Current Nepal Time
Dispatch Group Two:
is the key word in getting ready to climb the world's largest peak. So far all
climbers have spent two nights at Camp I and five nights at Camp II. The
importance of getting used to the altitude cannot be taken lightly.
At both camps, the climbers spend the time
reading, listening to their Walkman, playing cards and eating pretty luxurious
meals. Contrary to popular belief MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) and freeze dried
foods are not the main stay of their diet. Meals consist of breakfast
pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fruits. Lunches of soups, sandwiches, cheese, and
vegetables served around 12:30 make up the middle of the day, while ham,
chicken, buffalo, potatoes, vegetables make up the dinner time - always
followed by a desert of fruits, pudding, Jell-O or even apple pie. Weather has
prevented the climbers from getting to Camp III. So today at 4:30, they are
returning to the Everest Base Camp for a few days of rest before they ascend
Weather at Camp II has been quite variable
with temperature during the day as high as 114 deg. F and as low as 4 deg F.
in the evenings. It's the high winds and snow above Camp II that have
prevented them from going any higher. It may seem to be a slow process but
just as the famous Robert E. Lee said, "Most major accomplishments not only to
be time, but patience as well." In other words "Calm Yourself" as the other
Robert E. Lee would say. The acclimatization process is slow but necessary for
the climbers or anyone who comes this high. It was told to myself that if one
were to fly from sea level to the top of the Everest at 29,035', they would be
dead of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema within two minutes and if they were just
taken to the Base Camp at 17,800', they would last only two hours.
This is why Bob Hoffman has taken such care
and calculation, not just for the climbers to make it safely to their Everest
climb, but for the Sherpas, porters, trekkers and support staff as well. Bob's
experience and know how through 22 years of climbing and leadership are
respected not only by the climbers, but also the leaders of other groups in
the Base Camp. Coming down to the Base Camp to let the climbers rest up and
prepare for the summit only makes sense to strengthen the climbers physically
as well as mentally. As stated before, I personally feel that baring bad
weather or an individual's poor health, all eight climbers will soon be
standing on Top Of The World. -Don Briggs, Base Camp Manager
Base Camp Update: We are all doing well at base camp.
Included in our 11-day trek was a special "puja" with Apa Sherpa in his home
village of Thame and a visit to the school in Thame where we are hoping to
expand with a secondary level. Our team members and climbing Sherpas are all
healthy and strong. We are totally organized at base camp. So far only two
delays have occurred: One with the oxygen coming from Russia and the second,
the generator being held up in shipping and then customs. But, thanks to Sue
Hoffman in the USA and Deepak of Wilderness Experience, our agent in
Kathmandu, both arrived without incident. We know the hard work that was
involved in accomplishing these tasks. We have been to Camp I carrying loads
(equipment and gear) and are anxious to continue with our ascent and
acclimatization to higher camps. As of now, thanks to our strong climbing
Sherpas we are stocked up to Camp II.
We are currently being delayed due to problems in the ice fall! We are
primarily concerned with safety and don't want to continue our push to higher
camps and jeopardize the safety of our Sherpas or team members. So far there
has been 2 injuries in the ice fall. Yesterday 2 Sherpas were hurt after an
anchor pulled while crossing a ladder. They were rescued by all the climbing
Sherpas in the ice fall and brought down to base camp and one had to be
helicoptered out to Kathmandu. The ice fall is in bad condition and thanks to
our expedition leader, Bob Hoffman, we were the first to file a formal
complaint with the group (SPCC) responsible for maintaining of the ice fall
(now other team leaders are also filing complaints). The SPCC is working to
improve the anchors and ladders across the crevasses, but they need more
people to do the job effectively. This year, with the large number of teams
going through the ice fall, excess use on the ropes and ladders is causing
failures to occur and the ice fall needs constant maintenance for safety.
We feel we have a strong climbing team. Our climbing Sherpas
are some of the best with an average of 3 summits each between them. This
includes Apa Sherpa, who holds the record with the most Everest summits to
date. Also between our team, we have an average of 1.5 climbs on Everest
before. The team as a whole has tons of mountaineering experience and
cumulatively we have climbed in almost every mountain range in the world.
Our goal of course is to ALL summit, but in a style where
safety is our primary concern. Thanks for all your support and good wishes.
They do not go unnoticed, and are very motivating.
We are off tomorrow, for 9 to 10 days to establish up to
Camp 3 and to further our acclimatization. We'll be out of contact, so no
worries, we are all in good spirits and are watching out for each.
-Mimi Vadasz & Bob Hoffman