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  Canadian Mt. Everest 2005 Expedition Yak traffic jams


©EverestNews.com

Update: Wednesday April 6th, 6pm. Lobuche, 4,835m

The traffic jams on the Queensway in the morning are nothing compared to the yaks on the trail today. There were dozens and dozens of them. We had to keep stopping to let them by, which gave us a chance to get our breath back.

On the way we passed a memorial to all the climbers and Sherpas who have died on Everest. It was very touching and we stopped a while. It reminded us of the very real dangers that the climbing party (Sean, Harold and Dave) will face once they start their ascent from Base Camp.

We trekked for about three hours today, climbing a little under 1,000 feet. We had not slept well the night before because of some barking dogs, so today was another tough climb. We are above the clouds, which is an unusual feeling and we trekked by a large snow field. From our camp site we can see some of the major Himalayan peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse and Pumori which are an awe-inspiring sight. We are quite close to the Lho-La Pass which goes over to the Tibetan side of the mountain. It’s getting colder all the time with a wind that bites right through you, with the nights being exceptionally cold.

It’s Gerry’s birthday today and we celebrated with an adventurous lunch of fries and beans. He won’t tell us how old he is but we believe that he’s over 30! Harold has been suffering with pain in his neck and headaches but he seems to be doing much better now. Health and fitness problems are common at this altitude, among the hikers, and we passed several European trekkers who were retreating from Base Camp with medical problems. Dr Burgess was able to help them with medical supplies and we let them use our communications equipment.

Market forces are alive and well here, with bottled water now ten times more expensive than when we were in Kathmandu, but that just reflects the enormous effort it takes to transport anything up here.

With the help of Howard, who joined the expedition from HP ProCurve along with Nicole, we were able to get the HP ProCurve wireless network to back up some of the researchers’ files on to the server. It worked beautifully. However, we had trouble finding the satellite to connect back to Ottawa, so we had another day without email - how will I survive? When we get to Base Camp we will have time to sort this out – right now it’s difficult when we are packing and unpacking along the trail. The researchers have taken to sleeping with their iPacs to stop them from getting too cold - these researchers will do everything to protect their data!

More later, Terry

Dispatches

Background

On March 25th 2005, a party of Canadian climbers and hikers will set off on an assault on the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest.

The expedition will be led by Dr Sean Egan, an accomplished mountaineer and professor in the School of Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa, and Peter Luk, director, School of Business Management, Ryerson University .

Accompanying the climbing expedition for three weeks is a party of hikers that includes senior IT executives from private and public Canadian organizations and leaders from the Ryerson University Business School . They will trek through Nepal to the Everest Base Camp, starting from the exotic city of Kathmandu.

The expedition is sponsored by Kanatek Technologies, an independent storage systems integrator based in Ottawa , specializing in data availability, email archiving, and back up and recovery solutions. Kanatek has a long tradition of hosting innovative events and Kanatek president, Terry Kell says, “We want to put Canadian IT solutions on top of the world. We will be using the latest in communications technology to demonstrate data recovery in a hostile environment.”

The expedition is co-sponsored by ProCurve Networking by HP, a supplier of enterprise networking solutions, and SkyWave Mobile Communications, a world leader in satellite-based asset tracking, monitoring, and control.

Expedition leader, Dr Egan, says, “Two very well-respected Canadian universities are working together on this expedition to complete some vital research. If we can get to the summit it will be an added bonus.”

University of Ottawa and Ryerson University have prepared research plans on coping with hypoxia (an absence of oxygen reaching living tissues) , the relationships between fitness and ageing, and sport tourism in the context of extreme adventure.

This is Dr Egan's third trip to the mountain, and it will be his first summit attempt. If he his successful in his bid, he will be the oldest Canadian to summit Mount Everest . In preparation for his Everest expedition, Dr Egan is currently conditioning by climbing Mount Aconcagua in Argentina (22,841 feet). Mount Everest is 29,028 feet.

It is also planned to play a game of shinny hockey around the Khumbu glacier on Mount Everest, taking the game to new heights.

 

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