Dispatch Everest 2004 Team Endeavor
Dan Lochner & Dan Meggitt Team
Endeavor - Everest 2004 North
Dispatch - Dispatch - April 28 - May 2 -
Team Endeavor - Mount Everest - North
Wednesday April 28, 2004: Today we woke
by 6am due to the Yaks arriving this morning to shuttle our gear from BC to
ABC. The Yaks showed up around 8:30am and again they began the process of
weighing our barrels and loading them onto Yaks. For some reason, I think this
process is a scam.
This time the Yak herders argued with me
that one of my barrels weighed too much and that I needed to unload some
equipment to allow for even loads on the Yak. Following their request, I began
tearing through my barrel to lighten it and after removing a sizable amount of
equipment, the weight was still inadequate to them. As I continued to remove
more, they returned in a rush as the other Yak herders were departing and told
me that the weight was fine and to put it all back it and seal it. It seemed
as if they were trying to get a few more bucks out of me but decided it wasn’t
worth their time. Of course the Yak was perfectly capable of carrying the load
as it originally was and it did.
Meggitt had a similar problem with one of
his barrels being overweight. In addition to his barrels being shuttled by
Yak, Meggitt also hired a Yak herder, the same man who was supervising his
barrels to carry his pack. This Yak herder felt that one of Dan’s barrels were
overweight so to remedy the situation, Dan unloaded his 24-pack of Budweiser
from his barrel and put it in his pack. Now, instead of the Yak being burdened
with this additional weight, the Yak herder was now responsible for it as he
was carrying Meggitt’s pack, seemed like a poor outcome for the Yak herder.
Our group also had a problem with the
overall weight of our personal and group gear, being a total of 177 kilograms
overweight. It seems that even after accounting for all gear and arranging the
correct number of Yaks given the gear, additional Yaks and money for that
matter is required.
Dan and I made excellent time to
Intermediate Base Camp during our second trip, shaving two hours off our
original time and we felt great. We were pretty psyched about this as we felt
marginal during our first trip.
Thursday April 29, 2004: Today we rose by
6:00am and were in the Mess tent by 6:45am drinking hot tea. Dan and I were
happy to hear that this time the cook boys fetched the water from a stream and
not the nearby pond which smells and tastes like Yak. After we all huddled in
the Mess tent to warm ourselves, Meggitt and I left Intermediate camp for ABC
by approximately 8:15am.
Again we both felt considerably better
during this second trip to ABC and we cut three hours off our original time.
The weather was great out and we found the hike to be much more enjoyable this
Meggitt and I arrived at ABC within 15
minutes of each other, arriving by approximately 1:30pm. Here we treated
ourselves to a full lunch and then retired to our tents for much needed rest.
I was impressed by the additional number of tents in ABC compared to my last
visit. ABC has grown into a small city and it is definitely more pronounced
than BC as the useable camping area is smaller so expeditions are much closer
After a short nap, I spent sometime
organizing my tent and barrels. Finishing a few hours before dinner and with
Meggitt still sleeping, I perused a Men’s Health Magazine in the Mess tent
until dinner. One of the features in the Magazine was 25 Hot Travel
Destinations, mostly being warm beach like climates, this was not helpful to
read given Meggitt and I are climbing Everest.
Dinner was pasta with a red sauce which
was quite tasty. Soon after finishing, Dan and I hit the sack to recover from
our two day hike.
Friday April 30, 2004: First of all,
please excuse my writing from now on as it is quite difficult to construct
coherent sentences at 21,300 feet. Anyhow, today we had our second Puja, this
time at ABC. It was administered by one of our group Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa.
Meggitt and I did our best to photograph and videotape it so we can show you
all at home what a Puja is all about.
After the ceremony, we assembled our
Mountain Hardwear Space Station tent. This tent is humongous. It took over an
hour to assemble it because the first time we put it together incorrectly.
During the second time we coordinated its assembly better and it went up
flawlessly. Although some feel it won’t stand up to the high winds of ABC, it
has done an excellent job so far.
We spent the rest of the day moving into
the tent, which we have named the “Pleasure Dome.” It was here that we
reviewed our oxygen bottles, masks, and regulators. We also had a meeting with
our two Sherpas in which we discussed the summit bonus, which tent would be
used for each camp, and how many oxygen bottles we should bring on summit day.
After dinner, we turned in by 8pm to get
plenty of rest for tomorrow’s hike to the North Col. At this point it doesn’t
look great as the weather is lousy.
Saturday May 1, 2004: We had anticipated
on going to the North Col today but due to high winds and poor weather
conditions, we aborted our plan. A weather report stated that hurricane force
winds were going to take place above 7,000 meters (22,966 ft) so taking this
into consideration in addition to the visual weather, we took another rest
Meggitt and I spent the majority of the
day trying to fix our generator. For some reason it won’t start and Meggitt
and I speculate that it may be the fuel or the carburetor. Anyhow, Meggitt
spent most of the afternoon completely disassembling the generator in an
attempt to revive it. With it in many pieces, Meggitt impressively put it back
together. What is more impressive is that he brought it back to life and made
it run with ten to twenty spare pieces leftover. Unfortunately, our success
was short lived, as the generator ground to a halt again after only 30 minutes
of operation. Yet, we believe we have isolated the problem to the air/fuel
mixture on the carburetor, and plan on giving it another try tomorrow.
We spent the other portion of the day
painting the tips of our oxygen bottles black and writing “2004 Everest
Expedition” on each bottle to help distinguish which bottles are ours on
Tonight, as I typed out this dispatch, I
managed to somehow burn out the AC adapter to my IBM laptop. Turning on the
DC/AC inverter, I was soon overcome by a pungent odor that I traced back to my
laptop with much dismay. I suspect a power surge from the generator is to
blame. Luckily, with a little bit of ingenuity and some long distance tech
support from my brother in Rochester, New York, I was able to adapt a Compaq
AC adapter, so that it has allowed me to run my computer. I will keep my
fingers crossed that everything will run as hoped. I am soon learning that
ingenuity is a way of life at 22,000+.
Tomorrow, we are planning to head to the
North Col. However, again this is contingent on weather conditions. At the
moment, the wind is still blowing strong and it is bitterly cold. Regardless,
we are anxious to begin climbing to the North Col, and to prepare our bodies
for our summit bid, anticipated sometime during mid to late May.
Sunday, May 2, 2004: Again, the weather
was poor at ABC and above. I woke up at 6:00am and it was still quite windy
out, so I went back to bed until 8:00am. As I was preparing to exit my tent, I
felt that maybe everyone had already gone up the North Col, as I didn’t hear
anyone moving around or talking in the Mess tent. As it turned out, everyone
was still sleeping due to the weather.
After exiting my tent, I began walking
around only to notice that many tents had been destroyed from the high winds
during the night. This was only a sample of what was to come. After breakfast,
Dan and I went to the Space Station tent to hang out and work on the
generator. A few hours later, a gust of wind hit the tent and snapped one of
the tent poles in half. This was a surprised but we were quickly able to
repair the pole with a metal sleeve. However, an hour later several large
gusts of wind hit again, this time snapping two tent poles in half and picking
the tent off the ground. For a moment while the wind was blowing, Dan and I
with the help of others held the tent from blowing away. After checking out
the damage, we thought we had it bad until we glanced around us. Several tents
were destroyed or shredded, including an adjacent Mess and Cook tent which had
been completely flattened.
The Space Station tent is completely
staked out now. Hopefully it will stand the weather overnight since the wind
is still blowing hard at the moment. Not to worry though, everything is under
control and again we are planning to make a trip to the North Col tomorrow if
the weather permits. All is well here at Everest ABC.
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