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  Everest 2006: N. Ireland and England Everest 2006 Expedition: Top Gun


©EverestNews.com

Update: Saturday (6th May) we all returned to BC, now the 26km walk back to BC was equally as bad as the first time we travelled this route and everyone will be happy when we return this path for the last time, however this is part of climbing Everest and so must be endured. Everyone was really happy to be back to the oxygen rich environment of BC and we all enjoyed a meal of Yak stew. Saturday night’s entertainment was a viewing of “Top Gun” and if you haven’t seen it in a while we would suggest that you rent a copy now! Last night was a really late night and we all managed to stay up until 11pm, unbelievable I have no idea what we do when we get home and have to stay up late?

Update: Thanks to Kate’s for the update on Wednesday, she is much better at it than I am, so Kate’s will be looking after the updates from tomorrow on hopefully.

Anyway what’s been happening around here, well first I must defend myself to those comments about my white knees (Chocolate Brown I like to think?) Now Paddy the porter has a little thing about knees and it was in fact jealousy that was making him laugh, what else could it have been? And as for the weight of my rucksack, again my pack was very heavy and in fact I carried all my own stuff up the North Col, I could name and shame those who didn’t but I will not, although Paddy has very strong little fingers!

Back to the North Col, well, the North Col was very hard and took us up to 5 hours to complete, it would have been hard enough without the extra weight of our rucksacks and this certainly made it a lot more difficult. Luckily our campsite is the very first camp site when you arrive at the North Col, so we rolled it our tents, now Jonathan, Fergal, Hassie & I had good 2 man tents, however Geoffrey & Steve were particularly lucky to get a one man tent, this has helped very well with the bonding of the climbers and Geoffrey & Steve are now refusing to sleep alone! So after another uncomfortable night we awoke to a delicious boil in the bag meal of you guessed it? Porridge! We then set off on the 4 hour plus climb to 7700m, and after 1.5 hours we reached a height of approximately 7300m and had to turn around, it was unbelievably cold and would have needed to have dressed it our down gear, we had set off in fleece with a Goretex shell, but this was totally inadequate for the conditions, this said we have learned from the experience and will be better prepared on the next occasion. So after returning to the tents we took a break and waited for Kate arrival who was attempting the North Col, and brilliantly she made it! Now not being sexist or anything like it we thought she would not make it, you could take 100 people of the high street and ninety percent would not be able for the North Col climb, so it was our delight to see Kate hauling herself up the last fixed rope to reach the North Col, well done Kate.

Steve, Jonathan, Geoffrey & myself then decided we would go back to ABC, Hassie and Fergal decided they would stay at the North Col for another night as would Kate as she was too exhausted to make the return journey to ABC, Kate did suggest that this was the hard thing she had ever done.

Life back at ABC is much more comfortable and relaxed than the North Col, and we have heard that Fergal and Hassie have taken a head stagger and have decided this morning to attempt 7700m again, Kate is still awaiting at the North Col and shall return this afternoon with Hassie & Fergal.

That’s all for now.

Neill

Dispatches

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