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  Mount Everest 2004 Expedition: Americans Dan Lochner and Dan Meggitt


Dispatch Everest 2004 Team Endeavor

Dan Lochner & Dan Meggitt Team Endeavor - Everest 2004 North

Dispatch #4 - April 09, 2004 - Team Endeavor:  At the moment, Dan and I are in Tingri, Tibet, approximately five hours from Everest Base Camp by truck and five hours from the last town of Nyalam. The plan is to stay two nights in Tingri and then drive to Base Camp. Currently, as I am writing this dispatch, I can see the summit pyramid of Everest and the ridge leading to the summit.

The town itself is boring and we are already looking forward to Base Camp. The guest house rooms are nothing more than concrete cells with tapestries affixed on the walls and a light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The terrain is flat and the area is very dusty.

Before arriving in Tingri, we spent two nights in Nyalam. The town is set in a shallow valley with several surrounding hills and in the distance large snowcapped peaks can be seen, providing us with an idea of what is to come. The temperature is noticeably colder than Zangmu and during the two days we spent in Tingri, it lightly sprinkled snow and ice.

To assist in our acclimatization, Dan and I hiked up a nearby peak to its summit, at approximately 14,700 feet. Later we discovered that the mountain is a burial ground for the town's people and climbing to its peak is bad karma for making the summit of Everest. Too late now.

The guest house was pretty decent, having plenty of internet terminals, a warm sitting room and ok rooms. After unpacking in our room, Dan and I heard a noise from behind. Quickly turning around, we noticed a plump rat dart up the corner of the wall and into a small opening in the ceiling. Even more entertaining was during the night, when we heard the rat scamper around from one side of the room to the other provoking Dan and I to laugh uncontrollably.

I must cut this dispatch short as my battery is running low on my laptop and there is no power in town at the moment. All is well from here in Tingri.

Dispatch #6 - April 13, 2004 - Team Endeavor - Mount Everest - North

From now on, since I am tired of typing out ďBase CampĒ and ďAdvanced Base Camp,Ē I will now refer to them as BC and ABC.

Yesterday, Dan and I went for an acclimatization hike. Although we both went our separate directions, we both reached about 18,600 feet before returning to BC. I was trying to reach the summit of a nearby peak but I turned around so I didnít miss lunch!

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day rummaging through the remainder of our gear placed in barrels. Dan and I have been able to locate almost everything except my American, Prostate Cancer Climb and Carvill flag. Hopefully Iíll find them at some point as I hope to fly them at the summit, if the opportunity arises.

Last night after dinner, Dan and I walked down to the lower section of BC with our Sherpa to a tea house called Hotel de California. Itís basically a large A-frame tent with old couches and dirt floors run by a very nice group of Tibetans. We relaxed here for a few hours and listened to the Tibetans sing and dance. Not understanding what they were saying, I asked Lakpa Sherpa to translate their lyrics for me. Translating it, Lakpa explained that they were singing that they might not have diamonds or gold but they have big hearts. We both enjoyed their Tibetan music and kindness very much.

This morning, we woke later then normal and were at the mess tent by 8:20am. I had a dull headache during the night but after nursing a few liters of water during breakfast, it was sufficiently extinguished.

Today, Dan and I relaxed and further acclimatized to our 17,200 foot BC. Meggitt spent most of his time shooting video of the surrounding area and setting up his wireless microphone for action shots. We should have a nice documentary when we return as Meggitt has been doing an excellent job capturing our experience with his video camera.

I spent most of my time working on the generator, trying to get it to operate more efficiency. At altitude, engines run less efficiency as they are being deprived of the oxygen which they are accustomed too at regular altitude. To fix this, the carburetor requires an adjustment to allow more oxygen and less fuel. Hopefully I can crank out some more juice so the generator charges the car battery faster.

Again, we have an awesome view of Everest from BC. During the morning, we have had unobscured views, however by the afternoon, clouds have consistently rolled in, blocking most of the mountain. I can see why it is desirable and vital to summit in the morning to avoid this clouding effect.

BC is quite vast, stretching for several thousand feet toward Everest. We placed our Base Camp at the uppermost part, next to the Russian team which hopes to climb a new route, the North Face direct. From what I understand, many groups still havenít arrived at BC due to the Maoist situation. The last I heard, the road leading to the border of Tibet/Nepal has been blocked by the Maoists, not allowing climbers to continue into Tibet but leaving them stranded in Kathmandu. When we drove through this section, several trucks had been bombed but luckily it didnít effect our passage into Tibet.

So far it has been quite pleasant at BC during the day with temperatures in the sixties and just below freezing during the night, given that my eye solution was still frozen when I woke. We had originally planned to be at ABC this Thursday, however because our Puja ceremony has been changed to Thursday, we will need to wait until Saturday. The Puja is an important ceremony conducted by the Sherpa where juniper is burned and the expeditionís ice axes and crampons are blessed.

In preparation for our move to ABC, we are repackaging our gear into barrels. The maximum weight per Yak is forty kilograms, so we must pack our barrels accordingly otherwise we will be charged an additional fee.

In order to get to ABC, we must hike approximately fourteen miles and gain four thousand feet. Due to the distance and altitude gain, an intermediate camp will be established for one night. Dan and I are looking forward to ABC so we can pitch our Mountain Hardwear Space Station tent. This is a dome tent that is twenty feet wide and ten feet tall, itís difficult to appreciate unless you have seen it firsthand. The only thing Dan and I are worried about is it blowing away.

 

Dispatches

 
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