Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So many rest days...

Photo 1 – Me in our luxurious shower tent.

Photo 2 – Our very helpful Sherpas lending a hand in re-pitching a tent.

Today begins my third rest day at Everest Basecamp. From the current weather forecast it looks like another week or so before we will begin our assault upon the summit. The forecast calls for little precipitation up high but the wind is still too strong to safely climb in. This waiting period is completely expected and is not without good news. The route to the South Col at 26,000’ was opened yesterday. This is fantastic because the South Col is where we will have our high camp and is our final launching ground for the summit. I am pleased to confess that our climbing team has the best Sherpas on the mountain. Without their help we would be unable to climb Mount Everest. We now have 70 bottles of oxygen at Camp 2, enough food and gas, and enough tents for our final battle with the soaring heights of Mount Everest. Tomorrow the Sherpas move up to Camp 2 where they will begin the final two day transport of our supplies to the South Col. Once this feat is accomplished we will be 100% ready for the summit push. This will coincide nicely with the moving of the jet stream.

In the last dispatch I promised a little insight in to a “rest day” here at EBC. “Resting” at 17,500’ is tough. Even though I have been here for 3 weeks and am thoroughly acclimated, I still get out of breath just reaching for something to drink. Or even walking the 50 feet to my tent. Life here can be tough. We do have a few “luxuries” though. Today, for the first time in 10 days, I was able to take a shower. This was more for the team’s benefit than mine! Yesterday’s major event was cleaning the inside of my tent and re-pitching it upon solid ice. Since I am camped upon a glacier coupled with the intense sunrays here at high altitude, my tent platform has begun to melt. It is really interesting at night to be woken up several times with the loud “POP” of the underlying glacier moving, creaking, and splitting open. I love this! Tomorrow’s highlight will be a hike over to a neighboring mountain’s basecamp. I will provide pictures in the next update.

I am 100% committed to successfully finishing this expedition, however, I still long to be in the company of my wonderful family. So, I will now provide you with my top 10 list of things I miss about home. #1 – My beautiful, happy, smiling wife. #2 – tickle fights with my son – I love him so much. #3 – Our extended families. #4 – Our church family. #5 - Red Robin Restaurant. #6 – any bookstore. #7 – Magluba – my favorite Arabic dish. #8 – all of my friends, especially my R.O.M. buddies. #9 - Combat Calisthenics – Hi Sean, Nick, Ronno, Donna, Sharon, Jolene, and Beth. #10 – My job. With much gratitude – Thank you Dave and Lee for allowing me the time away. As well, mindless banter with Bryce and not to forget my P.E.C. neighbor – Kathy B.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayer.


Mom said...

So thankful for the continued good health and safety of you and your team. Still so many challenging days yet to come - enjoy the luxuries of B.C. while you have them. Am praying as you continue to trust in the Lord. . .delight yourself in the Lord. . . commit your way unto the Lord and trust in Him. . .and REST in the Lord.

Red Robin and B/N (Starbucks!) is right around the corner!

Much love,
Mom and Dad

Josie said...

I know there are many people on the mountain.
There is a couple from Vail by the name of Brandon & Kristin Chalk
they are friends of one of my clients.(Joel Gratz) Also, Micheal Brown who is an adventure film maker from Boulder is also up there.He also knows Joel. SMALL WORLD!

Soon you will be home to the pleasures of your wonderful family.

Getting close you must be so EXCITED !

Wishing you all the Best ...

b double d said...

One of your ROM buddies here, b double d. OK, so the shower photo... TMI bro. Nice rug though, hopefully it will act as another layer of warmth under the 2000 fill down suit I saw in an earlier picture.

I'm still struggling to imagine the effects of high altitude exhaustion, I would love to be there an experience it with you and your team.

Whilst reading your top ten list I wondered if we might just be able to put all of those together on ONE night for a special Ben day. We'll invite the work, church, and ROM crew to a local book store and have Magluba ordered for everyone. When we are all stuffed to the gills we'll then turn to Combat our Calories with some Calisthenics. When we've burnt all that jazz, we'll scoot over to Red Robin for some fries, malts, and a Stucky family tickle fight. What could be better?

Well, regardless of the things you miss I know you are still enjoying the challenge, the beauty, and the power embodied in an expedition such as this.

In a setting such as you describe on the mountain I can't help but be reminded of how little we have control over. Breaking ice flows, avalanches, weather patterns, born abilities, physical health, the list goes on for a while. Certainly we do our best to fain control and prevent undesired outcomes, but really more is in the hands of God than we realize or like to admit. When faced with reminders of our lack of control gives pause to reflect on how much we truly depend on God for our next breath, step, and ultimate destiny. Following His narrow way seems close minded, even foolish to the world... but when it is right... choosing to do anything but follow the Way and the Truth leads away from God and the potent life he offers.

Although none of us controls the upcoming events that will lead to your attempt and success on the mountain we can be thankful for the opportunity, for the continued mile stones of success, and for God's grace and protection for everyone on the mountain.

Solomon, wise man, king, poet writes in Proverbs 2... (paraphrased)
Accept my words
Store up commands
Turn to wisdom
Apply understanding
Call to insight
...then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

The Doctor said...

Good stuff, Ben! I'm having a cup of joseph in your honor this morning ;-)

Diana said...

Hey Good Looking! I miss you. Alexander misses you. I appreciate the shower picture because I can see you are not melting away to skin and bones. Thank those sherpas for me for cooking you the yummy food during this time when I can not do that for you. So the day you get back - RR for lunch and Magluba for dinner? :)
Alexander & I went to the park for a few minutes yesterday. He is a natural at climbing. That angled climbig wall at the park he can do fast and well. It is so fun to watch him. He knows exactly where to put his feet, where to grab and when to rely on his grip rather than his footing. He is a natural, of course because of you. I won't let him climb the big wall at the park until you get home. So... come on jetstream!
Love you!
Diana & Alexander

Papa Boner said...
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Papa Boner said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Combat Class shout out at #9. We are thinking of you in every class and have the gum and your place waiting for your return.

Ronno and the group...

Sister said...

Thanks for the shower shot. I remember when you only had 3 or 4 hairs on your chest and how proud you were. Glad to hear about the estimated "assault attempt." Can't wait to read more and see more. Be careful and safe!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any contact or hear about the 13 year old boy climbing there?