Friday, September 25, 2015

Safety First

I received a text from Ben at 10:30 pm MT last night that he was back at Base Camp. Due to unsafe climbing conditions the team returned to Base Camp rather than proceeding to Camp 4. Earlier in the evening, I had read status on other teams also on Manaslu and saw that there had been some avalanches and concerns with Sherpas securing the ropes to Camp 4 due to a lot of snow. So when I received the text from Ben I was relieved to know he was safe.
He was able to call this morning and the kids and I were thrilled to hear his voice. On the phone he told me that the weather was warmer which caused the crevasses to open up. The route to Camp 4 was not clear and not safe.
When we talked the next steps were not yet figured out but it sounds like he was happy with his efforts and we are so proud of him. The fact that safety is always his #1 priority is why I am able to cheer him on and not spend too much time worrying. Thank you all for prayers and support. I expect the next update will be from Ben to sharing about his adventures.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Safe at Camp 3

If I piece all the information together, the team left base camp at 6 am on Wednesday morning, rather than 2:30 am as planned because of rain/snow at base camp. It was safe for them to climb because it was not snowing higher than Camp 1. Ben sent me a text on Wednesday afternoon (Nepal time) to say they had safely made it to Camp 2. He gained 5,250' elevation in a day. He was tired!
They left early Thursday morning (Nepal time) for Camp 3 and I received a text at 2:13 am last night (2 o'clock in the afternoon in Nepal) that he was safe at Camp 3. He said the weather is good, so thank you for everyone who prayed for the weather to clear up. Again he mentioned he was tired and trying to recover. Please continue to pray for strength, and a clear mind. They will be heading to Camp 4 on Friday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Summit Push

We received a call from Ben this morning that we expect to be the last one for several days. The plan is to leave Base Camp (15,750’) at 2:30 am so they can climb to Camp 2 (21,000’). Because of weather, they are going to skip Camp 1. Ben said there are still some details to be worked out, but each day they will move to the next camp - Camp 2, 3, 4 and then Summit. Over the next few days they will have very little sleep and just enough food for the nourishment they need. Someone on the mountain has given Ben some strong muscle relaxers so his back pain is under control right now. Please be praying for strength, wisdom and safety for the team. He plans to send text messages, so I will update the blog as I receive more news. Thank you again for your prayers!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

More of the same... snow

On Saturday, there was a small break in the weather, so the team climbed to Camp 1. They are expecting a large snow storm on the 21st, so they took down their tents at Camp 1 so they would not collapse with the snow.
I think the activity of climbing to Camp 1 was good for Ben. We are more than half way through this trip, so we are all counting the days until he comes home. But until then, we are praying for Ben's mental strength and ultimately, for his safety.
A fellow climber sent me this picture of Ben from Base Camp. I think he looks pretty dang goooood.
Thanks for the prayers, Diana
photo credit: Sandi Wilson

Thursday, September 17, 2015

More Weather Delays

We expected a call from Ben this morning, but didn't receive one. He sent a text last night that stated that is was snowing again. I am speculating here, but my guess is the weather prevented him from getting a signal to the satellite phone or he walked down to Sama Goen for something to do. He said there is a possibility they will be stuck at base camp another 7 days. He said he is "going stir crazy." Those who know Ben, know he likes to be active, so I know this is really hard for him.
Several other teams on the mountain are still working on the acclimation climbs to Camps 1 & 2. Since Ben's team was able to accomplish this before the bad weather came in, they are ahead, but trying to find things to do. I know the team's main focus is safety so they will continue to wait for the weather to clear and for the mountain to be safe for climbing before making a summit push.
He is enjoying getting to know other people on the mountain. One of those people is Russell Brice, the leader of the expedition that was filmed a few years ago for a series on the Discovery Channel. Nick Cienski who is a director for Under Armour is also climbing Manaslu, with another team. His wife is traveling with him. Ben found out they are Christians and has enjoyed some encouraging fellowship with them.
He did mention in his text that his back was hurting and stretching wasn't helping. Please pray for this. We are doing well at home. Annie told me yesterday she "misses Daddy" and asked if God missed him too. I assured her God did not miss Daddy because God is with Daddy all the time taking care of him so he can come home to us. We are thankful for the prayers.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Successful Camp 1 & 2 Rotation

First, let me say thank you to everyone that is following along and praying. I know my posts aren't as exciting as Ben's, but if they were, the stories would be made up. :) Ben does such a great job of writing so we can picture where he is.
The schedule I posted earlier this week was accelerated. He sent me a text on Thursday from Camp 2 saying there was a storm coming in so they bumped up their plans. In order to beat the storm, they skipped the rest day on Wednesday and climbed to Camp 1 and then on Thursday continued to Camp 2.
Ben called from Base Camp this morning and it was raining when we were talking. They are ready for a summit push, but they will use the next few bad weather days to rest and recuperate at Base Camp. The summit push will be 5 days, round trip. I don't know when that will start because it will be based on the weather but I know Ben is anxious and ready.
Please continue to pray for mental strength over the next few rest days, for wisdom on when to proceed and for favorable conditions on the mountain for the summit push. Thank you, Diana.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Ups and Downs of High Altitude Climbing

We had a quick call from Ben this morning. Everything went well on the overnight trip to Camp 1. Wednesday is another rest day. These are the hardest days for him because of all the idle time. Thursday they will go to Camp 1 and stay overnight, and Friday they will go to Camp 2 and stay overnight. Saturday they will return to Base Camp. It feels like "one step forward, two steps back" to me but this is the way they acclimate. He sounds strong, so we are just praying he will continue to stay strong. Thank you all for your prayers.