Windy & Cold at Base Camp
Fiona talking to her Mum on Mother's Day
Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 17:20, May 14
Weather: Windy, -5C in tents overnight
Hi It's Paul. Last night around 6pm the winds picked up and continued to be strong throughout the night. Some of the guy ropes on our tent were pulled out, but otherwise things were fine. Mary's tent held up well, probably because it has only been recently put up and the anchors are still strong. It's continued to be pretty gusty today, so not sure what is going on with the weather.
It's Mother's Day in Australia, and we gave Mary a card and Fiona talked to her folks at home. We also did some washing, but because it was pretty cold it didn't dry at all. In fact I just bought mine in and it's frozen stiff as a board!
Resting & Eating
We are both resting up well and feeling good, although my voice is a little hoarse for some reason. Mary has bought us a new supply of medicine, so I am getting stuck into that. Mary is playing Scrabble as I write this with one of the other climbers. I am not sure of the score, but I don't think it will be going Mary's way, as there are some extremely good scrabble players here.
Hi Chris and Bridge, Almost everyone has chosen to wait at BC, although one person has decided to go down today. I am not sure about other groups, but I understand that AC and AAI have all gone down lower. They should be back soon if they aren't already.
There was a question texted to us about how we are finding out Hotronic heated insoles. I would have to say that we are not very happy with these so far, as the batteries don't seem to be working well. This is despite ensuring the batteries are warm before use. The chemical warmers combined with a vapour barrier (freezer bag) is working really well in my Millet Everest 3 boots. I am also using Lorpen TEPA socks and am happy with these.
Hi Adrian & Paula, Good to hear from another remote internet user.
Hi Judy & Max, Mary is doing well with the altitude and really getting used to it. No more headaches. She went for her first walk today, about a kilometre to the crashed helicopter near basecamp. We have no more rotations before the summit assault. We are waiting for a suitable weather window and then we are heading up.
Hi Stephen Humphries, Our Ipods don't work this high, but as far as reading, I just this afternoon finished State of Fear by Michael Crichton and Fiona The Juror by George Dawes Green. We have a library here at base camp (a box with everyone's books in it) and these both came from here. Can highly recommend State of Fear.
Just heard that Mary lost in the Scrabble game, but she didn't disgrace herself! Better luck next time.
Posted by: Carolyn on May 14, 2006 10:47 PM AEST
Thrilled to see Mary looking so fit and well at Base Camp. The Grade 5/6 students at Clayton South PS are following your progress and they are starting to get excited, especially after seeing the article in Friday's Herald Sun with your photo. We have been following the website at school for about 4 or 5 weeks now and each of the 3 grade 5/6 classes is creating a PowerPoint presentation based on your website. Keep up the good work, we are all thinking of you and wishing you every success.
Posted by: rita voselis on May 14, 2006 10:48 PM AEST
hi it's me whom you don't know again. just wondering about your sleeping arrangements. do you have a tent each. you said "mary's tent" do you all share or have individual ones? how many to a tent? do you and fiona share a tent? are you near enough to hear each other at night? (I have slept in camp grounds before where you do hear other people's conversations/snoring)
Posted by: Steve New York on May 14, 2006 10:49 PM AEST
You mentioned the min camera that you are using. Did you do any research on cameras before you left? Also, what personal (non-climbing) items do you plan to take to the summit with you and why? And a favor. Most pictures of the summit show a tired climber there or a shot towards camp 4. If you could, could you take a small panaramic shot, possibly showing the view towards other routes.
Steve, New York
Posted by: Russ Tamworth, NH USA on May 15, 2006 12:32 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona,
I want to thank you both for your wonderful and detailed daily updates of your great adventure. My ties to Base Camp go back nearly 40 years. This message is for Jim. Jim, Russ here. We chatted briefly when you visited MCS earlier this spring. I have been following your progress with great interest. Things sure have changed in the Khumbu region since I was there in 1967. Your achievements to date have been amazing. I think of you constantly and am awed by all that you have accomplished. I have no doubt that you have all that it takes to achieve your dream. Take the needed time to rest and keep focused on your goal. I will be there with you in thought and spirit as you make your final push to the summit. Be safe, take great care and God speed.
Posted by: Larry and Marianne Benvenuti on May 15, 2006 02:23 AM AEST
Hi Dennis K.,
Just a line to say hi and wish you a safe journey to the top of the world. We miss you at Den's Dong and anxiously await your successful return.
Our prayers go out to you every day and to all the climbers and Sherpas.
God Bless your first summit attempt.
Miss you, best friend !
Happy Mothers Day to all mothers.
We tahnk Paul and Fiona for their web site.
Larry and Marianne B
Posted by: Deborah Griffith on May 15, 2006 03:39 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
Please pass the following on to Dan.
good to hear all is going as planned.
We are all incredibly proud of you and looking forward to your summit day!!!
I see that you are in basecamp and taking some recovery time before the final
We are all doing well here: Luke went to CMH party in Banff, Gen and Clay went
to see his mom and sister in Kamloops and Rachel and I are here at home.
Rachel has a job with the Botanical Gardens and Parks. Mike will be here later
to work for Kootenay River runners as a raft guide. they will train him.
I had two booths at the Home and Rec Show, Nikken and Parks. Very busy!
It's very lovely today "Mother's Day" and I think I will spend some time in
Talked to your Mom and she sounds good. Says she's gained 3 pounds. I sent her
a bunch of Nikken stuff: water filter, lactoferrin, mushrooms and vitamins.
She likes the water!
I talked to Dr. Jim Bews in Calgary about what he recommended and these were
the priority products. I'm going to order a few more things for her: jadegreen
enzymes, Perfect Start powder, maybe a sleep system.
She says she has started walking around the river again, and up the stairs.
So Dan keep well, and give me a call or email me to let me know when you might
do your next trip.
I love you!!!
Posted by: Tim and Inna on May 15, 2006 04:35 AM AEST
Mary, Happy Mother's Day!
Enjoy a nice rest day and hopefully the weather will get better.
Love, Tim and Inna.
Posted by: Alan Arnette on May 15, 2006 04:43 AM AEST
Hi Guys, Sounds like you are continuing to make good, sound decisions based on how you feel and the conditions. All my positive energy and thoughts as you prepare to leave for the summit bid soon.
Posted by: MC - Vancouver, Washington, USA on May 15, 2006 06:18 AM AEST
Hello to Fiona, Paul and all in BC
For all the solid planning, preparation and training you have done...you are RIGHT ON SCHEDULE. Great job! I am in awe of each and every one of you as you wait to begin the final ascent of this most daunting and majestic of mountains...this challenge of challenges. Rest well, stay safe and climb strong. MC
"Anyone can just stand in the spotlight, success goes to the one who makes the spotlight move." mc
Posted by: tam - Florida Keys, USA on May 15, 2006 08:33 AM AEST
P & F and the entire IMG Team:
You have planned for it, trained for it and waited for it.........And now the top of the world awaits! All of us from around the world are cheering you on!
Please let Dennis know that I tried to call the number, but was unable to get through. I wanted to wish him "saphalhos" and again remind him of how proud I am that "He's my man!".
To all of you, climb safe, climb strong.
Posted by: Peggy Brown Quad Cities, Il. Rock Island on May 15, 2006 08:48 AM AEST
Paul & Fiona. Your pictures are great and keep up on you msgs. daily. Stay safe and healthy. A note to Dennis. Keeping up with you on your climb with Tami and web-site. Hope the hat's are doing their job. Everyone at the farm said Hi and good-luck. We are all sending you our love and prayers. Take care.
Mom & Dad Brown
Posted by: Barb Johnston on May 15, 2006 09:14 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi
Sending heaps of good wishes for the next stage of this amazing adventure. You have so much support you will be amazed when you realise just how many people are following your story. The wedding plans all coming along well - still haven't received a rsvp from one of the bridesmaids and the MC however! Kate tried on the dresses for all of you on the weekend - Karlyne didn't make the first "fitting" either! Have you lost weight Fi? Keep safe and well can't wait to see a photo from the summit! Love Barb Johnston
Posted by: Jo on May 15, 2006 10:14 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona (and Mary!) - Hope the weather holds for you all! If you wouldn't mind re-informing me, as a new, faithful reader of your udpates, what is Mary's relation to your expedition? She sure seems like a great gal! Cheers - and get some rest!
Jo, WI, USA
Posted by: Raz on May 15, 2006 12:28 PM AEST
Hi guys, Just back from completing the Kokoda Track in PNG and very happy to see that your expedition is still going well. I hope that the illusive window opens up soon and you can make a bid for the summit. The Kokoda experience was exhausting, muddy and steep but everyone pulled through unscathed and enriched by the experience - I wish you the same good furtunes in your Everest adventure! I am loving the daily updates. Take care, Raz.
Posted by: John (the vet) from Bentleigh, in far off Melbourne. on May 15, 2006 12:51 PM AEST
Congratulations again and again for getting there and doing it, and inspiring a growing community of armchair mountaineers like me!
Harking back to the other day, I have been trying to figure out or find out why your fingers and toes would feel warm once you start sucking on the oxygen, and I think it is probably because the enriched air enables you to breathe a little more slowly, so you blow off less CO2. Hyperventillating here or at altitude causes a few problems, including the Cheynes_Stokes breathing mentioned earlier, and in some people it closes off the blood vessels in your exremities, causing cold and sometimes pain. Add a little oxygen and breathe a little more slowly, and peripheral blood vessels dilate, and your digits feel warmer. That's how I understand it, anyway.
Now I have a question, if I may. Why is camp 3 situated where it is? Seems to me that half way up a 45 degree icy slope is not the easiest place to pitch a tent. Is it because of the altitude, and the acclimitisation process? Or, despite appearances, is it actually a good spot to camp?
Posted by: ryan northern michigan on May 16, 2006 05:40 AM AEST
hi paul and fiona! i don't know you guys and am not sure if i'm supposed to email you? i'm not a climber or anything, but after i read INTO THIN AIR a few months ago (followed by every everest/mountaineering book or dvd i could find) i'm hooked on this stuff. anyways earlier this spring i was trying to find a team to follow on the internet, and your site seemed the neatest/clearest out there. is it possible to be a fan of this activity/sport? not sure, but if it is.......i am! good luck! keep warm!
Posted by: Tony on May 16, 2006 11:38 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi,
We've been following you climb very closely in our year 3 class at Canterbury PS. In our reading groups we are formulating questions and comments to post on your message board. We have a map in the room and are following your climb along with your updates. Good luck with the next stage of you climb.
Year 3S @ Canterbury PS.
Posted by: Anneke Thomson on May 16, 2006 04:48 PM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona
Do you remember your maths teacher???I really wanted to say how fantastic your adventure is and I will follow it all the way. In Jan this year I was at Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall in freezing conditions of
-20Degr with an icy wind!We could not stay long, what a hostile but amazing environment!It was one of my dreams to go there despite altitude sickness at some stage. Look after yourselves and enjoy it. The dry cold air could cause the hoarse throat/cough, but I am sure that you know all this.Best wishes.Anneke Thomson stleonards
Posted by: Lino Magnano on May 16, 2006 10:33 PM AEST
Hello Fiona and Paul, great to hear you have a day in mind for the assault. We are all praying for you and wish you God's speed, fair weather and may you reach safely one of humanity's highest goal. I envy you guys and hope to make it in 2008.
Be warm and feel invincible