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  Mt. Everest 2004: Chilean Mt. Everest 2004 Expedition


Annabelle Bond's journal:

Dispatch 1: MARCH 22ND - D DAY

IM LIKE A CAGED LION, ON MY MOTHERS ADVICE THAT I MUST REST MY BODY PRIOR TO THE HUGE EXERTION REQUIRED TO TRY AND CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST, I HAVE NOT RUN FOR 10 DAYS.. FOR ME THIS IS LIKE TAKING AWAY EATING FROM YOUR DAILY ROUTINE! IV BEEN EXTREMELY BUSY CONSTRUCTING MY WEBSITE, NOT ONLY TO CREATE AWARENESS AND TO FUNDRAISE FOR THE EVE APPEAL, BUT SO THAT MY FAMILY, FRIENDS AND ANYONE ELSE WHOM MAY BE INTERESTED TO FOLLOW OUR CLIMB AND ABOUT LIFE AT EVEREST BASECAMP! I HAVE TO MENTION MY AMAZING WEBSITE DESIGNER, JAMES GUEST AT THE WORLDLINK CAFE IN ASPEN WHOM I SPEAK TO MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE THESE DAYS! I HAD BEEN USING HIS INTERNET CAFE FOR 3 WEEKS ( DUE TO OURS BEING BROKEN AT HOME) BUT IT WAS ONLY ONE DAY BEFORE I LEFT ASPEN, WHEN HE ASKED ME IF A I HAD A LIFE OUTSIDE HIS CAFE ( I HAD BEEN BUSY DOING SOME WORK FOR ARCTERYX AND NEEDED THE COMPUTER), THAT WE MADE CONTACT AND I DECIDED TO BUILD A WEBPAGE. I HAVE TO THANK JAMES FOR PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER IN LESS THAN A WEEK!!

IM NOW SITTING ON THE PLANE TO KATMANDU AND THE ENORMITY OF WHAT I HAVE TAKEN ON SUNK IN AS I BLUBBED MY WAY THROUGH TWO COMEDIES ON THE PLANE, MUCH TO THE HORROR OF ANDRONICO LUKSIC. I WAS DREADING SAYING GOOD-BYE TO MY MOTHER AS WE ALWAYS HAVE TEARFULL FAREWELLS ANYWAY, BUT BY CHANCE OUR GOOD-BYE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A RESTAURANT, LUCKILY WE BOTH HELD IT TOGETHER (ISH) AND WE DIDN'T CREATE ANY HUGE DISTURBANCE WHERE UPON ALL EYES WERE ON US!

WE ARE MEETING MOST OF THE GROUP IN KATMANDU AND THEN HEADING STRAIGHT TO LUKLA ON 24TH MARCH. KIKO AND MISAIL HAVE GONE WITH OUR BASECAMP MANAGER AND MAIN SHERPA PERTEMBA TO STAKE OUT A GOOD SPOT FOR US AT THE BASECAMP. ITS GOING TO BE BUSY THIS YEAR AS OTHER EXPEDITIONS ASIDE, THERE ARE THE SCENERY SHOTS OF A BIG MOVIE BEING SHOT ABOUT THE 1996 DISASTER ON EVEREST ( MORBID THOUGHT AND NOT ONE I WANT TO THINK ABOUT) AND DAVID BREASHEARS THE IMAX GURU WILL BE FILMING. HE HAS IN HIS TEAM ED VIESTURS, ONE OF AMERICAS BEST CLIMBERS WITH HIM, HE IS ONE 8,000M PEAK AWAY FROM BEING THE FIRST AMERICAN MAN TO CLIMB ALL THE 8,000M PEAKS WITHOUT OXYGEN.

FROM LUKLA WE ARE TAKING A SLOW WALK IN TO ENSURE THAT WE ACCLIMATIZE PROPERLY AND YOU WILL NEXT HEAR FROM ME AT NAMCHE BAZAAR (11,000FT)IT IS ONE OF THE BIGGER VILLAGES THAT WE WILL PASS THROUGH ON OUR WAY UP TO BASE CAMP. IM DREADING THE FLIGHT TO LUKLA ON YETTI AIRLINES, I HATE FLYING AT THE BEST OF TIMES AND FLYING INTO LUKLA TAKES SOME SKILL, NOT TO MENTION THE ROLLERCOASTER RIDE THE PASSENGERS ENDURE!

I WAS LAST IN NEPAL IN APRIL 2001, AND IM LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING BACK. HAVING TALKED RELENTLESSLY ABOUT THIS CLIMB, ITS SURREAL THAT ITS ALL FINALLY HAPPENING. I AM NERVOUS AND I THINK I WILL REMAIN NERVOUS UNTIL I GO INTO THE KHUMBU ICEFALL, ITS THE PART OF THE CLIMB THAT SCARES ME THE MOST, AND I NEED TO GO AND ADDRESS THAT FEAR. THE KHUMBU ICEFALL IS THE GLACIER THAT WE NEED TO PASS THROUGH TO GET FROM BASE CAMP TO CAMP 1, SOME 3,000 VERTICAL FEET ABOVE BASECAMP AT 21,000FT. THE ICE FALL COMPRISES OF HUGE ICE TOWERS, THAT WITHOUT ANY WARNING CAN FALL AT ANY GIVEN TIME. SOME CLIMBERS SAY ITS LIKE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE PASSING THROUGH THE ICEFALL, ALTHOUGH DAVID BREASHEARS HAS ASSURED ME THAT WITH ALL THE FIXED LINES AND LADDERS IT IS MUCH SAFER THESE DAYS. I HOPE THIS IS THE CASE.

IM A GOOD 8LLBS HEAVIER AND READY FOR MY DIET OF DAHL BAHT (CURRIED LENTILS AND RICE) ALTITUDE AND LENTILS DON'T REALLY GO WELL TOGETHER BUT ITS GOING TO BE OUR STABLE DIET FOR THE NEXT 2 MONTHS! I WILL REPORT IN FROM NAMCHE BAZAAR!
Annabelle

Dispatch Two: MARCH 24TH, 25TH, 26TH - MY CURRENT POSITION IS NAMCHE BAZAR!!

I AWOKE ON THE FLIGHT FROM BANGKOK TO KATMANDU JUST IN TIME TO SEE MOUNT EVEREST FROM HE AEROPLANE WINDOW. UNSURPRISINGLY SHE WAS LEVEL WITH THE PLANE AND I COULD SEE HER FAMILIAR ICY PLUME OF WIND STREAMING FROM THE SUMMIT. THIS "PLUME" IS PART OF THE JETSTREAM. THE JETSTREAM ARE EXTREMELY HIGH 100KM WINDS THAT CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE EARTH. WE WERE DEBATING AT DINNER LAST NIGHT HOW THE SUMMIT WINDOW OCCURS, I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS WHEN THE MONSOON WINDS ARRIVED AND THE JETSTREAM CEASED FOR A FEW DAYS AT A TIME CREATING VARIOUS SHORT SUMMIT OPPORTUNITIES IN MAY WHICH IS WHEN MOST PEOPLE TRY AND CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST. RODRIGO JORDAN, OUR TEAM LEADER, DEBATED THAT THESE WINDOWS WHERE THE JETSTREAM CEASES HAPPEN AT VARIOUS TIMES OF THE YEAR (REINHOLD MESSNER MADE THE SUMMIT IN AUGUST) AND IT IS PART OF THE MAGIC AND MYSTERY OF THE MOUNTAINS. AS IM NOT A METEOROLOGIST I COULD NOT DEBATE ANY FURTHER! IF YOU ARE POSITIONED AT CAMP 4, IN GOOD HEALTH AND THE WEATHER IS GOOD YOU HAVE A GREAT CHANCE TO REACH THE SUMMIT. IT IS A FRAGILE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY AND YOUR MENTAL DISCIPLINE NEEDS TO PREVAIL THE PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION REQUIRED TO TAKE YOU TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD.

UPON ARRIVAL IN KATMANDU I HAD A BURNING THROAT AND BY THAT EVENING I WAS DEFINITELY FLU RIDDEN ( HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING AND I PRAY THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN, IF I WERE TO GET THIS FLU NEAR OUR SUMMIT WINDOW, IT WOULD MOST PROBABLY COST ME MY CHANCE TO TRY AND REACH THE SUMMIT AS I WOULD BE FORBIDDEN TO CLIMB HIGH WITH THIS COUGH)

THAT AFTERNOON WE HAD BEEN TO A WAREHOUSE IN KATMANDU TO SORT ALL OUR GEAR INTO THE PLASTIC BLUE DRUMS THAT ARE SO CHARACTERISTIC OF THESE EXPEDITIONS. THE DRUMS WERE GOING TO BASECAMP. YOU NEEDED TO SEE TO BELIEVE HOW MUCH EQUIPMENT WE HAD HEADING TO BASECAMP - I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW 20 EXPEDITIONS ( THAT IS HOW MANY THERE ARE CLIMBING FROM THE NEPALESE SIDE THIS YEAR) WORTH OF EQUIPMENT WAS GOING TO FIT AT BASECAMP, ITS GOING TO BE A ZOO UP THERE.

I MET OUR BASECAMP MANAGER AND SHERPA PERTEMBA AND HE IS AN IMPRESSIVE MAN. HE WAS SIR CHRIS BONNINGTON'S SHERPA ON HIS 1975 EXPEDITION TO CLIMB THE SOUTH WEST FACE OF EVEREST AND PERTEMBA SUCCESSFULLY REACHED THE SUMMIT. AMAZINGLY ENOUGH ALL THEIR EQUIPMENT CAME OVERLAND FROM THE UK - NEPAL, I JUST CANNOT IMAGINE THE LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE OF ORGANIZING THAT!!! PERTEMBA WAS ALSO INSTRUMENTAL IN CHANGING THE ROUTE UP EVEREST IN THAT WE NOW HAVE 4 CAMPS WHEREAS PREVIOUSLY THERE HAD ALWAYS BEEN SIX CAMPS.

THE DOMESTIC AIRPORT AT KATMANDU WAS CHAOTIC AS USUAL, IM ALWAYS AMAZED THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY GET PEOPLE AND THEIR LUGGAGE ON THE RIGHT PLANES TO LUKLA WITH SOME FORM OF ORDER. I SAW DEAD CHICKENS GOING PAST UNCOVERED WITH THE HOLD LUGGAGE AND I MADE A MENTAL NOTE TO BE VEGETARIAN FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS! ALL OUR GROUP WAS ON SKYLINE AIRLINES TO LUKLA. THE PLANE ARRIVED, PEOPLE DISEMBARKED, OUR LUGGAGE WAS PILED IN, THE MILITARY, MUCH TO MY ANNOYANCE, THEN PILED IN A TON OF THEIR EQUIPMENT AND FEARING THAT WE WOULD NEVER LEAVE THE GROUND WITH ALL THIS WEIGHT, WE WERE CRAMMED IN LIKE SARDINES AND PROMPTLY AIRBORNE MUCH TO MY AMAZEMENT! THESE FLIGHTS ARE OPERATED FAST AND FURIOUSLY FROM 7AM-MIDDAY AS THE WEATHER THEN BECOMES TOO DANGEROUS TO FLY IN AND OUT OF LUKLA WHICH IS AT 9,000FEET. THE FLIGHT WENT WELL CONSIDERING, AND WE WERE SOON HAMMERING DOWN THE RUNWAY AT LUKLA MUCH TO MY RELIEF!

WE HEADED STRAIGHT TO PARADISE LODGE WHERE ALL OUR TREKKING BAGS WERE DIVIDED UP AMONGST THE PORTERS. PERTEMBA SAYS WE HAVE 200 PORTERS WORTH OF GEAR ( IF WE WOULD BE USING PORTERS) WE HAVE 4 TONS OF EQUIPMENT IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, AND ITS NOT MY MAKE UP! WE ARE USING YAKS AND THE MAJORITY OF OUR GEAR HAS BEEN FLOWN TO NAMCHE BAZAR BY HELICOPTER( THAT RELIC FROM THE AFGHAN WAR - RATHER OUR EQUIPMENT THAN ME)

MARCELLO IS OUR LOGISTICS ORGANIZER AND AN INVALUABLE MEMBER OF OUR TEAM. HE IS COMING WITH US TO BASE CAMP TO SET UP OUR COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS ( VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME!) AND TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS RUNNING SMOOTHLY, BEFORE HE HEADS BACK TO CHILE TO RUN THE VERY SUCCESSFUL COMPANY VERTICAL THAT HE CO OWNS WITH RODRIGO JORDAN. POOR MARCELLOS BAGS GOT LOST ON THE WAY TO LUKLA SO HE IS WITHOUT ALL HIS TREKKING CLOTHES, I CAN EMPATHIZE WITH THE FRUSTRATION WHEN THIS HAPPENS BUT AMAZINGLY ENOUGH MARCELLO LOOKS REMARKABLY CALM ( ITS PROBABLY NOTHING COMPARED TO HANDLING THE LOGISTICS OF THIS TRIP)

ON OUR WALK FROM LUKLA TO PHADKING, WHICH WAS BEAUTIFUL WE PASSED THE IRISH EXPEDITION, ALL DRESSED IN GREEN. THEY ARE TRYING TO PLACE THE FIRST IRISH WOMAN ON THE SUMMIT. THEY HAVE A CREW OF FRIENDS TREKKING IN AND I SPIED THE MOST GIGANTIC AMOUNTS OF BEER FOLLOWING THEM!!

I WAS VERY DISTRESSED TO SEE ONE PORTER CARRYING 3 EXPEDITION BAGS ON HIS BACK, ACCUMALATIVELY THEY MUST HAVE WEIGHED 13OLLBS AND HE WAS ONLY 5 FT 6INCHES TALL. THE POOR PORTER WHO LOOKED TO BE ABOUT 16 YEARS OLD WAS SHEET WHITE AND GASPING UNDER HIS HEAVY LOAD ( I ACTUALLY THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK) I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, I OBVIOUSLY COULDN'T OFFER TO CARRY HIS LOAD SO I GAVE HIM SOME MONEY. IF ANYONE READING THIS IS GOING TREKKING OR CLIMBING IN NEPAL PLEASE SPEAK FIRMLY TO YOUR TREKKING COMPANY ORGANIZER IN KATMANDU ABOUT HUMANELY DISTRIBUTING THE WEIGHT THAT THESE PORTERS CARRY. IT IS WITHIN OUR POWER TO INSIST THEY DO NOT CARRY LOADS SUCH AS THE PORTER I WITNESSED ON THE TRAIL TODAY. IT MIGHT MAKE YOUR TRIP TO NEPAL USD 100 MORE THAN U HAD BUDGETED BUT I COULDN'T TREK WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE WITH A PORTER CARRYING 3 EXPEDITION BAGS. ( IT IS A FACT THAT A LARGE NUMBER OF SHERPAS HAVE CURVATURE OF THE SPINE DUE TO CARRYING VAST WEIGHTS AT AN AGE WHERE THE SPINE IS STILL DEVELOPING) GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF PORTERS OUR EXPEDITION HAS EMPLOYED FOR THE TREKKING I WAS RELIEVED TO SEE THAT THEY CARRIED NO MORE THAN ONE EXPEDITION BAG OR TWO SMALLER BAGS EACH.

ASIDE FROM THE HORRIFIC WEIGHTS, THE PORTERS ARE COMPLETELY ILL EQUIPPED CLOTHING WISE, PLEASE PLEASE IF YOU COME TO NEPAL BRING ANY OLD CLOTHES, SHOES, EQUIPMENT THAT U DON'T NEED OR USE WITH YOU AS IT WOULD MEAN A HUGE AMOUNT TO THE PORTERS HERE. AS I TREK IM THINKING HOW I CAN HELP THESE PORTERS ON AN ONGOING BASIS, I APPRECIATE THAT THIS IS VALUABLE LABOR HERE IN NEPAL BUT I THINK MAYBE WE CAN TRY AND GET SOME FORM OF WEIGHT OR AGE RESTRICTION AND THEN THEY WOULD BE LESS EXPLOITED. ILL KEEP YOU POSTED AS TO WHAT I COME UP WITH ON THIS MATTER.

IM NOW IN PHADKING AS I WRITE THIS, AND WE LEAVE TOMORROW FOR NAMCHE BAZAR, A FOUR HOUR WALK UP THE VALLEY AND SOME 2,000FEET HIGHER. IM JETLAGGED, HAVE FLU AND I STILL HAVE A FLUTTER OF NERVES WHEN I THINK OF THE ICEFALL BUT IM HAPPY, FOCUSED AND DETERMINED. AB

Dispatch Three: MARCH 27TH - NAMCHE BAZAR - KHUMJUNG

NAMCHE BAZAR IS THE LAST MOST CIVILIZED STOP ON OUR WAY TO BASECAMP. BY SAYING CIVILIZED, I MEAN NOW I WILL HAVE NO MORE E-MAIL SERVICE UNTIL WE ARRIVE AT BASECAMP SO THIS WILL BE MY LAST INPUT UNTIL APRIL 2ND WHEN WE ARE SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE AT BASE CAMP. WE STAYED AT PANORAMA LODGE AND BY SHEER CO INCIDENCE ANDRONICO MET UP WITH A GUY THAT HE HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH OVER PUSHING HIS SEAT TOO MUCH, ON THE PLANE TO ANTARCTICA WHEN HE ATTEMPTED A "NEW ROUTE" ON MOUNT VINSON ( ONE OF THE SEVEN SUMMITS). THEY ARE SUBSEQUENTLY NOW VERY FRIENDLY, AND NICO, WHO IS GREEK IS ALSO HERE TO TRY AND CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST. I UPDATED MY DIARY, TWICE ACTUALLY, AS THE FIRST TIME THE COMPUTER CRASHED MUCH TO MY ANNOYANCE. WE THEN PREPARED TO MOVE TO KHUMJUNG ON MARCH 26TH AFTER LUNCH. IT IS AN EASY 2 HOUR WALK OVER THE HILL TO KHUMJUNG, IT IS PERHAPS MOST FAMOUS FOR SIR EDMUND HILLARY'S SCHOOL WHICH HE HAS WORKED EXTREMELY HARD ON OVER THE YEARS. THERE IS A STATUE OF HIM JUST IN FRONT OF THE  SCHOOL. AFTER SEEING THIS I WALKED PAST THE AMADABLAM LODGE AND BUMPED INTO MY FRIEND DAVID BREASHEARS WHO WAS THERE WITH HIS GROUP, WHOM AS I MENTIONED EARLIER ARE FILMING A BIG MOVIE PROJECT ON THE 1996 EVEREST DISASTER. DAVID ASIDE (HE HAS CLIMBED EVEREST 4 TIMES), I WAS THEN INTRODUCED TO HIS INTIMIDATING GOOD TEAM OF CLIMBERS WHICH INCLUDED ED VIESTURS, JIMMY CHIN, AND A FINNISH GUY, WHO ALL HAVE ABOUT 28 ASCENTS OF EVEREST ACCUMULATIVELY BETWEEN THEM. THEY HAD A WOMAN GUIDE CALLED AMY WITH THEM WHO WORKS FOR EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES IN JACKSON HOLE, SHE IS A VERY IMPRESSIVE CLIMBER TOO AND IS TAKING THE MOVIE 'S DIRECTORS OVER THE KHUMBU ICEFALL AND UP TO CAMP 1 OR EVEN HIGHER IF THEY ARE FEELING GOOD! SHE WILL ALSO TRY AND MAKE THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT EVEREST CLIMBING ALONGSIDE DAVID, ED AND CO. BEFORE I TURNED AROUND AND BOLTED BACK TO KATMANDU GETTING MORE INTIMIDATED SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME WITH THIS IMPRESSIVE BUNCH OF CLIMBERS WHO WERE ALL INCIDENTALLY, EXTREMELY NICE, I MADE MY WAY TO THE EVEREST BAKERY IN KHUMJUNG (THE EVEREST BAKERY IS FAMOUS HERE AND THERE IS ONE IN NAMCHE AND ONE IN KHUMJUNG!) AND ATE TWO PIECES OF APPLE PIE AND TRIED TO RELAX A BIT AND CONVINCE MYSELF I CAN DO THIS!!

DUE TO 3 OF US BEING ILL WITH FLU WE NOW HAVE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT PLAN. WE ARE SPENDING AN EXTRA DAY IN KHUMJUNG SO WE CAN TRY AND RECOVER BEFORE GOING HIGHER ( RECOVERY IS IMPOSSIBLE HIGHER UP AS THE AIR IS SO DRY AND THE COUGHING GETS WORSE AND PROBABLY EVEN MORE IRRITATING FOR THE REST OF THE GROUP!) IT IS MY REST DAY AND I HAVE ZOOMED OVER THE HILL TO NAMCHE BAZAR AGAIN SO I CAN WRITE MY DIARY! WE ARE MEETING THE GROUP THIS AFTERNOON AT THE EVEREST VIEW HOTEL ABOVE KHUMJUNG AND WE WILL HOPEFULLY HAVE OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAIN HERSELF. YESTERDAY IT WAS TOO CLOUDY AND DAVID BREASHEARS TOLD ME THAT UP HIGH ON EVEREST YESTERDAY THE WINDS WOULD HAVE BEEN 100MPH FOR SURE. I WAS DEFINITELY GLAD TO BE IN KHUMJUNG!!

OUR TREKKING ROUTE IS TAKING US UP TO GOKYO LAKES. WE WILL LEAVE FOR DOLE TOMORROW, SPEND ONE NIGHT AT MACHERMO AND THEN WE WILL GO TO GOKYO FROM THERE. FROM GOKYO, WE WILL CLIMB GOKYO REE, A VIEWING POINT AT 5, 360 METRES AND THEN WE WILL CLIMB OVER THE CHOLA PASS TO DZONGLHA. FROM DZONGLHA WE WILL HEAD TO LOBUCHE AND HOPEFULLY ARRIVE AT BASECAMP ON 2ND APRIL. YOU CAN SEE OUR WHOLE ROUTE ON THE MAP ATTACHED IN MY JOURNAL SECTION. I HAVE TO SCOOT BACK OVER TO KHUNJUNG NOW AND SO NOW IM LEAVING THE LAST INTERNET CAFE FOR AWHILE! I THINK MY FLU IS GETTING BETTER AND THE GROUP IS ALL PRETTY CHEERFUL! ADIOS FROM NAMCHE! AB

Dispatch 4: MARCH 28TH AND 29TH

THE SCENERY ON OUR TREK TO DOLE WAS BEAUTIFUL, I GOT A GOOD LOOK AT LHOTSE AND IT LOOKED EXTREMELY WINDY UP THERE ON THE SUMMIT ) I HAVE TO CONFESS THAT I THOUGHT IT WAS EVEREST!) WE PASSED THROUGH PINE FORESTS, RIVERS AND ICE FALLS AS WE HEADED UP TO DOLE AT 4,200M.

OUR LODGING STANDARDS TOOK A SHARP DECLINE HERE AS WE WERE LED INTO A SORT OF BUNKER UNDER THE LODGE WHERE THERE WERE A DORMITORY OF ROOMS WITH FLEA RIDDEN PILLOWS AND SHEETS.. WE MET UP WITH A GROUP OF TREKKERS WHO WERE ALSO STAYING AT OUR LODGE WHO WERE LOVELY, SIAN FROM WALES AND ANGELA AND HER BOYFRIEND FROM MELBOURNE. POOR THINGS EVERYONE HAD BEEN SICK WITH SOME STOMACH VIRUS OR NEPAL BELLY, U NEVER KNOW AROUND HERE WHAT COULD CAUSE IT, AND I TOOK THE NAMES OF THE ONLY TABLETS THAT CURE “NEPAL GIARDIA” FROM ANGELA WHO IS A MICRO BIOLOGIST. HAVING HAD GIARDIA IN PERU I WAS NOT KEEN FOR A REPEAT PERFORMANCE, ULL GET CONFIRMATION OF THAT FROM KAT AND VICTORIA WHO WERE SHARING A ROOM WITH ME! WE THEN CAME ACROSS A POOR GERMAN GIRL CRYING IN THE CORNER OF THE LODGE, SHE HAD THIS TERRIBLE STOMACH VIRUS AND COULDN'T WALK FOR MORE THAN 50 FEET SHE WAS SO WEAK. SHE WAS LOOKING FOR A HORSE TO TAKE HER DOWN TO NAMCHE BAZAR, LAST I HEARD THE ONLY AVAILABLE TRANSPORT WAS A YAK SO I THINK SHE STAYED PUT!

FEELING LIKE I WAS IN SOME SORT OF INFIRMARY AND ANXIOUS NOT TO PICK UP A STOMACH VIRUS ON TOP OF MY FLU, I MADE MYSELF SCARCE AND HEADED OUT FOR A WALK.

HE EVENING PASSED UNEVENTFULLY UNTIL POOR PERTEMBA SLIPPED AND FELL BACKWARDS DOWN THE STAIRS, A DROP OF ABOUT 15 FEET. THE WHOLE LODGE RUSHED TO HIS AID BUT THANKFULLY HE WAS OK APART FROM A SORE KNEE. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE TO HAVE LOST OUR BASECAMP MANAGER AT THIS STAGE!

WE HAD A LEISURELY START THE NEXT DAY AND HEADED UP TO MACHERMO AT 4,460 M. IT WAS A FAIRLY EASY WALK ADN WE HAD SPECTACULAR VIEW OF CHO YOU. WE ARE NOW ONLY MEETING TREKKERS AS ALL THE OTHER EXPEDITIONS HEADED UP THE KHUMBU VALLEY. WE ARRIVED IN MACHERMO AT NOON AND I HEADED OVER TO SEE THE TWO AUSTRALIAN VOLUNTEER DOCTORS, WHOM I WAS DELIGHTED TO HEAR WERE THERE TO HELP THE PORTERS IF THEY GOT SICK. ) FOR FREE FOR THE PORTERS AND WE PAY DOUBLE) I PURCHASED THE ANTI GIARDIA PILLS AND HEADED BACK TO OUR LODGE FOR LUNCH. A PRETTY SLOW DAY TODAY BUT GOOD FOR OUR ACCLIMATIZATION. WE LEAVE FOR GOKYO TOMORROW AND IM THINKING THAT THIS IS THE LAST TIME ILL BE BELOW 16,500 FEET FOR A WHILE. AB

Dispatch 5: MARCH 30TH AND 31ST GOKYO AND DRAGNAK

THE WALK TO GOKYO WAS ONCE AGAIN BEAUTIFUL, AS WE FOLLOWED THE RIVER UPWARDS TOWARDS GOKYO LAKES. THE WEATHER CHANGED DRAMATICALLY AS WE ARRIVED AT THE FIRST LAKE, WITH AN ICY WIND BLASTING OUR FACES. THE LAKES ARE HAF FROZEN BUT NEAR THE SHORE THE WATER IS THE COLOUR OF THAT FOUND IN THE CARIBBEAN, JUST A SLIGHT TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCE!! SURROUNDED BY SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS GOKYO IS BREATHTAKING.

AFTER A 3 HOUR WALK WE ARRIVED AT FRIENDSHIP LODGE AND ANDRONICO AND I DECIDED TO GO UP GOKYO REE A PEAK OF 5,357M AND OFFERING SPECTACULAR VIEWS. BY THE TIME WE REACHED THE TOP OF GOKYO REE, OUR STUNNING VIEWS WERE REPLACED BY HEAVY BLACK CLOUDS. WE DECENDED RAPIDLY, MY HANDS ARE STILL SUFFERING FROM THE FROST BITE I GOT ON OUR LAST CLIMB IN CHILE ) MARMELECHO) AND I COULD FEEL THE BURNING PAIN IN MY FINGERTIPS. THIS REALLY WORRIED ME, IF MY HANDS FEEL LIKE THIS ON GOKYO REE WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO ON EVEREST- I WILL ENDEAVOUR TO BE A LITTLE BETTER PREPARED AND NOT GET CAUGHT IN MY FLIMSY GLOVES! NOTHING CHANGES QUICKER THAN THE WEATHER IN THE MOUNTAINS. MY ARCTERYX SHELL PANTS HAVE BEEN A LIFE SAVER AND I LIVE IN THEM, THEY COMPLETELY SHIELD ME FROM THE ICY WINDS WE KEEP ENCOUNTERING.

WE GOT BACK TO THE LODGE IN 2 AND A HALF HOURS AND HAD A LATE LUNCH OF DAL BAHT. WHILE THE OTHERS GOT UP THE FOLLOWING MORNING I HAD A NICE LONG LIE IN UNTIL 8.00AM. I GOT UP LEISURELY, PHONED MY SISTER LUCY IN HONG KONG AND CHECKED THAT EVERYONE WAS OK AND WAITED FOR THE GROUP TO COME BACK FROM GOKYO REE.

WE THEN HEADED TO DRAGNAK, OVER THE ROCKY MORAINE GLACIER, LOTS OF BOULDERS COVERING ICY CLIFFS, YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ON THE MOON. IT WAS STRANGE AS I WALKED OVER THIS UNDULATING BOULDER FIELDS, I WAS THINKING PROFOUNDLY FOR A CHANGE ABOUT HOW QUICKLY LIFE CAN CHANGE. LAST TIME I WALKED THIS EXACT ROUTE IN 2001 BUT HEADING TOWARDS GOKYO I WAS JUST ENGAGED TO MY BOYFRIEND OF 5 YEARS AND NOW 3 YEARS LATER ALMOST TO THE DAY IM BACK IN NEPAL ALONE TRYING TO CLIMB THE WORLDS HIGHEST MOUNTAIN.

WE ARRIVED IN DRAGNAK AND STAYED AT PERTEMBAS BROTHERS LODGE, WE LEAVE OVER THE CHOLA PASS TOMORROW ALL THE WAY TO LOBUCHE.ONE MORE DAY AND THEN WE WILL BE IN BASECAMP AND REALITY WILL REALLY SINK IN. AB

Dispatches

 
Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.

 






 

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