April 16th: Six of us headed
into the Khumbu Ice Fall (as per the 14th). This time though we had the goal
of moving up high for three hours and then returning for lunch. All went well
and it was a relieve to see that the path has been set through a relatively
safe passageway. There are many crevasse to cross and serac’s lingering high
which present an inevitable danger. The tactic to avoid the risk is to be
familiar with using ladders (which are placed across the crevasses), crampons,
fixed ropes and move with a sense of urgency to minimize the time in the Ice
Fall. With Pommy cracking jokes the whole way and threatening to throw me into
a crevasse after any smart replies the job was done with ease. The remainder
of the team went on the familiarization tour with Henry. We also had another
member arrive. Rob Casserly joins us which is a bonus for the team as he has
been on Everest twice and is a Doctor by trade.
Everest Base Camp Altitude: 5200
Today was supposed to be a
preparation day for the six of us who went high into the Khumbu yesterday. The
plan was to get ourselves ready for the walk up to Camp 1 where we would hang
out for two days. Unfortunately though a snow storm came in last night and it
hasn’t stopped dumping as of now (11:43 am). The snow has put a halt to all
operations although our fearless leader (Henry) has informed that it is not
unusual and if there is good weather tomorrow, all will be back to normal. We
have heard that poor old Graeme (who stuffed his back) is still hanging in
Gorak Shep as the helicopter has not been able to fly in this bad weather. The
last thing that he needs. So for now it is back to the mess tent for a few
more card games. Something we are all beginning to enjoy as Pommy is
consistently being defeated due to his incompetence.
World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s
largest food aid provider. WFP is actively striving to ensure that the United
Nations Millennium Development Goal, namely, the halving of chronic hunger
world wide by 2015, is achieved. One such advocacy and fundraising campaign to
assist WFP with its efforts is the Walk the World initiative.
This is a global event that
involves groups comprising of civic organizations, corporations, other
humanitarian organizations, Government members and the public at large,
walking a short distance along a visible or prominent location within their
local region. It is expected that Walk the World 2006, to be held on the 21st
of May, will see over 750,000 participants walk within 100 countries across
In support of the Walk the
World 2006, Mark Squirrell (Squiz) will climb to top of the world in order to
raise awareness and funds for WFP Nepals School Feeding Programme. It is
expected that Squiz, WFP Nepal’s Field Security Officer, will summit Mount
Everest within days of May 21st. Although the expedition is not a WFP
initiative, it is supported by WFP.
The culmination of
preparation, hard work and physical effort will be realised in late May but
the benefits will be felt by thousands of children for months to come.
Preparations are well underway. Squiz has recently conquered the arduous peak
of Ama Dablam and is now gearing up for Mount Everest. Your help with the next
journey would be much appreciated. Make a
Update: On the way to Pheriche I met up with a few fellow
members of the ICE8000 Everest expedition team. Great timing, as they were
planning to head off the beaten track to visit a Tibetan Lama in order to get
his blessings for our summit attempt. This traditional ceremony lasted about
an hour and involved a lot of chanting, rice throwing and words of wisdom.
Lama Geshe shared many valuable and inspiring verses, including the following
request for all sentient beings on the planet:
Give up all intention to harm others from your heart And do
your best to benefit them all If each and everyone feels the universal
responsibility to do so, We will all enjoy the feast of peace!
To be continued....
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