar, could recover it. Dom and Daniel Gueorguievsky
offered themselves a descent from camp 2 to camp 1 in snowboard.
At the base camp, all the
expeditions have the eyes rivetted on us. They await our next departure and
especially the strength of our sherpas to equip above the Southern col,
because for the moment there is not a centimeter of rope above camp IV. We
envisaged, according to councils' weather of Yann, to try the top on the 19th
for the first group and the 21st for the second one. We thus have to wait,
which is despairing and bad for nerves. It will be our last chance, as we have
to leave base camp on the 24th. Some climbers are thus gone down to remake a
health and motivation, to Dingboche or Lobuche. Descent from camp II to base
camp to await a new window weather.
The others try to control
their nerves at the base camp, reading the reviews Vertical special Everest,
the last Alpinism & Randonnée and the special one "Explorers of the
Himalayas", the very new Forest Magazine, and the Equipe or the Express
brought by the trekkers. By the way, cheers to Vertical, Alpinism & Excursion,
Forest Mag, the numbers are superb, extraordinary, texts and models delighted
us. What a nice job done! To honor the trekkers, the Sherpas had cooked a
splendid cake on which "base camp" became "gamba". I recovered mayonnaise,
thing which for me is more radical than the vitamin C. I say collectively to
all those who wrote to us or sent mails, a very large thank you. You cannot
imagine what this means to us. I know perfectly that there are billion things
more important than to climb the Everest, but I also know that those which
support us know the non quoted value of the beauty of useless.
Ice Fall doctors make a long-term job to maintain an access way to the Western
Cwm through particularly capricious seracs these last days.
It seems to to me more than
ever that through this ascent which tramples and which ruins us the body and
destabilizes our heart, we however come very close to the man’s essence. It is
like love and that’s why full of evidences points out it to us, like the one
of the parents of a girl attacked by a cancer and who feel close to us.
I write this not to fall into
a crying pattern, but because I believe it and perceive it. Well, still ten
days and the adventure will be closed, with or without summit. I simply know
that per now it nourishes our dreams, and perhaps yours.
More than ever, the mountain is beautiful, immense, difficult, near to the
men’s heart teaching the respect of the life, theirs and the one of the nature
of which we are the eternal and transitory wire. Thanks for reading this
sermon entirely, so long in front of a fresh beer for the intense pleasure of
the first mouthful.