Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bad weather, Everest summits, & Maoists

Today is day 5 of our little Mount Everest snowstorm. As you can see by the pictures it is gray, cloudy, cold, and snowy. We haven’t had much accumulation of snow, just a light and steady downfall. For 5 days! Mainly, it has just been completely void of sunlight and that is the discouraging part for me. However, I am reminded of a verse in the Bible: “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” In deed the Lord has made this gray, snowy day so why not be glad? It definitely makes for a much more enjoyable day. So my days have been filled with snowball fights, rock tipping (very fun), and reading.

I believe there is always good news around if you are just willing to look for it. Yesterday, 6 rope fixing Sherpas stood on top of Mount Everest. This was the last crucial step before we can mount a safe and successful summit assault. Our safety ropes and lifelines are now installed from the bottom to the top of Mount Everest. You may be wondering how they made it up there with all of this terrible weather? I do too. Although, this awesome feat of strength is not unheard of. It happens every year. First off, our weather forecast did predict a 2 day window of relatively low wind speed (30-50 m.p.h) and warm summit temperatures (-30 F). This has allowed the Sherpas to sneak up there and back down quickly. The jet stream usually moves off of Mount Everest for a 2 to 3 day period at the beginning of May every year. This is just enough of a safety window for the mighty Sherpas, but not enough for us regular folk. The jet stream is now firmly parked back on top of Mount Everest and the summit winds are now over 120 m.p.h. as predicted by our weather forecasts. So, as I now sit out day 10 of my rest period before the summit attempt, I continue to be patient. For those who know me well, patience is a struggle of mine. However, I am open and willing to learn and be refined more into our Maker’s image.

Quick prayer request, as you may have heard on the nightly World News, Kathmandu is under a “bandh” or stike and complete lock down. The Maoists have completely shut down the city and no one is allowed on the streets. They may make an exception for emergency services. However, the word is that the Maoists are now at base camp and are asking for “donations”. This is not voluntary and must be complied with or else trouble will ensue. The team is safe and from harm, for now. Google “Maoist” for more information. Please pray diligently.

Thanks a million for your continued prayers and kind thoughts. Is that the sun trying to poke through? I hope so.


Josie said...

All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope”

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things”

Just a few quotes I though you may enjoy.

I love reading your updates.
You are my topic at work.


Deb H said...

Hi Ben,
Just wanted you to know I've been checking your blog regularly--amazing to read--and praying for your safety and success! I will also be praying for the situation you wrote about today.

Diana said...

I am glad the ropes are ready and that the team is waiting for a safe window to make the summit attempt. Can you help me find something good out of the Maoists news? I am trying to turn my diligent worrying into diligent praying. Looking forward to the next time you can call.
Love you!
Diana & Alexander

Anonymous said...


Great to hear you are ready for a safe trek to the top. I am disturbed to hear about the situation with the Moaoists. We will be praying diligently for you. Keep us posted if you have anything specific to pass on.

Take care of yourself buddy!

Mike Atherton

Brian Tardiff said...


Great post... concerned to hear about the Maoists. But, fascinated by the Sherpas. Amazing.

Stay safe! You are in our prayers.

- Brian Tardiff

The Doctor said...

Let's make this an "International Day of Prayer," focusing on Nepal. Praying for you and the rest there right now...

Melissa said...


Praying for you and your team as you wait in anticipation of your summit attempt. Great to hear things are in place and ready. Praying for your wife and family as well.

Thank you for updating regularly. It's fascinating to follow along! Be safe, and we will certainly pray in earnest for the situation with the Maoists.

~Melissa Tardiff

Anonymous said...

Hi Ben,

We've been checking your blog and your progress on the mountain. We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers especially so with the Maoists in Napal. Continue to be safe and we look forward to your safe return.

Katie & Will

Bryce said...

Hi Benji,

I'm glad you know what your doing, but after this trip you probably will need some retraining.
Ya know Ben I've been around this oh world a long time now and with that I'm going to guess you will summit May 15th at 6:15 AM.
I can't believe you are letting those poor over worked sherpas do all the work while you sit back and enjoy rock tipping and the scenery. Thats not like you. You should of sprinted to the top with them.
Your vending machine is doing just fine. The peunut M&M's have been emptied a couple of times.
Thanks for the post, looks pretty awesome.
Summit safely and hurry back, Amici's is waiting.

Mom said...

Hi, Benjamin - didn't want you to think we'd forgotten you. You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly. As Dad likes to say, "keep on keeping on."

Much love,
Mom and Dad

Anonymous said...

Praying for the jetstream to leave you a window of opportunity. My bet is the 17th at 11:45am.
There are old mountaineers and there are bold mountaineers, but there are no old, bold mountaineers. - read from either Climbing or Rock and Ice a few years back.
God grant you safe passage! Willy W. with Avant ministries.

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