Saturday, May 1, 2010

Help! I need oxygen.

Photo 1 – Group shot at Pumori Advanced Base Camp.

Photo 2 – Yours truly at Pumori Advanced Base Camp. Everest is the dark pyramid in the back left side. Nuptse is on the right. Everest Basecamp down below.
Photo 3 – Me trying on the Poisk oxygen mask and the 4 liter (960 liters compressed) oxygen bottle I will use on the summit push. At a 2 liter per minute flow rate (while climbing), one bottle will last for 8 hours. I will have a total of 5 oxygen bottles for my personal use. I will sleep on a ½ liter per minute flow rate. Therefore, one bottle will last for 32 hours. As you can calculate, I have a considerable safety margin built in with my oxygen system.
Another 2 glorious days have passed and I have tried to fill them with fun, time consuming things. Things such as – drinking tea, eating, sudoku, reading books, calling home, walking to and from my tent, making squeaking noises and then hiding from the unsuspecting, small hikes, and laundry. Oh yes. These are the days in which you do not hear about when told of exciting Himalayan adventures. However, these days are necessary. Each day my strength is returning little by little and my appetite is getting bigger (hard to imagine). I am able to mentally focus and, further, keep my mind focused on the looming objective.

The jet stream is still parked over Everest at the moment and the team continues to exercise patience. Our entire expedition is focused upon safety first. No need to be a hero. Our wonderful team of Sherpas carried 20 bottles of oxygen and some tents to our high camp on the South Col (26,000’) today. One more load up to the Col and we are 100% staged for the summit push. The Sherpas will then return to base camp and rest up for the magic day. Our weather forecasts continue to be a bit mixed at the moment. Although, Phil, with all of his Himalayan experience, assures us that positive things are happening concerning the jet stream. It is his job to interpret the weather graphs, charts, and satellite imagery we receive twice daily from our trusty weather source. Therefore, we can see a few more days resting at base camp before the final push. Patiently we will wait and go when we feel the time is right, not when other teams may decide to go and push the limits of safety. It does happen.

Again, thank you so much for keeping my family and I in your prayers. We greatly appreciate it. Please stay tuned as the next, exciting, thrilling, awe-inspiring dispatch will include a photo of me doing laundry.


Diana said...

I'd like to get a picture of you doing laundry at home. :) We continue to pray for the jetstream, safety and wisdom. I am so thankful you remian focused. No matter what happens you will always be our hero. We love you.
Diana & Alexander.

Mom said...

Your math skills are impressive - and a big help to those of us who excelled in other areas! It's a blessing to hear how God has kept you all safe, healthy, and the way He continues to work. Still praying about the jet stream - and missing you just a little.

Much love,
Mom and Dad

Joseph said...

Will you help me with my laundry when you get back? Hope the oxygen holds out. Praying for you.

Love, Joseph

The Doctor said...

Even doing laundry at that altitude is exercise, which means "good training," as I've heard you say many times. You guys look good up there. We'll keep praying!

Louie and Ruth said...

Laundry must be a big thing there. Everyone is commenting on it. Can't wait to see you actually doing it. Want Alexander to help? He vacuums well so I am sure he would love to help with the laundry too. He does at my house.
Praying for you, the team, your safety, and God's blessings.
Louie and Ruth

Anonymous said...

"Hana!" "Wait! Did you see the marmot? I can hear him..." How much do you just love your sherpas? How many do you have for your team (ie. what's the ratio of sherpas per team member)? Are you going to sing "How Great Thou Art" somewhere on the mountain at some point? Maybe a picture of you singing that would be cool...

Had our ROM rappel practice today - wow, what a looooonnngg day! didn't finish up until 6pm! Had 14 students for the day. We'll probably actually have 16 that qualify for the multi-pitch. Which will be our largest graduating class ever! Pretty cool stuff, although I'm feelin a little whupped... but I do get more O2 as I sleep, so I imagine my recovery will be faster... ;)

Alright, enough yakkin. Glad to hear that you're doing well, Benihana!

Steph :)