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  Mt. Everest 2004: Mountain Madness Expedition 2004


Day 36:  May 1 This is Sarah Henley reporting from Everest Base Camp...  

INTERVIEW WITH GENE REHFELD :

Sarah:  What is life like at Everest?

Gene:  It's fun but when we are sitting around I get bored.  I like to always be doing something so sitting around is tough.

Sarah:  What were your expectations of the Lhotse Face?

Gene:  I heard that it was pretty steep which turned out being true.

Sarah:  Now that you have been there what has been your experience of the Lhotse Face?

Gene:  It is not that different than what I expected.  However, it is longer than what I thought and the altitude definitely makes me tired up there.  The first time I did it there was so much snow on the way down and this made it so much harder.

Sarah:  How has the altitude effected you in comparison to what you thought?

Gene: The altitude does not effect me so much other than making me a little more tired.  I have not had any bad headaches yet on this whole trip.  I do notice when I head back down to base camp it is much easier to breath.  I am worried about getting sick because in 2001 I was on Cho Oyu and had to back off because of some bad sickness.  I was still sick for a couple weeks once I got home.  So far on this trip all is well!

Sarah: When you are up on the mountain do you look forward to coming back to base camp?  Why?

Gene:  Yes, because base camp feels like home.  Although, I do dread all those rest days.  We also get pretty good food here at base.  The other night we had roast duck and stuffed white asparagus from Spain!

Sarah:  What is is like for you to have the Sherpas part of the climbing team?

Gene:  It is definitely a confidence booster for me because they are in such a different climbing class than us. 

Sarah:  Name a special quality of one of the Sherpas.

Gene:  Undi Sherpa is a very small person in size (about 130 lbs.) and can carry huge loads without being phased.  The best part about is he always has a smile on his face.

Sarah:  Share a funny experience you have had on this trip.

Gene:  On our way up here, in Labotche, I woke up in the morning and got up to go to the rest room.  Well, I could not see and I started to freak out and thought something was going seriously wrong with my eyes.  I was sure the trip was over for me.  When I got back to the room I discovered I had put Gary's' glasses on, not mine.  Everyone continues to tease me about this!

Sarah:  Why Everest???

Gene:  Because it is there...Also now that I am not tied down with family and I am not getting any younger this is my chance.

Sarah:  Any words of wisdom to friends and family back home.

Gene:  Steve, if I make this goal I am holding you to your end of the bargain.

INTERVIEW WITH PHENDEN SHERPA:

Sarah:  What village are you from?

Phenden:  I come from Kharichola.  This village is a days walk below Lukla.

Sarah:  What is your climbing experience?

Phenden:  Attempted Cho Oyu five times and summit twice, climbed Ama Dablam, taken Basic Mountain Training Course through the Nepal Mountaineering Association, taken Advanced Mountain Training Course by US instructor, and climbed many trekking peaks in Nepal.

Sarah:  How many times have you climbed Everest?

Phenden:  I have attempted Everest seven times.  I have officially summited twice and two other times I was close but had to take clients down before we reached the top.

Sarah:  How did you become a climbing sherpa?

Phenden:  I always wanted this since I was a little boy.  In 1993 I became a trekking sherpa and then in 1997 I became a full climbing sherpa.

Sarah:  What is it like being away from your family for such long periods of time?

Phenden:  Before I was married and had children it was no big deal.  Now I miss them very much and it is hard but this is how I make money for them.

Sarah:  What are your thought about working for Mountain Madness?

Phenden:  I like working for Mountain Madness.  This is my first time working for this company but it is my fourth time working with Willie.

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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