Sunday, May 2, 2010

Questions & Answers

Photo 1 – Our 2 luxurious Mountain Hardwear Space Station Dome Tents at night. The one on the right is our communication dome where we have 7 computers, 3 Thuraya DSL modems, 23 radios for communication on the mountain and a lot more. The dome on the left is where we eat and eat and eat.

Photo 2 – Partial camp view at night. I hope these photos turn out. Before I compressed them they were absolutely fantastic.

To your great dismay I will not be attaching a photo of me doing laundry. Late in the evening of May 1st, there was a snowstorm here at base camp and we received about 12” of snow and it has just stopped snowing. Therefore, my laundry duties have been postponed. Why won’t anyone hang out with me?

However, for those of you who post comments to my dispatches, thank you. I really enjoy them. Some of you have asked questions and I will use this update to answer those questions.

Stephy-lu-lu – Jerry’s vegetarian comment was a huge hit. I broke out that little gem when we first discussed climbing the Lhotse Face and apparent ice fall dangers.

I have not seen any marmots here but they can definitely be heard at all hours! Crazy how those little fellas hide so no one can see them. The look on people’s face is priceless.

The yaks still stare at me ominously. I had quite the stare down contest a few weeks back. I did take another picture of the offender in your honor.

Our group Sherpas are just that – group Sherpas. We have a total of 8 group Sherpas and 2 personal Sherpas for the 2 members who require them. While on the mountain we are expected to be self-sufficient. Therefore, I usually climb alone. However, I am always roped in and within earshot of other team members.

I have sung How Great Thou Art to myself from the beginning of this trip. It is hard to imagine any other place where God’s great handi-work is more properly on display. For the sake of other people’s hearing, I keep the singing to a minimum.

Congratulations to you and the other R.O.M. instructors on a safe spring climbing school. I am so happy to hear of the great turnout. I look forward to meeting the students this summer during Wednesday night rock climbing.

Josie – I corresponded, via email, with Brandon and Christine Chalk before the climb. We were meant to do some training climbs together but never had the chance with our conflicting schedules.

I have heard of and met Eric Weihenmeyer. Actually my good climbing buddy was heavily involved in Eric’s Everest attempt and Eric’s Everest North Side climb to benefit blind Tibetan teenagers. I am glad Eric is following along.

Tell Randy there is no way my vending machine is empty. I have a top vending machine re-fill person looking after my affairs. Thanks a million BHH.

Marcus – I did not make it very far up Everest on my last attempt, from the North or Tibetan side. Really, I only made it to the first camp, very low on the mountain. It was on my approach to Everest Base Camp, while crossing the Tibetan Plateau that I found out my wife was pregnant with our son, Alexander. I knew the proper thing to do was to come home and leave Everest for another attempt at a later time.

Our summit attempt will be sometime in May. Sorry to be so vague but we are now totally dependent upon the jet stream. Ideally we would like to attempt the summit as soon as possible. However, “His Ways are not Our Ways.” Therefore, we will wait and be patient. If it happens it happens. If not, the mountain will always be here should I be blessed enough for another attempt. Although, not likely.

Kimmy Squeeze – Thanks for the matcha shot. I received it in no time at all. BTW I will be stopping by your place of employment on my way home. I’m jonesing for a Gulf Stream.

Doug – Congratulations on your own Everest – a new Harley Davidson. Ride safe and responsibly. Don’t take the corners on Lookout Mountain to fast anymore.

B double D – I enjoyed your comment. Thank you for the Scripture verses. However, the altitude is playing tricks on my memory. Who are you? Damron?

Biggin’ – Do I know what I am doing? Absolutely not! I need to be sent back to Justin for re-training.

Anonymous – I do not have any contact with the 13 year old on Everest. He is on the North side and I am on the South. Nepal, or the South side, hold the record for the youngest person to summit Mount Everest – 16 years old. Therefore, the Nepalese will no longer allow anyone younger than 17 to attempt Everest from their side.

Please fill in your name when posting comments. I like to know who sent them.


Alexander said...

You at Mount Evev-west? We go to the park and play when you get home? And ride in your big truck. And go to Target. And to the park. And play.

Diana said...

I love the pictures. It will be so cool to scrapbook them along with your blog entries.
Come on jetstream....
Praying lots! Love you lots!

Josie said...


I so hope you will be blessed to make it to the top of Everest.
Prayers for a successful outcome.

Josie & Randy

Lewie said...

Push hard brother! Praying for you to reach to top and for a life-changing, God-inspired experience. Those pics of the mountain hardware tents at night are rad!

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." ~Proust


“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

The Doctor said...

So any Eggo waffles, or perhaps a Hot Pocket for a snack?

Heh- thanks for all the info. I'm loving being able to follow along like this. I'd rather be there of course, but that's not happening anytime soon. My prayers and Julisa's are with you, as are many of my pals on facebook, where I keep posting your updates. Stay strong, Benelberry!


Christopher said...

Wishing you the best, brother.

Diana said...

It was good talking to you again tonight. It was a nice surprise. I know the rest days are not fun for you. I found this quote and thought of you.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going – Beverly Sills

Hang in there. This is your dream. It is happening. We all wonder why you have such crazy dreams – sleeping in the cold, living outside for 2 months, sleeping in the cold some more… but this is the way God made you and I love you for it.

Let me know if you would like me to post a blog with a picture (or 2) of Alexander for you to see. No one else would care much, but if it would be an encouragement to you, I’d love to do it.

We are more than 50% thru this time. God has brought us this far, He will take us the rest of the way too.


Mom said...

Great to hear your voice! Didn't get to tell you about our "date night" with the cutest 2-year old boy last Friday! Went to Chick-Fil-A so he could climb on the play equipment (don't worry, no junk food). I do believe he's going to follow in his dad's footsteps! He even told someone, ever so clearly, that his dad was on Mt. "Evrest." Too cute. All is well here, so keep your eyes, mind and thoughts on the goal, and focus, focus, focus. Still praying for safety, good health and a weather change SOON!

Love you!
Mom and Dad

Gavin Attwood said...

Yo, Ben. The waiting sucks. We had to hang out 10 long boring days at BC in 2007. Nick and I camped on Bierstadt this weekend and climbed to the top in a blizzard. It was darn cold too. Our wall has long since disappeared too. We leave in just over 3 weeks - yikes! Teams are on the mountain already. Amy and I continue to keep you in our prayers. Gavin

Doug Whittier said...

I can't wait to find a place in Denver that might serve Maqluba, an upside-down rice and eggplant casserole, but I think I would like fried cauliflower instead of the eggplant..! Go Ben Go..!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I love getting answers to some of the questions! Thanks Hana! The night pictures of camp are amazing! I love those types of pictures. I can't wait to see more - including the staring yak picture! :)

Scripture memorization has been my spiritual discipline this spring - have you had a chance to do any of that during your down time? I was thinking that Ps 18:28-33 and Ps 19 would be fantastic! :)

Love the blogs! continuing to pray for you!


Mike said...

Hey bro we are praying for you here in Kansas City at the Avant campus. I know that the wait must be tough so I will put in my guess as to summit on the short side at May 8, 9:30 AM. Thank you for the updates and the pics, the pics are great. Many Blessings brother