GREENLAND 2002 -
DISPATCH 5 Summer Solstice with Old Friends and
Greetings from NHN. Yesterday, we celebrated the
summer solstice on the midnight top of a rocky
peak in the form of a great cresting wave. The
summit block actually overhung its northwest face.
We scrambled along a lengthy ridge and collected
three independent summits. The weather could not
have been better as the sun hung low over the ice
cap. As we constructed a cairn on the final
summit, we wondered how long it would be before
the next humans would come to visit the NHN. That
was last night.
Tonight, it is
now 3:00 a.m. and James and I have just returned
from a 10 km ski and climb of a pyramid mountain.
We are taking advantage of outrageous weather. The
rest of the group opted to take the day/night off
and prepare for another group climb tonight.
Out on that
remote summit tonight, there was time for
contemplation. As a climber, I am in debt to those
who taught me so much, some of them are no longer
here such as Alex Lowe and Rob Hall. I thought of
them as I climbed with James who is just beginning
to fall prey to this sport. The things friends
taught me, I now pass on.
Back in Iceland I
met some Americans kayakers from Montana, and
somehow Alex's name came up. One of them dug into
his pocket, and produced a card from his wallet.
It was an announcement of a memorial service for
"Alex was the
best", he said, "can't forget that", he said.
Good Night from