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 David Lim: ASCENT 8000

Hi, EverestNews.com, This email is brought to you by the world's smallest and lightest satellite telephone courtesy of Asian Cellular Satellite (ACeS). The weather's turned somewhat. Very windy last night and this morning. A bitterly cold breeze is cutting through basecamp. The setting is spectacular with full-on views of Shishapangma. 
My tent at ABC- Shisha covered in clouds with high winds

What happens now is that we rest here for 2 days and then do a big push; establishing intermediate camp at 5800m, Camp 1 at 6400 meters and then make a push to Camp 2 at 6800m in one single outing taking six days. We'll try sleeping as much as possible at C1; building on the great acclimatisation we already have.

It's really quiet here. The international European team of 6-7 climbers and 2 sherpas are returning from C1 today. They are part of the Amical Alpin group, a commercial operation. The three Singapore climbers from the other Shisha team left today for a 10 day push to Camp 2 . Their sherpas are working with the Amical ones to fix some rope up higher.

Conditions up high are windy and slopes loaded with snow. It will take a while to clear. So at the moment there are about 12 climbers based here. A large Austrian group of 14 are due in a few days. By comparison, I hear there are about 300 on Everest's north side and about 150 on the south side of Everest. So it's really quiet here.

All well here and all the ASCENT 8000 team in good health. The ankle tendon pressure bruise is much better but we'll see once I don my big climbing boots. An interesting dry blister on my left middle finger is slowly sloughing off - the result of some frostnip from the Mera summit day. Today, I'll be fixing my busted ankle brace with some chicken coop wire and duct tape. As a small celebration, we ate some bak kwa for breakfast ( honey roasted pork from Singapore ) and some preserved eggs ( " pei tan " ). 

Email contact remains erratic but voice updates will continue if data reception is bad. My Apple Macintosh Powerbook G3 is holding up well though the hard disk is beginning to squeal and whine. The thinner air here provides a lesser cushion for the spinning forces of the harddisk. In any case, at 5600m, it's performing way beyond the maunfacturer's specs. 

Special greetings to all at Woodlands, Marsiling and Canberra schools. Yesterday, I sent a special answer list to some questions related to their projects under the Ministry of Education's EduQuest programme. And for those interested - yes some interesting wildlife here. In the past week, I've seen wild mules roaming the Tibetan plains, game hens and (yesterday) a snow rabbit. 

Dave signing off.

David Lim
Singapore Disabled Ascents of Shishapangma and Cho Oyu 2002

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