Getting ready to go up the mountain tomorrow
Playing cards in our dining tent after dinner. From left, Paul, Markus, Karl, Walker & Jim. Photo Fiona Adler.
Location: Everest base camp
Local Time: 17:20, May 4
Weather: Fine in the morning, light afternoon snow
Hi it's Paul here. Today we have been getting ready for our trip into the icefall and on up to camp 3. We plan to stay at camp 1, although a lot of people are going straight onto camp 2. If we feel absolutely fantastic when we arrive at camp 1 we will go straight onto camp 2, but this is unlikely. We have a small amount of gear that we are carrying up to camp 2, but most of it is already there, so our packs should be pretty light. We are taking Gu with us for use as snacks all the way up, chemical heat packs, and some basic clothes.
The dog at camp 2
More news on the dog today. Our camp 2 cook, Mingma, woke up this morning to find that 30 eggs had been eaten from our storage area last night. Unless one of the climbers got extremely hungry in the middle of the night, the only culprit can be the dog. (Not that any of us are too sad about this as those pre-cooked eggs were not our favourite!) We heard from Ang Jangbu late today that some Sherpas have walked the dog down on a makeshift leash. Great news.
The other IMG guys
I spoke with Jack on the radio today, and he arrived safe and well in camp 2 just after 2pm today. He will rest a day or so before going up to camp 3.
Jim is up at camp 2 today, resting. Dan has come down from camp 2 today. He climbed part way up to camp 3 yesterday, but the wind was very strong, and he decided to go back to camp 2 and try another day. This morning the weather was also pretty windy up high, so he decided to come back to base camp, rest and give it another go later. Dennis, Brenda, Fiona and I are going up tomorrow.
Mary has decided to stay one more night in Dingboche. Apparently there is going to be a Puja ceremony at her guide's house, and she wanted to be able to see this. Mary's tent and bed was setup at base camp today as well.
We had a suggestion whereby people write your state and country after your name so that everyone can see where the messages are coming from. I think this is a great idea.
Also a few people have said that they have posted a message and then couldn't see it on the site. This is usually because they didn't post the message to the latest update. All the messages do get to us, but if you attach your message to a previous update, you need to go back to that old update to see your message. It won't automatically show up on the latest update. I know this can be a bit confusing, and we will try to fix this, but it won't be able to happen until we get back home.
Anne, Yes the helipad that was used was the one we made when the Sherpas were killed. It did need a bit of restoration work, because some of the ice had melted in the meantime.
Hi RR, Thanks for your message and great to know you are still following.
Hi MC, Unfortuately we are going to be leaving before Mary arrives, but she still has at least 3 more days to get to base camp, so we should only be a couple of days away, assuming we don't have to wait for weather.
Hi Greg, Good to hear from you. We were all thinking of you walking out from base camp for 3 days in such terrible weather. Passed on your message to Brenda.
All the messages for Jack were passed onto him last night. Jack is in camp 2 now.
Hi Lou, The oxygen tanks weigh 7 kilos and we put them in our packs to carry them. We will use two on summit day at a flow rate of 2 or 3 litres per minute. Each tank holds 1800 litres of pure oxygen, and they have been filled in the US and shipped over here.
Hi Andy, We were all making Darth Vader noises when trying out our masks. This is pretty easy, because you just talk normally and it comes out sounding just like Darth Vader! (The masks are made of a very flexible rubber which vibrates when you talk.)
Hi Steve, The bottles are all made out of carbon fibre. They feel about the same size as a scuba tank, but a fraction of the weight. All the scuba divers amongst us are very impressed.
MC, Compared with the Poisk bottles ours are huge and weigh 7kg compared with about 4kg. I reckon the difference is not much and you would hardly notice it, however having so much oxygen, plus less bottle changes and the US quality control, it's well worth it. There have been some instances in the past with poor quality oxygen in Poisk bottles, although to my knowledge never with those filled in the Poisk factory in Russia.
Hi Roberta, Great to hear from you, and we will of course pass your message onto Mary when she arrives. She will be very pleased to hear from you. Really sorry to hear about your condition and we will be thinking of you. Please say hi to Ceridwen for us.
Hi Gabe, Our fellow IMG climbers Jack and Dan are keeping their local health food shops in business, (if the amount of stuff they have bought over here is any indication) and they haven't been sick yet! On a serious note, we will ask them to write about what they think has worked for them, because they are just about the only ones that haven't been ill.
Hi Jill - Yes, we are getting all your messages. Thanks a lot.
Till next time,
Posted by: Christy, Ohio USA on May 4, 2006 11:13 PM AEST
Fi, Since I don't think I would ever be able to climb Everest, I'm not really a cold weather person! You and I look to be the same height and weight. How are you fairing with the cold and how do you keep your strength up?
Posted by: Ann Buik on May 4, 2006 11:15 PM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
I have just spent over an hour and a half on the phone to Fiona's aunty Jill and she told me about your trip and your website. I was able to access this while talking to her. Jill and I have known each other since around 1968 when we met on a Monash University geography department trip to Central Australia. We travelled Vietnam together a couple of years ago. I also know your parents and grandmother! What a fantastic adventure you are on - I will follow it now and wish you all the very best.Your preparation, dedication and courage are just awesome!
Posted by: Dad A. Melbourne, Australia on May 4, 2006 11:28 PM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona, glad that you liked the idea of putting our location in the name line of these posts.When you return we can put a World Map together on the site to show where all the posts come from. I have not heard from Mary for a few days, but am sure she will appreciate you preparing her tent. I suspect she will arrive at BC this weekend. Take care. Love Dad
Posted by: Jac & Luke, OZ on May 5, 2006 12:11 AM AEST
Good luck for the next leg guys! Stay warm and look after each other.
Posted by: Steve & Paula Dansker Maryland USA on May 5, 2006 12:23 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona,
We know this is your website, but could you fill us in on the other folks in your party? Also, your acclimation preparation is the most complete we've ever seen & we've been following Everest climbs for decades. We sure hope it pays off. Finally, we appreciate your patience in not just going for broke to the summit. We can feel the desire to get to the top asap, but you folks are very, very smart in taking your time (the mountain ain't going anywhere anyway...). Good luck & keep your spirits up.
Oh, is it too late to add sponsors for your climb? We'd like to help & know of others who would too.
Paula & Steve
Posted by: Deb, Ned, and Holly Jordan, Tootgarook, Victoria, Australia. on May 5, 2006 12:33 AM AEST
Hello all, I (Deb) was just thinking how I get the impression that you both are always smiling ... even the photo of Paul the other night with the mask on - you could tell there was a smile underneath!
Very best wishes for C3. Enjoy.
Posted by: Chuck Forbes on May 5, 2006 12:37 AM AEST
P & F, it has been very interesting and a lot of fun following your expedition from Australia all the way to the SW slope of the Big One. Great job on your blog! It is more consistently updated than any of the other expedition logs on the mountain and so we feel almost as if we are hearing about you in real time. Onward and upward, and be careful. Chuck Forbes, Virginia, USA
Posted by: Tim & Inna (Boston, USA) on May 5, 2006 01:02 AM AEST
Good luck guys on your next leg. I think the cliche of running your own race couldn't be more appropriate in this instance.
Tim & Inna.
Posted by: vickye fischer on May 5, 2006 02:36 AM AEST
for jack gerstein: hi jackie. sounds like you made it to camp 2 ok. i still have my prayer flags flying for you and a safe return. we are thinking of you every single day, and miss you so much. good luck kiddo. we know you can do this.... we love you, goldie, sadie and byers
Posted by: Donavan on May 5, 2006 03:31 AM AEST
THIRTY eggs? Wouldn't Mallory (wasn't that the dogs name?) get terribly sick after that many? Bleah!
Holding lot's of C3 good thoughts!
Burbank, California, USA
Posted by: Monette Roberto, Delray Beach, FL on May 5, 2006 03:51 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
I'm still following your exciting adventure to the top of the world. It reminds me of the Saturday serial movies where you just can't waite for the next "Chapter". When the "accident in the Icefall" appeared on the E-mail page, my fingers flew across the copy and paste like bullets. An Italian climber decending alone...now, why would you be clinbing alone? What you're doing is dangerous enough in groups. Any report on his condition?
Paul, have you any more results from the NASA tests? For those of us who came in late, would you please explain what a "Puja ceremony" is, and what is a Gu snack. Gu soulds kinda gooie, like some chocolate marshmallow carmel stuff. Last...are they using real golf balls up there...if so, how do they react at high altitude? The other week a diver was diving for golf balls at a local golf course here in Florida when he was attacked by an alligator. It took him a while to fight him off (the gater was about 7 ft). It grabbed hold of his arm and wouldn't let go. However, the diver did manage to escape with a few cuts and bruises to his arm.
This message is probably getting too lengthy, so we wish you all a very safe and successful journey to camp 3. Stay well,
p.s. Today it's 82F, with partly sunny skies.
Posted by: MC - Vancouver, Washington, USA on May 5, 2006 04:42 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
Excellent news regarding Mallory!!! I was so happy to hear that the "culprit" was walked back down the mountain.
I would also be interested in knowing what health foods Jack and Dan think have possibly attributed to their not getting sick.
As always, wishing you continued success on your acclimatization program and let's hope for good weather! (Especially a good weather window for your summit bid!) MC
Posted by: Steve New York on May 5, 2006 07:05 AM AEST
You have said that the oxygen bottle are ~7 Kg. What is the weight of the bottles other parties are using? You said they have to use 5 compared to the 2 you have to use. Does it concern you, or have you thought that a failure of one bottle of yours takes 1/2 you O2 compared to 1/5 the other teams. I hope nothing like that ever happens. Thanks for the updates.
Posted by: karl and chelsy on May 5, 2006 07:16 AM AEST
Good luck for the next leg of the trip. chels says this, this second favorite word after me
Posted by: Cathy (Aunt), Vancouver, Canada on May 5, 2006 08:06 AM AEST
It has been very exciting to go through your website. Your adventure is breathtaking. The children are following it also. God be with you!
Posted by: Daryl, Melb, Vic, Aus on May 5, 2006 08:49 AM AEST
Hi guys, good to see you are well. Not sure how Paul could have 5 aces in his hand. News from Melbourne - Jeff Kennet is planning to come back into politics and the opposition leader Robert Doyle has resigned
Posted by: Greg, Seattle USA on May 5, 2006 09:00 AM AEST
Paul and Fiona:
Next time you see her, please let Brenda know that I was very sorry to miss her sat. phone call this a.m. I had accidentally left my cell phone at work. Tell her good luck, be patient, and climb strong! And same to both of you. Also, no need to respond to this email, especially since you will probably be up higher. And many thanks for being such good message conduits.
Posted by: Ian edwards on May 5, 2006 09:40 AM AEST
Hi Paul hi Fiona
Good luck on the way to camp 3
We wish we were there well maybe
Have fun and stay safe
Ian ano Phyllis
Posted by: Sara, Magnetic Island Australia on May 5, 2006 10:01 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul
Way to go Mallory! Thanks for the dog update and I'm really pleased the sherpas have walked him back down (I can see a film being made about this dog!)Thinking of you as you make your way to C3. Best of luck and stay safe.
Posted by: Rose, Sydney on May 5, 2006 11:35 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona
Good luck with the climb through the ice tomorrow. Keep warm and be safe. I hope the view from Camp 3 is worth it. When do you think you will make a summit bid?
I've just finished reading Sue Fear's book of her 2003 summit. Great reading, it puts it all in perspective, even if she went from the Northern side.
Have fun. Rose
Posted by: Marlene Trenerry Magnetic Island on May 5, 2006 11:47 AM AEST
Thank goodness Mallory has been taken to safety otherwise knowing Sara as you do I
'm sure she would have wanted to join you just to look after the dog. Fiona I can remember you being the one who would always hog the heater when you came in from the cold so don't understand how u now cope with the extreme weather, good luck and our thoughts are with you both, Marlene
Posted by: rita voselis (melbourne australia) on May 5, 2006 12:06 PM AEST
you don't know me i'm just an armchair mountain climber. we've been following since your photo was in the herald sun months ago. love the updates and esepcially the detailed desriptions of the places and suroundings. i'm really interested in the dog as well. have any dogs actually summited everest... maybe you could try some dog oxygen ( ok i know not safe...just kidding...) but do the dogs act strangely at altitude?.. where do they sleep?
Posted by: Tana Kellner on May 5, 2006 12:47 PM AEST
Hello from New Mexico. Just wanted to tell you "YOU'RE THE BIG KAHUNA" I wish you luck in your endeavor. Do you have someone there to bring you a cold beer? If not and you make the summit I'll get you one. Love Tana and Ian. Think warm thoughts and Dad helped me write this. You are wishing you all good luck and hope you all make it the summit and back safely.
Posted by: Paul Campbell & Michael on May 5, 2006 01:50 PM AEST
Yo Jim,Sox beat Toronto tonight lost yesterday,Stay well -Looks like you all have been to the besch-nice red faces,
Posted by: James Bilodeau on May 5, 2006 03:00 PM AEST
Hey there hope all is well with you. Jim and I (Jerry ) are here in dispatch looking at your picture on the site. Its midnight on Thursday 5/4. Good luck and will see you soon. All from Londonderry NH Fire
Posted by: Daryl. Melb, Vic, Aus on May 5, 2006 04:00 PM AEST
Great to hear your voice Fi. good interview - especially the use of the word mitigate.
Posted by: Jack Wojtowicz New York on May 6, 2006 02:48 AM AEST
Best wishes and good luck to all members of your team, particularly to Jim Gagne. Climb high and be safe. I climbed with Jim and IMCS in Ecuador in 2001.
Posted by: Diane Allen on May 6, 2006 10:06 PM AEST
For Jack Gerstein:
Hi Jack. I have been following your progress on the website and really enjoying it. If I get out to Colo this summer we will have to drink some Fat Bastard and watch your slide show.
Good luck ro you and Carly
Posted by: Rick on May 17, 2006 01:07 AM AEST