Hello, it’s Paul here.
Fiona and I are back home in Melbourne after nearly two months traveling through France, Spain, Portugal and the US. We’ve had a great time, but in hindsight we should have spent more time in the US as we didn’t get to see everyone we had hoped.
When we last wrote we were in Spain, with the next stop being Portugal. By the time we got to Portugal we were starting to get a bit sick of cathedrals and castles, so we opted for a day’s canoeing trip down a nearby river. It was really good fun, although the owners of the canoeing company had very laid back approach. They just put the group of us in the river and told us that we’ll see you in town at the end of the day, some 26 km down the river. “Oh, and by the way make sure you watch the waterfalls, low bridges, and stay to the left hand side of most rapids.”!
Whilst in Portugal we stayed with some lovely people who provided us with some really great accommodation in the countryside. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food available, especially at the bakeries, which we availed ourselves of at every opportunity!
Off to the US
After a week in Portugal it was back to Madrid where we took in the Picasso exhibition and then onto Boston where we climbed Mt Washington with my brother, Tim, and Andy, a friend of his. The temperature was just below freezing on the top, but the cafeteria was a welcome refuge. There is quite a bit of information about the weather station up there, as it holds the record for the highest wind speed ever recorded on earth (231MPH).
We then visited Bud Allen in Georgia, who was a climber with us on Everest. Bud and his wife Terri, showed us a sights of the area, including taking us up in his acrobatic plane. Doing barrel rolls and stalls was quite an experience for Fiona and I, but one that we thoroughly enjoyed.
After Georgia it was off to visit Dennis and Tamara in the Florida Keys (Dennis also climbed with Fiona and I). We were lucky enough to be able to borrow some scuba diving gear from their friends Larry and Marriane, and we enjoyed two really nice dives nearby. Colorful coral, plenty of fish and pretty good visibility. Warm water too: 32C/87F!
After that it was time to head home.
Whilst we were away I have had some time to think about whether to go back to Everest this coming Spring or not. It’s not an easy decision – a lot of hard work, discomfort and money needs to be expended to get you to the South Col in May, where you hope the weather and your health will hold up so that you can have a chance at standing on the top of the world. Fortunately I don’t mind the training too much, and I am still very motivated to experience what it feels like climb Everest. I also think that it’s still a good time in our lives to attempt Everest as we don’t have too many commitments. So I have decided to go back again for another attempt.
There is a lot of things to organize between now and March 07 if I am to go back to Everest again:
Which company to climb with?
What oxygen system to use?
The most pressing items on this list are choosing the company and training. Fortunately I have been keeping reasonably fit whilst we have been away, and will ramp up the training over the next few months. I plan to change our training program slightly from last time, as I think that there are a few improvements that we can make. I will write more about these things in the coming months.
As far as choosing a company for logistics, I want to look at the range of options out there and in particular talk to other people who have made several attempts on Everest using different companies.
Fiona is keen to come to Everest too, although she is not at all keen to go through the icefall again. She plans to trek into base camp in early May so that she can be there during the summit attempts. She will welcome anyone that wants to trek in with her; again more on this later.
I am keen to hear from other people thinking of climbing Everest in 07. The best way to contact me is posting a message on this site.