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.