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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 #7 - April 15, 2004 - Team Endeavor - Mount Everest - North

At the moment, I am on a race against time as I am having power difficulties again. This afternoon, our Honda generator bit the bullet. First it wasn’t starting, most likely due to the sludge gasoline that we are running it off of since Ultra 94 is not readily available in Tibet or Nepal :) One of our fellow climbers, George Dijmarescu, mentioned that the problem is that our Honda generator is US made and is accustom to fine gasoline whereas his Indian produced Honda generator of lesser quality is made for super low grade gasoline and thus works perfect. I think he might have a point as his generator runs flawlessly. Anyhow, since our generator wasn’t starting, we checked out that everything was ok and then when we tried pulling the starter cord again, it just wouldn’t move, almost as if the engine was seized. After taking it apart, we still couldn’t determine the problem so when we get time between climbing and eating, we’ll try to further diagnose the problem and hopefully fix it. In the meantime, we can use another generator but it will make frequent dispatches more challenging, not to worry though.

Yesterday, Dan and I paid a visit to the old Rongbuk Monastery, which was destroyed by the Chinese in an invasion, from what I understand. It is only seven kilometers downhill from BC but because we are lazy, we hoped on a Tibetan truck heading in that direction. Although much of the monastery is demolished now, it still has much to offer. During our visit, we traveled through three underground caves that were very tight fitting and quite fascinating. When we exited each one, it was considered a rebirth by the Monks. Also, after exiting the final cave, we were told to find an irregular shaped rock and to toss it up onto a huge boulder in front of us. If the rock thrown remained on top of the boulder, then that person was going to summit Mount Everest. Luckily, both of our rocks remained at the top after thrown, however some were not as fortunate.

Today we had our Puja, which was a very cool ceremony. To prepare, our climbing gear was assembled at the foot of a makeshift altar near BC. Then candy was collected from the group members and placed at the center of the altar along with beer and soda. Once the altar was assembled, a Monk began the process of blessing our climbing gear and wishing us safe passage to the summit, I believe. During the ceremony, rice and flour were thrown in the air and a series of three prayer flags were attached from a post which was placed at the center of the altar, with the prayer flags extending outward in three different directions. Throughout the entire process, juniper was burned and once the ceremony ended, we drank a blessed soda or beer and munched on some of the candy. The remainder of the candy was removed from their respective packages and then placed on top of the altar, I believe being an offering to the God or Gods; I hope my Crackerjacks and Rice Krispy Treats are enjoyed.

Tomorrow, Dan and I will begin our trek to ABC. Due to the distance, we will stop at an intermediate camp for the night and then continue onward to ABC the following day, arriving in ABC on Saturday.

The plan is to stay at ABC for three to four nights before returning to BC to recuperate from the altitude change. I am confident that Dan and I will both have nice headaches before returning to BC.

All is well at Everest BC.

 

Dispatches

 
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