Update: Thursday 21st April,
9pm. Everest Base Camp
(EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)
Bad weather slows us down
Diary by Harold Mah
The weather has not been kind
to the climbers at Base Camp and is slowing all the expeditions down. We had
another inch of fresh snow this afternoon, after a warm morning and the
forecast is for this to continue until Saturday. Right now it’s completely
cloudy so I can’t see the mountain, although the moon breaks cover now and
again and shines down on us.
We did some small hikes
around Base Camp but no-one could go in to the Ice Fall because of the weather
so there is an atmosphere of quiet tension and resignation. Everything’s on
hold for a bit and people are sheltering and waiting.
Sean is still suffering from
acid reflex and can only eat certain foods but the sherpas have created a
special “Sean menu” and are looking after him in fine fashion. Today, a pot of
rice pudding miraculously appeared at dinner, just for Sean. They have created
a special menu for him all the way to camp 2 and will look after him all the
way up and down the mountain.
I found out today how they
store all the yak and chicken meat that we’ve been eating. They take an ice
pick and dig a deep hole in the glacier, by the kitchen, which acts as a large
refrigerator. Tonight we invited some Nepalese climbers over for dinner and we
learned a little more about their customs. Apparently a destitute person can
live in a Nepalese village on as little as 1 rupee a day because when the
community sees someone who is struggling they rally round and open their doors
and hearts for them. Whereas in the big cities, doors close to the destitute
and people cross to the other side of the streets.
This evening we met Will
Cross, 38, who is doing the Peaks and Poles challenge which is to climb the
highest peaks on the seven continents and get to both poles – a heck of an
achievement. He’s already done five of the peaks and after Everest he heads to
Russia in July to climb Mount Elbrus. Last year he made it to the balcony on
Mount Everest, which is above Camp 4, but had to turn back because he had a
problem with his oxygen regulator and because the retina in his companion’s
left eye exploded. This year he has changed his preparation schedule and he
plans to eat more fat at Base Camp, work on his speed through Camps 1 & 2, use
no oxygen at Camp 3, and he has got a new regulator for his oxygen system.
When he’s not climbing he lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and six children
and is a
motivational speaker. He used to be a School Principal but I guess he was
looking for something a little different in his life. He doesn’t think of
himself as a fitness guru but he just loves mountains.
What’s amazing about Will is
that he has been a diabetic for 29 years! His Peaks and Poles is sponsored by
Novolog (an insulin product) and he wants to demonstrate to the world, and
particularly to other diabetes patients, that diabetes shouldn’t slow you down
or stop you doing anything. He uses an insulin pump all the way to Camp 2 and
then, as he climbs higher, he injects himself six times a day.
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