Dispatch 27, April 29,
This is one of four rest days
I will be taking to allow my body to recover from having visited 25,000’.
This is standard practice in how we acclimate to the high altitude. We go up,
we go down and then we go back up again and are stronger than before. After
these rest days I will attempt the summit.
As for Jon, he is going to be
staying here in base-camp and taking care of dispatching information to
everyone after we have reached the North-Col and are three days away from the
summit. Although his effort to make ABC was a valiant one, it was his last.
A Russian doctor, a man instrumental in repairing many people around base-camp
fixed Jon’s “sausage toe” this morning and I told him it would be a healthier
alternative to stick here and stay away from moving around too much. I wish
he could come to ABC for the summit attempt but high altitude is not an
environment where the sick or injured rehabilitate efficiently. Jon will be
I have been on trips before
where I got a tiny cut that would usually heal in two to three days at sea
level that would instead last three to four weeks because of my bodies
inability to recover quickly at high altitude. This is one more reason why you
must work very hard to have a wealth of experience before attempting a peak
like Everest, sometimes it can be a very minute problem you don’t anticipate
that can become a significant or trip ending illness or injury in a matter of
a few days.
Keep Dreaming, Ben Clark
Dispatch 28, May 3, 2003,:
Whew! This is my last rest
day before taking off tomorrow for ABC! Not a minute too soon either, I’ve
been resting pretty hard. In fact, I think that when it comes down to
resting, sitting in a chair and corresponding with all of you is the best way
to insure I won’t be stressing my body out at all!
Our plan is to leave
tomorrow, May 4. We will be making the twelve-mile hike to Advanced Base Camp
and then resting for a few days before plodding our way up the North Col and
into two more camps before we will be camping at just over 8300 meters. We
will make our way up the remaining 1500’ from 27,500’ to the summit on what
will ideally be a perfect weather day between the 10th and 14th of May.
Anything less than a perfect day or a day like we are having today where all
the tents are whipping like johnson grass in the wind and the 70 mph
jet-stream is stripping our future trail of snow, and well, we may not make
it. Folks, that is the luck of the draw.
As I prepare for the climb, I
want everyone to know that I appreciate all of your support. The prayers, the
questions, the curiosity and the stories we have shared over the last month
have been very comforting amidst such adverse conditions and truly allowed me
to focus intently on appreciating and understanding the experience so that I
can relay it to you. I am also inspired by the heartfelt and inquisitive
responses that I have gotten from so many of you who I know have no desire to
be here but are still interested in this amazing experience.
On our summit day we will
leave around 4 AM, it will be very cold and I will be very determined to stay
focused on survival and making good judgement calls each step of the way.
Most mountains I go to I know whether I will make it to the top or not, this
one…we can only see. That isn’t the greatest draw of the experience but it
certainly peaks my interest as an explorer, with so many factor’s present I
can only assure one thing, I will do my best!
Thanks Everyone! Ben Clark