Update: Monday 25th April,
8pm. Everest Camp Two
(EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)
Sean is still suffering from
a respiratory bug
Diary by Harold Mah
I am at Camp Two (20,500
feet, barometric pressure 462) after a hard but not dangerous climb up 1,200
Sean has stayed at Camp One
for another night. After a night in which all I could hear was Sean doing his
best yak impressions and mumbling about his girlfriend, Sean got up this
morning and announced that he did not have the energy to climb to Camp Two. In
fact, he did not feel up to descending to Base Camp either and has decided to
wait it out at Camp One for another day. There is lots of food there and
medicine so heíll be fine and he is in good spirits. But, the respiratory bug
is taking its toll and although he feels strong, he is not sure what is wrong
with him. He may have to go further down the mountain than Base Camp in order
to shake it off. It seems like quite a few climbers have the bug, according to
our Sherpas and itís very similar to what I had when I arrived at Base Camp.
So the good news for Sean is that I recovered from the bug quite quickly and
hopefully heíll have the same experience.
We had a sunny start to the
day as I climbed up to Camp Two. Itís not as technical a climb as the Ice Fall
but everyone starts slowing down, due to the altitude. I met climbers from the
US, Japan, Spain, Russia and the UK as well as Pemba Dorjee who holds the
world record for a successful summit climb on Everest of 8 hours and 10
minutes on May 21st 2004.
Of interest today were the
5-storey crevasses that we had to go through. They were quite safe but
dramatically huge. At one point there was a 3 ladder crossing over a huge
crevasse. The main challenge was the 80 degree heat in the Western Cwm. Itís
like climbing over a giant satellite dish with all the sunís heat reflected
off the startling white snow on to your neck and in to your face and eyes.
After the heat of the day itís now sub-zero and getting colder, so I will be
huddled back in my sleeping bag soon.
Camp Two has been set up with
a mess tent and sleeping tents. We are again sleeping on a block of ice but
this time it is not poking through my back! The Sherpas have already carried
our food supplies and the oxygen for Seanís summit bid and the supplies are in
place and ready. Lunch today was a traditional sherpa meal of rice and meat.
They have been throwing in some pasta in to their dishes, for the westerners,
but I have asked them to feed me whatever they eat. I am the only westerner in
this party and I love their food, so it seems unnecessary to make me something
special. They had a big sherpa party today with lots of hot juice which was a
lot of fun. I canít understand everything they are saying, as they donít speak
English all the time, but it was easy to understand their spirit and
At Camp Two we enter the true
climbing area. Camp Three is cut in to the snow and ice of a yellow band of
fossils and rock on the Lhotse face. It leads to the South Col where Camp Four
is located from where climbers prepare for their final assault. Tonight Iíll
sleep well and prepare for the climb to Camp Three.
More later, Harold
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