I have been sleeping with
my radio. It seems my importance as Minister of Information grows as
climbers move up and down the mountain. I think the guys are getting used to
my accent as they sit, huddled in their cold, high, mountain tents. As I
wander around base camp, I am entertained by many unique characters. Two of
my favorites are Mark and Ellie. This dynamic duo comes to base camp every
year to sit in base camp with their respective teams. I doubt that they are
getting rich but they are getting paid as professional base camp managers.
I am learning a great deal
from these two. They know just how to corner the weather report, manipulate
daily base camp events, and handle emergencies calmly and smoothly. I am
learning what is important and what is not important. From listening to the
voices of the mountaineers calling down from the high camps - you learn to
read into their voices and determine if they are flowing as well as they
think they are.
As for myself, I am not
very professional. I tell a pretty good joke on occasion, however, when it
comes to technical issues, I am all thumbs and not very patient. Thank God
for climbers like Dirk, who is from Germany. Dirk helps me with the
technical aspects of laptops and satellite phones. Also, thank
goodness for Amy McGhee who helps keep things together back home and
forwards any information as soon as she gets it.
Some aspects of this job
require detail orientation and some require calm under fire. I tend to be
versatile and able to meet the requirements necessary to get the job done. I
must remind myself and all of you following the climb, however, that I am
not a professional.
We will try to pick up the
information flow, however, it is pertinent that all family and friend
remember that while the guys are on the mountain - they are very focused. If
several days pass and there are limited updates . . . consider no news good
Talk to everyone soon, Roger
Everest 2006: Team No