Resting @ C2, Accident on Lhotse Face
Paul puts on his boots outside our tent at c2. The West Ridge of Everest is in the background. Photo Fiona Adler.
Location: Camp 2
Local Time: 17:30, May 10
Weather: Fine in the morning, snowing heavily all afternoon
Hi, it's Paul here,
We woke this morning to hear that a Czechoslovakian climber on Lhotse had fallen overnight and had just been found in the snow on the face below the Yellow Band. He was barely alive and had severe frostbite after spending the night out in the open.
He was found by Sherpas heading up to the South Col. They had him on oxygen pretty soon, and moved him over to the fixed line. They were joined by a doctor from the Chilean team. They then attempted to get him down to the tents at camp 3, but by the time they got him there he was pronounced dead by the doctor. One of the sherpas climbing with Fiona and I, Mingma Ongel from Phortse assisted with the operation and provided much of the radio communication from the scene.
We are not sure of any other facts at this stage. Yesterday evening we could see a deep trail coming straight down from the snow high on Lhotse - we thought that it was made from climbers glissading down. We now know it probably wasn't.
Jim and Jack
We have not reported so far on Jim and Jack, because of a request by Jack. However as there has been some information posted about the situation we felt obligated to provide a little detail. Jack we hope you understand and that you have had time to call loved ones.
On Sunday Jim and Jack climbed up to Camp 3. The day prior both had been complaining about sick stomachs from something they had eaten. They were undecided as to whether they would climb up to C3 the next day and left the decision up to how they felt in the morning. We woke at 8am and they had gone.
Later in the day Jack, and his Sherpa Tashi, caught up to Jim, who was looking very tired and hot. They helped him lighten off his clothes. Shortly afterwards Jack felt ill and decided to turn around. Jim at this stage was above Jack and he decended to assist. Along with Tashi, Jim provided vital information to the HRA and two more IMG sherpas were dispatched immediately with oxygen. The Sherpas reached them in under an hour (amazing!) and together they decended to camp 2. Although not well himself, Jim continued to monitor and provide expert medical advice over the radio as to Jack's situation. Several hours later they all walked into camp 2, looking very weary, after what had been nearly a 12 hour day. We will leave Jack to fill in any details about his illness, if he chooses, but suffice to say he was able to walk himself back down to base camp. He was then assessed by the HRA and the decision was made to evacuate him from base camp. As his condition was not serious enough to risk a helicopter landing at base camp, Jack, Tashi and Mark Tucker walked to Lobuche yesterday where a helicopter was scheduled. However the weather did not permit a helicopter to land, so they continued down to Pheriche, spent the night and then Jack flew to Kathmandu this morning.
We are really sorry to see Jack go. It's a real shame as this was his second attempt on Everest, first in 2002. For those that know Jack it will come as no surprise that he was the life of the party, always ready with his supply of Baileys, Scotch and wine. Jack got along well with everyone on the team, and we really enjoyed spending time with him.
Jim is currently at base camp resting. When we get down we will pass on all your messages to him. Dan, we contacted Jim on the radio and passed on your message asking him to call you. He said he would do so later tonight, our time. Please let us know if he does.
Dan & Brenda
Dan climbed from camp 1 to camp 2 today. He looked in good form, arriving before lunch. Brenda came straight from base camp to camp 2, also arriving before lunch. She feels much better (Cipro is working). Both Dan and Brenda say that they are feeling so good they might go up to c3 tomorrow, but they will see how they feel in the morning.
Dennis, Fiona and I will decend down to base camp tomorrow. We will leave early so as to hit the icefall when it's still cold. We both have a cough from the cold air and hopefully this will clear up in base camp.
We spoke to Mary on the radio today and she is doing well, although still breathless. This will pass in a few days. She went for a walk today and introduced herself to some of the other teams.
Picture from Yesterday
We had a couple of people say that they couldn't see the detail in the picture. If you click on it you can see a much bigger version. We really loved the view, and wanted to share it with you, so we uploaded a very big version. We would hate for you to miss out! (Almost all pictures have a big version you can click to see.)
Hi Kirk, Yes if one of us is forced to abandon, the other will continue the climb.
Hi Tim K, Thanks for your message.
Phil, We can see the South Summit of Everest, but not the main summit.
Hi Paula & Steve, I think we should be able to get an update out from the South Col (8000m). We will at least try. If we can't do that then I don't think we should be going for the summit!
John K Ozarks, the oxygen is cold, but it makes you feel warm. It's no colder than the outside air temperature. I could feel the effect of the oxygen in my fingers and toes within about a minute of putting the mask on. I can't remember why it makes your extremities feel warmer, but it does. Maybe someone could post the reason.
Pankaj, we got your sms on our phone.
MC, Yes we did go through the night without resorting to oxygen. It was a funny feeling lying there thinking that if you were taken from sea level to here you would be dead within half and hour, and here we are functioning fine.
Mark R, Great idea to post the links. The more info the better! (Are you from MBS?)
Hi John W, Great to hear from you.
Hi Ron, I don't know if we would have the brain power up there to do any arithmetic.
Hi Lou, This is it. The next time we are at C3 will be our summit attempt.
Glenda and Colin, I don't know if Mary has got her hands on a glass of wine yet, but somehow I think she wouldn't want one anyway.
Michelle, I believe Jim was 60m below C3. There is still plenty of time for Jim. He just needs to rest properly before going up again. I heard him on the radio today asking for some menthol drops to put in an inhaler, so he is doing something about getting well.
Thanks for everyone else's messages too. We love getting them and they really help to keep us motivated.
Tomorrow we should be coming to you from base camp,
Posted by: Liz - Upper Montclair, NJ USA on May 10, 2006 11:19 PM AEST
So excited for you! I read your latest dispatches while having my morning coffee and although not happy with my current status as armchair mountaineer, I am living vicariously through the two of you. For this, I thank you!!
Rest well in BC and I wish you all the luck in the world for the rest of your climb.
Posted by: Dad A. Melbourne on May 10, 2006 11:35 PM AEST
It is situations like today that are a reality check for those of us back home. I am so sorry for this mans family and friends, but take comfort in that he was attempting something that must have been very important to him and following his dream.
I spoke to Mary tonight and she sounds really bright and getting her breathing under control. Even had a shower!
Remember your plan, no need to hurry,plenty of time ahead for your window to open. Lots of love Dad
Posted by: J on May 10, 2006 11:46 PM AEST
you look really well in that photo..good luck in the summit push.
Silly question is that a plastic frame or steel/titanium ? I want to know how does it feel with that cold outside and how do you avoid your glasses fogging up ?
Posted by: Mum & Dad H on May 10, 2006 11:47 PM AEST
Hi, it must be very sad at this moment that someone near you has died -was he climbing alone? We are so pleased that you have your own sherpa and are in contact with IMG when you climb and also that you are not rushing your climb but going slowly and steadily. Always take great care! I saw nana yesterday - she went on Puffing Billy with a church group. They had planned to go to belgrave by train - this meant 2 hours of travelling from Frankston to Belgrave before going on P B. Then there was the return trip. I picked her & a friend up at Belgrave and took them home - much quicker and warmer and no peak hour commuters fighting for the seats. Leah is back from Bali but not at home at the moment - she just wants to keep travelling - I said she has to wait until she's as old as me. I saw Jill Rolfe when I was walking Milly and she'd heard you on the radio. She didn't hear your name at the beginning of the interview but she recognised your voice- also she knew you were climbing the mountain as I had seen her weeks earlier and told her. I will see you little ones tomorrow - hope they aren't too smelly. Give a hug to Mary from us she's really great to be there. I admire her courage and stamina.Lots of love to you all Mum & Dad xx
Posted by: Beck Adler- Melbourne Australia on May 11, 2006 12:09 AM AEST
Well done on your successful trip to C3! Must be getting really exciting for you both now.
Have you opened your flag yet?
Posted by: jan laing Melbourne Australia on May 11, 2006 12:09 AM AEST
To people from around the world who read Fiona's mother's message (Mum and Dad H) - no the 'little ones' that she hopes are not smelly are NOT Fiona and Paul's children!!
Posted by: Vic, London on May 11, 2006 12:47 AM AEST
Do you know the name of the climber and was he a Lhotse climber rather than an Everest climber? I met 2 Czech climbers just north of Namche in April who were just about to attempt Lhotse alpine style. Sadly, I fear this guy may be one of them.
I wish you the very best of luck with your climb, but please stay safe as you seem lovely people with a lot of life to live.
Posted by: Jim C. on May 11, 2006 01:03 AM AEST
I know everyone is proud of you. Your an inspiration to so many people, you have no idea. Hang in there. To everyone else, Paul & Fiona and all, the same. Best of luck, be safe.
Posted by: Larry and Marianne Benvenuti on May 11, 2006 01:07 AM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona,
Just to let you know we appreciate your amazing accounts of your quest to summit MT. Everest.Where do you find the time and energy???
Our prayers are with you and all the climbers every day. Please give Dennis Kellner a special hug and tell him we are thinking of him constantly.
So sorry to hear that a fellow climber has died. We will say prayers for him and his family.
God Speed !
Larry and Marianne Benvenuti
Posted by: Laura Rice on May 11, 2006 01:10 AM AEST
Greetings Fiona and Paul,
I am a friend of Jim's, but as I read your daily updates I feel that I am getting to know you too! Thank you for the detailed updates, I am learning through your adventure. I find myself talking to my friends like I know what I am talking about! I am overwhelmed thinking about what you must all be experiencing...mental anguish, exhileration, endorphins raging, anticipation... the list goes on. Bravo to all of you! I send good wishes. Full Budding Moon on the 13th. I imagine it will be HUGE from where you are!! Laura Rice
Posted by: Elizabeth on May 11, 2006 03:49 AM AEST
Sorry to hear about another accident. I just want to says thanks for posting all these updates, I love reading them and hearing what's happening.
Posted by: Joanne Sundell on May 11, 2006 05:06 AM AEST
Hi all...and especially Jack Gerstein!!!
Good old Grand County, Colorado is thinking of you, and very proud of you. All of you, please stay strong, and stay safe. A big hello and hug from Sy and me to you Jack.
You are OUR Sir Edmond Hillary!!!!
Posted by: Valerie & Rummy, Apollo Bay, Victoria Australia on May 11, 2006 07:05 AM AEST
We are so very sorry to hear about the loss of another life. Once again the mountain has kept one of her climbers. Thank you, yet again, from those of us living at sea level for making it possible for us to climb along with you. Please know we are with you every step of the way. Climb Safely, Valerie @ Rummy
Posted by: MC - Vancouver, Washington, USA on May 11, 2006 08:47 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
I am saddened by the news of the death of a Czechoslovakian climber. Just as "Dad A." stated, he died following his dream. My condolences to his family and friends.
I am also sorry to hear that Jack has left the expedition. As difficult as this must be for him, hopefully he will get a third chance if he so desires. Jim...how noble of you to help a fellow climber. Well done!
In response to Paul's remarks regarding oxygen making your extremities feel warmer, I found this tidbit: When you are breathing through an oxygen mask, you are bringing more oxygen into your system and this oxygen is transferred from the lungs into the bloodstream. The large surface area of the lungs allows for the rapid exchange of heat. The more oxygen you receive, the warmer you will be.
Well, get rid of those "coughs" and rest well at BC.
Posted by: Kathryn O'Hehir on May 11, 2006 09:56 AM AEST
Best of luck to the both of you as you prepare for the most exciting part of the journey. I am hanging on every word you write looking forward to the next installment. All the best stay safe, from Kathryn.
Posted by: Phil - Sydney on May 11, 2006 10:31 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
Am still getting high on your instant stories and bringing your climb into our house. I've always had an interest and followed climbs every year but your posts are great. I even met Sir Edmund H once, and a couple of other climbers. Hopefully one day I'll be able to get to base camp.
Sorry to hear about the accident with the climber. I guess accidents like this stimulate you to be even more careful and aware of what you are doing. A question - what would be the maximum weight that you have had to carry and over what distance and time? What sort of weight is your clothing once you are "fully dressed" for summit day?
As for the oxygen perhaps with more oxygen reaching your extremedies the increased O2 exchange at cellular level generates heat? I would imagine that you would also feel tingling for a few minutes as well.
Keep safe, good luck and all the best for your preparation and attempt.
Posted by: Lea Lea on May 11, 2006 10:37 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul, Good to hear the climb up to camp 3 was a success. Keep on being positive and safe. I just got back from Bali and had a fantastic time. The weather was so nice (32). Now I want to go back for a proper holiday and not with work! Did you guys get our letters? Thinking of you both. Lea Lea
Posted by: Lucinda on May 11, 2006 10:42 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona,
You should be back to Base Camp when you get this - congatulations. You said the other day that you want more topics to report on - well I have an idea. We hear a lot about the other climbers in your group and from the messages their family and friends post we can tell where some of them are from. Are you able to give a rundown of each person and where they are from? Are there any other Australians in your team?
Everything is going well here and not too much to report from me. Another question from me - has the 4 leaf clover been going up the mountain with you?
Enjoy your final days of resting at Base Camp before the hard work starts again.
Love Lou xx
Posted by: Dan B on May 11, 2006 12:59 PM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona, Thank you so much for getting my message to Jim. I'm with you all in spirit and say keep up the superb climbing. "To the top" Dan
Posted by: Sara, Magnetic Island, Qld, Aust on May 11, 2006 01:59 PM AEST
Our thoughts are with everyone on Everest after the unfortunate death of the Chech climber and Jack's illness (hope you get better soon Jack). How are everyone's toes and fingers? I am also really interested to know if you dream differently at high altitude. If you see Mallory back at base camp give him a wave (I know you can't get too close) from all of his avid fans in Australia - go wonder dog! And go IMG team!
Posted by: Mark R -- Mountville PA USA on May 11, 2006 02:14 PM AEST
Hi Fi & Paul
As I write this it's about 6:30 am Thursday your time, and you two and Dennis had better be on the move! Long climb down from C2 to BC, please be safe thru the Icefall. You should read this from the comforts and thicker air of BC.
Paul, find some good cheese for a snack! Have any hard pretzels to go with that? As I've said before, if FedEx delivered to BC, I'd send a few lagers to make your snacking complete. But maybe you already have some there...?
Fi, just listened to your radio interview -- great job! You were very articulate. Think Mindy could have you on radio Live from the summit?!
Paul, thanks for your message regarding the links about C3 I found and posted. Hope others clicked and enjoyed. That 360 degree C3 panorama -- wow! And of course, commentary from Mr. Brashears, a climbing legend -- wow squared.
You asked if I was from MBS....I'm afraid I don't know what MBS you are talking about! That probably answers your Q! Anyway, after Googling "MBS", my best guess is Melbourse Business School -- am I right? If so: sorry, I've never been to Oz; heck, I've hardly ever left the US....but you and Fi now have me really wanting to climb Everest. Well.....at least do the trek into BC like Mary just did (congrats Mary!). I would be in awe, no doubt.
Hey, anyone in the IMG group from the US, and if so, are they baseball fans? I'm a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan, would love to hear what team others there root for. I'd love to see a Phillies flag planted on the summit! Would be great PR. I could pass on some scores and stats for any team too; would be a bit of "Home" for all of you so far from Home.
Get some great rest in BC. I'm looking so forward to the next few weeks, and summit bids, and your daily messages.
Did you hear of the Alpine Ascents team going down to Tangboche for some R&R (and O2!)? They plan on coming back and making their summit push, all refreshed. I've never heard of doing that, this late in the game. Does it strike you the same?
Blessings to you both for safety,
Posted by: Jill U on May 11, 2006 02:16 PM AEST
Can hardly wait for your new posts every day! Question - with so many people on the mountain, are the different groups working together to stagger the dates of summit attempts?
Posted by: Chris & Bridget (Stockholm) on May 11, 2006 06:43 PM AEST
Hi Guys, good to hear you are both still well. Sorry to hear you've lost another ace member of your team, such bad luck for Jack, hope he's on the mend.
Bridge and I are in Sweden now - we were not going to come here, but we realised a lot of stuff in Northern Norway is shut till mid June, so we have come here for a few days instead. Very nice and clean and expensive!! (Compared to Nepal and India!!) But we will get over the high prices soon!
Posted by: Rose, Sydney on May 11, 2006 09:01 PM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
I hope you are safe and sound in base camp by now. It must seem quite luxurious after camping high on the mountain.
I've just read a great book, with wonderful pictures of climbing Everest, that followed the IMAX team as they summited in 1996. David Brashears was the leader of that expedition. The book was called "Everest" and was published by National Geographic. It is a coffee table format with beautiful photos.
Have a nice relaxing time in Base Camp as you prepare for the next exciting push to the summit.
Mary I hope you are settling well into Base Camp and getting used to the thin air. Fiona and Paul I know from experience that Mary is a great help to have around when support is needed.
My condolonces to all at Base Camp following the death of a fellow climber, it must really dampen your enthusiasm when you hear of such tragedy. Please use the lessons learnt on your own ascent.
Posted by: doug & jen on May 11, 2006 10:39 PM AEST
Thank you for all the updates on the climb and climbers, it is really great. Please pass along to Jim that we hope he is feeling better soon, our thoughts are with him and all the climbers on the mountain. Stay strong, and have a safe journey to the summit, and more importantly down and back home. Climb hard!!
Posted by: Deidre & Ian on May 15, 2006 12:04 AM AEST
WOW, Hi Mary
From the comfort of our warm office your journey is amazing.
Very fascinated by the story, looking forward to our mid year christmas at your house.
With love Deidre and Ian