Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back safe fromCamp 2

I have safely returned from my 3 night stay on Mount Everest! On April15th I left basecamp at 5:00 a.m. and climbed through the Khumbu Icefall all the way to Camp 1. Phil and I climb at a similar pace so I never climbed alone. Always safety first! We were the first of our group to arrive at the sight for Camp 1. The views were fantastic. We pitched a few tents at the entrance to the Western Cwm (Welsh word meaning valley) as this was to be our home for the night. I truly felt like I was climbing Mount Everest. Throughout the morning we easily crossed any crevasse we faced and easily scaled every ice cliff. Although, proper thanks must be given to the Icefall Doctors who maintain the route, which is constantly changing with the flow of the Khumbu Glacier. This fact would be recognized on my way down because there was a massive collapse in the Icefall. Thankfully, every climber was safe and accounted for.

Day 2 found me wandering up the Western Cwm all the way to Camp 2 at 21,000’. The view of the Lhotse Face was everything I had imagined, absolutely fantastic. From this vantage point I could just see Everest’s south summit and the famed Hillary Step. I rested for the afternoon and tried to make myself at home and it was home that was on my mind. Even though our food is top notch, nothing compares to my wife’s wonderful cooking and smiling face.

Day 3 was meant to be a rest day so we could further acclimate to the altitude. Camp 2, or Advanced Basecamp is a large area and is actually quite rocky. The constant rock fall from the upper reaches of Mount Everest have thoroughly littered this area. So why camp at this particular spot? Remember we are camped on a glacier that is constantly moving. The actual portion of the glacier that receives the rock fall is safely out of reach. One of the attached pictures is me in my fluffy down suit at Camp 2. Take notice of the rocks at my feet all while on snow and ice. A few of us spent the morning wandering around Camp 2 and tried to breathe in the mountaineering history this sight represents. As soon as the sun dipped behind the beautiful North Face of Nuptse the temperature quickly plummeted to zero degrees and I quickly put on my Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero down suit. Ahhh, warm again.

Day 4 - This morning was a chilly morning to get out of the sleeping bag and the tent at 21,000’ but I did not want to wait until the sun would hit and warm things up. I had to make my way all the way to basecamp and I wanted to do so before the intense sun prompted the Icefall in to action. So now I sit typing away on the laptop knowing that the entire team has safely descended to basecamp.

A few days of rest and relaxation are on order before we head back up the mountain and try to touch Camp 3. More details on this climbing sortie later. I know that this update may seem to indicate that every step is a dangerous one on Everest. Please remember that for me attaining the summit of Everest is the bonus and not the only reason I came here. I came here to enjoy God’s beautiful creation and to do so as safely as possible. If at any time I feel unsafe or that I am unnecessarily jeopardizing my life I will gladly and willingly retreat. My wife and son are far too important for me to be needlessly reckless. You may wonder, isn’t climbing Mount Everest in the first place needlessly reckless? Well, those thoughts and contemplations are for another time. Thank you all for your continued prayers.


Diana said...

The pictures are beautiful. We are praying for your every step. So glad you are safe. We know you are never alone with God at your side, guiding your every move. We love you!
Diana & Alexander

Josie said...

I so look forward to reading your updates. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
Randy and I had dinner at Sherpas last night in honor of you.
I am sure the food there does not compare to all the good food you must be eating. Bring me back some
We will continue to pray for you to stay healthy, strong and safe.
A special prayer to make it to the summit and get that BONUS !

You are a a smart climber SAFETY AND FAMILY FIRST !!!!


The Doctor said...

That's beautiful stuff, Ben. Eat up now, and get some good rest for a few days!

Mom said...

Wonderful! Beautiful! Breathtaking! My heart thrilled to read your post (even managed a few tears!). :)

Have we told you lately how much we love you and how proud of you we are? Most of all, we are so thankful to God for molding and making you into the man you are today! We are praying CONTINUALLY for you.

Much love,
Mom and Dad

sister said...

Pretty cool stuff! It's hard to believe with the pictures you are showing that THAT is over 20,000 feet when it looks a lot lower! Keep up your good work, and smart decisions!
Love, your sister!

Anonymous said...

Ben, Awesome to know you are up there again. Diana gave me the headsup. I will pray for you daily! I will expect a full report when you get back. From: The Original ROM Outdoor GUY! Mr

Gavin Attwood said...

Awesome! I did Mt Morrison this morning in honor of you!

Daddy-Dave said...

Hey Ben hope you get plenty of rest so you can tackle this hill. I enjoyed your pictures but still wouldn't want to do that unless there is some fish up there. Stay focused and let the Lord be real close to you. Love you much.

Aunt Christina said...

Ben, it's thrilling to watch your progress and to think of you soaking in the splendor which God has placed around you as you continue on your journey.

I join the many friends and family who are praying for your safety and thanking God for providing this great opportunity for you. Keep trusting Him who holds you in His arms as you strive to reach the summit.

Much love,
Aunt Christina

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration! I think of you often and keep you inky prayers!

Ron- combat Ronno...

Louie and Ruth said...

Thanks for the call. We were shocked-didn't know what to say. We look forward to your pictures and your comments. So thankful that God is making your feet like "hinds feet." We are so proud of you and love you. Alexander is a great T-ball player, per Naseem. We, your parents, Naseem and Jami are doing our best to take care of Alexander and Diana. We love you and pray for you every day.
Louie and Ruth

Anonymous said...

Best wishes Ben! We have been following your blog. Enjoy every moment of the awesome experience. -Katie & Will

Louie and Ruth said...

Alexander fixed supper for us--salad and some goodies. His imagination is great. He is so so good. He loves you.

Naseem said...

Hey Ben, so glad you are staying safe. I continue to pray for your safety and that your trip is 100% awesome - sounds like it is!

Naseem said...

I also want you to know that Alexander is taking good care of your house for you. When we were playing in the backyard the other day, he noticed a few rocks on the sidewalk, and carefully picked up each one and dropped them back with the rest of the rocks... cool kid.