May 8th: Although the weather was great and I was required
to descend along a very familiar route, I found it tiring to head back to Base
Camp. It was likely because of the strain of being at 7300 the day before.
Thankfully though the hard work has been done and today is the beginning of a
few days of real rest. The plan is to now wait until we have recovered to full
strength and for the weather to provide a safe window for a summit bid. I will
take the next 3-5 days off and hope that the winds up high abate and clear
skies adorn the mountain. Most of the team will head down to lower altitudes
to take advantage of the thicker oxygen. I will head off tomorrow and meet
Ingrid at Periche as she is on her way up to Base Camp. I look forward to
Coke, some chicken and a foam mattress.
May 7th: It was a freezing night at Camp 3. I would hate to
stay at this place when the weather is bad. Apparently we had pretty good
conditions. Putting on crampons and a harness etc in the morning was
horrendous on the fingers. Pommy has copped some frost nip and is not able to
feel the tips of his fingers. It only took around 1.5 hours to get off the
Lhotse Face although we were totally on edge the whole way down as one slip
would have been fatal. We are dependant on our crampons biting in or over we
go. Although a safety line will save us from falling more than 40 metres, one
does not want to test the rapidly deteriorating Chinese ropes. Once at the
bottom, I relaxed and began to feel the exhaustion brought on by the climb
yesterday, lack of sleep and adrenalin filled decent. I enjoyed the challenge
but at the same time can see my strength being used up
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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