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.