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  Everest 2006: Everest Expedition to help feed the children of Nepal: Khumbu Ice Fall Altitude: 5700 metres


 

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.

April 17th: Everest Base Camp Altitude: 5200 metres

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.

Dispatches

Background: The United Nations 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 the globe.

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 donation.

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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