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Author Topic: June 6 Hello from Zhangmu! Finally a report from Harry, about summitday and more  (Read 30529 times)

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Hi all you friends out there, I just entered the first available internet cafe since BC, in the border town of Zhangmu, and am overwhelmed by all the support I have read so far on the forum, for me as well as John and Lorenzo and the rest of the team. My sincere apologies for not being able to communicate, I hope to explain this in the following trip report, detailing the summit attempt . Sorry for the typo's, my fingertips are not completely 100% sensitive after the beating they got...

Also, this report is written chronologically, from a brain that has been oxygen deprived for far too long, so very likely there will be factual mistakes which might have to be corrected in a later version, my apologies for any inconvenience.
I have tons of photo's, except not of the summit day climb (just of the summit), but I cannot upload any of them here, so you will have to wait a while until I can replace 'Kenny' :-)

As you know our first team did a great job and summited in whole on 30th May. That day we were already starting up ourselves as the ascent takes multiple days, so our 2 teams were planned to meet up somewhere.


29th May: ABC - North Col.
The day before, the 29th, we started up around noon and quite easily climbed up to North Col in about 4 hours from ABC. It could have been faster even if we did not have to wait for some slower climbers on the ropes. I felt good and had no urge to take off my pack while talking to James, who just came down from his aborted summit attempt.
He was very emotional as he had been preparing for this week a long time, before and during the expedition. He is a really good guy, and someone I would always want to have next to me on any summit attempt. Maybe the time was not right for him now, but when he returns, he will be heading straight for this summit, and in a more sensible way than I did, I am sure.

Also chatted to some other climbers I knew, like Paul Boslooper from Holland -in Jamie Mc Guiness's team- and of course the Norwegians, just returning from their successful summit attempt; all 5 remaining climbers summited, and they deserved it, well done!

I relaxed during the afternoon and had a great sleep as both Jamie Mc Guiness as well as the Norwegians offered me a spare tent so we did not have to be cramped. It turned out we had plenty of tents, but I spent the night in the Norwegian tent anyway, so no-one would be bothered by my so-called snoring ;-)


30th May: North Col - Camp 2, 7700m
Next day was the moment we could start our oxygen, all climbers had a bottle ready at NC, but Lorenzo as well as myself decided to start without, as first of all it was not needed yet, 2nd of all, you might never know when the oxygen might come in handy...
I climbed fast and without problems, even though I was carrying the 4kgs cylinder/regulator myself. I did not see my personal Sherpa Lakcha until I stopped for a while at 7400m, at the bottom of the final snow slope before camp 2. I still felt good and strong, but remembered the pain from last year when I carried a really heavy pack up this steep hill and decided to turn the oxygen on right here.
It obviously did help or I was just still going strong, as I raced up the last hill as well.
From 7500m you leave the snow and enter a rocky ridge, where your scramble up a dusty trail. Meanwhile the weather had abruptly changed from very nice and pleasant to misty, windy and not at all desirable!
So I was glad Lakcha and I could enter an available tent to relax and get out of the blizzard that started.
A while later Lorenz arrived, who had followed about the same strategy; he came in our tent to relax before finding another tent that was suited for 3 persons, but never left ;-)
Sherpa Lakcha was apparently not feeling well, after getting a bag of snow to melt, he fell asleep, only to wake  up a few times to throw up. I checked his pulse oxygen level, ok, and asked him if he was sick or needed to ascend, but he just wanted to sleep. I discussed with Alex, but apparently there was no reason for concern.
I did all the cooking and melting, with Lorenzo helping when he had relaxed a bit after arrival and we had a quite a nice cozy time while the wind was howling outside.

We heard Nate and John arriving and only a long time later, also Robert finally arrived, taking a few hours longer than the rest of us. This had also happened on the way to NC and did not promise and suitable summit chance...

We heard that the first team summited in whole, great! But we never met them, so they must all be at 8300m as the weather was too bad too descend any further.


31st May: Camp 2, 7700m - camp 3, 8300m
I slept wonderfully well, the ear plugs helped a lot against the battling wind and sleeping on the lightest flow of oxygen possible (1/2l per minute) made me float into the sky and have great dreams :-)
Lorenzo felt reasonably as well and we joked our way through breakfast. Lakcha was feeling a bit better, but did not seem to be the strong man he was supposed to be.
The storm did not lessen, so we agreed with Alex (who was in the next tent, but we had to use radios) to head up now.
When stepping outside to prepare for leaving I noticed Sascha (Alexander) from team one, the first one I could congratulate.
Lorenzo and I started simultaneously and stayed close together all the way to the next camp. It was nice to notice that besides good conversation and tent-mates, we also were compatible climbers.
The climb, across simple moraine-like paths, scrambly rocks as well as long and steep snow gullies, would be relatively simple in good weather, but now this was already turning into an epic and we were not even on summit day! This weather is not associated with Everest, but this season, more has to be done to get even near the summit. But it felt good, the legs felt strong and in about 5 hours, we arrived, together with John at 8300m camp, where our tents were still standing

Later we heard that Robert had returned and aborted his summit attempt. It appears that an asthmatic problem keeps him from reaching the needed speed for a mountain like E, but also the lack of experience might have kept him from feeling how much he could work with his otherwise apparently well trained body. Anyway, we thought it was wise for him to quit now as with his speed he would never get to the summit and back.

(...)
« Last Edit: Jun 11 2005, 13:59 by erikv »
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1st June: waiting day, 8300m
It should be 'summitday', but when we were contacting each other at the agreed time, 0100am, it was clear we could not even go out, the tents were barely holding on and it sounded like we were strapped to the tarmac of an international airport, with 747's nonstop arriving and taking off..
2 hours later, nothing had changed and another 2 hours later again nothing. This was not going to work today and we were sombering by the minute..

In the morning we had a discussion about the available oxygen and the continuing/returning illness of Lakcha. Alex asked who would want to wait another day at this camp and shoot for the summit the next night instead. When Nate announced that he felt this was enough for him and he wanted a safe descent with his personal sherpa, Alex announced that he would give up his own summit bid and go down with Nate, so we would have enough oxygen for the remaining climbers, John, Dmitry, Lorenzo and myself.

We spend the rest of the clear but windy day relaxing and again I felt good, sometimes using little oxygen, sometimes nothing while taking pictures of the breath taking scenery. Here I was sitting, in my tent, looking down on the clouds engulfing the summit of Cho Oyu, the 5th highest summit in the world! It was a miracle and a privilege to just be there, even though the wind was relentlessly hard. Lorenzo was very tired, John seemed fit and happy and Dmitry did not show himself all day.

I had discussed with Alex and our sirdar Mingma about Sherpa Lakchas, but they both assured that he was one of the strongest men around and any problem would be temporarily. I wanted to be sure, because it is still a strange relationship, paying someone to endanger himself and I did not want to kill this friendly man, just because he wanted to make some money.

After photographing the sunset I went to sleep, after eating a nice spicy noodle soup and some sweets as I was actually hungry!


2nd June: Summit day, 8300m - 8848m - 8300m
I had agreed with John to start together with all 4 climbers at 01.00, but Lakcha did not wake me up as agreed and I shot awake just 10 minutes before departure time, still having to warm my feet & inner boots and get the entire system ready to leave.
So when we finally left the tent at about 01.30, I was sure we had to race to catch up with the others. Contacting them first did not work; our radio already malfunctioned inside the tent, something that would not improve during the day.
We traversed to the trail and firmly stepped up the steep snow slopes and scramble rocks of the 'exit cracks', leading to the North East ridge.

The wind was hard, but we were relatively sheltered and within a few hours we reached the ridge, climbing about the same speed as other climbers.
On the ridge I saw Dmitry coming up from behind; apparently he had started late as well. He passed and Lakcha & I continued together. But the moment we headed towards the direction of the summit, the wind hit me full force, not only literally trying to sweep me off my feet, but it also blew the mask from my face a few times. It was pitch dark and therefore not useful to wear the goggles, something that Lorenzo (who was also behind us it appeared later) would find out soon after...
A worse effect of the wind was that my throat seemed to narrow. I thought I had recovered from the throat infection from almost 2 weeks ago and nothing had proved otherwise the past week of climbing back up from BC to 8300m.
But now it seemed that someone was not only slowly squeezing my throat, but punching my whole body at the same time.
The ridge is not that technical, but very exposed and sometimes a single frayed rope is all that would keep you from being blow off the downward-tiled rocks and down the 3000m high North Face. So we had to take care, which took some time.

We scrambled up the surprisingly hard first step in still pitch dark, Lakcha leading the way. It is strange to walk on sometimes almost even tracks of half a foot wide, knowing that you are nor really connected to your left and to your right is a half minute freefall to forever.. Separating the 2 are a thin rope (most of the times) and crampons helping you stick to the snow and rocks...
Dawn was coloring the sky many shades of everything and it made me hope that that this bloody beating wind would stop, or that we would at least find a spot to get out of it, if only for a minute.
The 2nd step is know for it's ladders, but the hard part is actually the beginning, where you have to pull you up with all force on a bundle of old ropes, while scratching your crampons on the featureless rocks. This is quite hard for most people at sea level, but at 8600+m, almost impossible and at the top of the step, I dropped to the trail, letting John and his Sherpa pass, while trying to get breath. I did not notice then (yes, Jamie, hindsight is always 20/20 as you put it ;-) that I did not recover as I always do after hard exercise.
I just could not get enough breath into my system, raising the oxygen flow did not make any difference, the volume of air simply was not enough to get me fit again after the hard exercise.
I noticed that I could only do a few steps at a time, before panting, but hey, this is Everest, right? You cannot climb any higher than this and your are not supposed to run up it...
So half way the easy part between 2nd and 3rd step (though the wind never stopped beating my throat) I decided to change my oxygen bottle and go with a fresh one to the summit and back. John and some other climbers were only slightly in front of me, so I assumed I was doing well.
Time wise I was still, actually, but when I slowly walked towards the 3rd step I had to lean on rocks and my axe to not be blown over constantly. Lakcha came over to me and asked me if I wanted to go up or down. I felt my body, which had not recovered since the 2nd step and thought: 'Ok, this is it, no Everest for me. I do not know what has changed the past hour, but I am too weak to climb this.'
Then I noticed that the other climbers were not moving much faster and that the summit appeared to be only one snowfield away, a snowfield that seemed much smaller from up close than it always looked from basecamp.
'Up', I pointed to Lakcha, as talking was still impossible.

So we continued, but my pace dropped more and more, but gradually. The easy scramble up the 3rd step, which would take less than a minute at sea level, took me ages and Lakcha was waiting and gesticulating impatiently at its top.

A great shock was awaiting me when following the ropes at its top towards the snow field. Draped over a small rock was something that looked like a very outdoor-dressed fashion doll. Spread eagled, upside down, but with face outward it looked like a sick joke someone would want to play at me.
Marko. His hands were bare and strangely coloured, as was his face. His crampons sticking clean and razor-sharp into the air, his face literally frozen in some scream of agony. He did not look like Marko, and I did not want to come close enough to convince myself. But it was him, the strong man we got to know the past few months. Many, many thoughts, mixed with an infinite numbness mixed in my oxygen deprived brain. Then I decided that it had not happened, that Marko had not died here, that there was no dead body and that the summit was close.
Only the latter was true. No, I did not take pictures, but will have to live with the fact that the slide of this scene is projected non-stop in the back of my mind.
I short-cut a small section as his body was right on the ropes and slowly got up the snow slopes where I met Dmitri descending.

You would expect the route to go right up the summit, but it traverses to the rocks to the right, where the strangest section is coming: more old frayed roped, attached to nothing and small ledges and crunchy rocks are supposed to keep you from falling down one of the biggest drops on earth.
The wind was hard and many times I had to dive for the rocks to avoid being fallen of and having to rely on the weather-worn strands of old rope. Halfway the track switch-backs to the left and there I met John and his Sherpa, who had just come down from the summit. It was really getting hard now, but all climbers said I was really close and when I emerged from the rocks onto the snowfield, Lakcha was waiting, saying, we would walk the final steps to the summit together.
But reaching the top of the 10m high slope was disappointing as could be: instead of prayer flags, I could see a series of snow slopes leading up to a small ridge where to climbers where sitting amongst all kinds of colourful stuff. But the bad part was, this was at least another 30 meters up and a larger distance away and all my energy was needed to stay upright in the wind.
But we slowly continued and I think about 13.30 I finally made the last steps unto the ridge where I could no longer ascend anymore, anywhere on the planet.
This is it! The summit of the world, Sagarmatha, Chomolongma, Mt Everest, all just names for the huge piece of rock stretching out below me in all possible directions but above!
It felt strange, both due to the weakness in my body, my thoughts about Marko and the realisation that I was as far away from safety as possible on earth...

(...)
« Last Edit: Jun 7 2005, 15:31 by erikv »
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GOING DOWN
I took some quick pictures of the incredible views of 8000-ers Makalu, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu as well as some climbers returning on the Nepali side. Of course some pix with 7summits.com stickers, Dutch flags and scarf and other stuff :-)
Then around 1400 and bit we headed down again.
Oww, if I thought I had been out of energy going up, strangely enough, I felt worse when descending. I had to stop even more often, and could not figure out what was going on. Was my oxygen set malfunctioning? Did I need sugar?

The descent was slow and painful and Lakcha was getting angry with me, saying I was a 'Lazy climber'! I really wanted to get down faster and knew the time and oxygen consequences, but just couldn't. After each 4-5 steps, I literally collapsed onto my feet, panting and hyperventilating for several minutes.
Even abseiling the 3rd step, took me so much effort that I thought I could never get enough breath again and would just die on the spot, trying to breath.
But after several minutes I finally had enough oxygen in my system to be able to open my eyes and slowly continued. Descending the 2nd step is a lot scarier than going up it as you first of all see the drop you will make when you mess up, 2nd of all some bodies who messed up before you, 3rd of all, down climbing over an edge, placing your feet onto small rock holes that you can not see is even harder than pulling yourself up the other way around.
If you add full loss of energy to this, you might imagine that I had some thoughts of just not going down the 2nd step and simply waiting on top of it until conditions would improve....
But of course that would not happen, so after a few tries, I found the right sequence and safely descended onto the ladder.

So it continued all the long way along the ridge, until before I knew it, darkness started to fall. Why so long? Every time I had done a few paces, I had to rest, almost fell asleep, scaring myself awake, still out of breath. This also points out the importance to climb with a partner, if not a professional Sherpa, then at least someone who can watch you and vice versa...

When we finally entered the exit cracks down to camp 3, I was chanting to myself: ‘Slowly, Camp3, water!'
My thirst was getting incredible; the last water/energy juice I brought was frozen solid. Darkness fell quick, if you miss a few minutes after every few steps, time seems to go like a time-elapsed film of a Serengeti sunset, unreal but fast.
I still had to sit down every few steps, or I would faint and fall down, but it made Lakcha mad. But I had no choice, my legs would not carry me further and only with the most concentration I could balance myself at all and get down a few meters. Focusing on the small wins, I went from rock to rock, from snow field to snowfield, still aiming at the water of camp 3, but resisting the urge to simply dive down to 8300m.
It was dark when Lakcha said we needed to abseil the next section, but when I gave him my figure of 8 (descender), he dropped it, tingling down into the darkness. But fortunately automatism allowed me to make an HMS knot in the dark and I could abseil with it.
My headlamp had fallen out of my pocket early in the morning, when I stowed it away at dawn. Now this was a major pain and more reason for unwanted delay. So Lakcha had to lead the way down the last snowfields and then shine the shallow light back up, so I could try to follow it back down.

When we finally reached camp it was about midnight, almost 23 hours after leaving. Some other Sherpa's came out to help and dragged me the last few meters to the tent where John was sleeping and simply threw me in, much to dismay of John who was trying to sleep in the tent where one side was already ripped to pieces.
I felt happy, lying on the floor side of the tent, breathing oxygen. That was, until, I felt all kinds of stuff thrown on my face and I heard poles or ropes snapping and realized I was in the overhanging bottom part, with just one layer of plastic separating me from a drop towards the Rongbuk glacier, I panicked and simply wanted out..
So I shouted for the Sherpa to pull me out, which he did with brute force, causing John (who did not even know it was me at the bottom) to get angry as many of his belongings went out the door as well. At the first pull the sherpa pulled off my glove and the hard wind immediately hit me the moment I was pulled out of the tent. There was another small tent opposite and I got inside, and was greeted by two other Sherpa's, not ours, but friends nonetheless.
I crawled in the corner, trying not to disturb them, even helping them by blocking the gap in the entrance by my body, stopping the wind from blowing in. I tried to rest on a bed of oxygen bottles and asked the 2 if they could make me some tea, water, juice or anything fluid. It was not quite clear if they were preparing for the summit as their English was limited (mine probably too..), but they kept on feeding me fluids whenever I asked.
Every time I fell asleep I was immediately awakened by a violent itch in my throat, coughing myself awake and resulting in hands or mouthfuls of phlegm, in different colours and coming straight out of my throat. Sometimes this was a great relief as I found I could breathe a lot easier, with or without oxygen, but sometimes, the stuff just did not come out completely and blocked my breathing even more. But the fluids definitely helped in getting it loose.


3rd June: 8300m - ABC, 6400m
This way I worked myself through the night, coughing, spitting, breathing little oxygen and thinking about daylight. When it finally came I was helped by our Sherpas in getting my gear together and started the descend towards ABC. Still the wind was hard and no step was easy.

The night had not given me any energy, which was strange as normally even 20 minute sleep is enough to get going again.
But to cut a long story short, all day, I had the same pace as when returning from the summit, making Lakcha mad. I really wanted to try walking longer stretches, but the few times I tried to pass the limits of what my body told me I could do, I had to repay by total exhaustion, hyperventilation without control on spots where I needed to hold on, but couldn't.
So I continued my slow descent, pushed by Lakcha and went slowly down the ridge and snowfields.
Marian called me when I was at about 7300m, descending the relatively easy snow slopes, and as I was going the same pace as 3 or 4 other climbers, I assumed that I was out of the danger zone and told her that another 3 or 4 hours would do it.
No way. Half way down the ropes from NC to ABC I suddenly felt dizzy, fell to the ice and had trouble not sliding down the face.
The extra oxygen bottle Lakcha had arranged and which he had put on 4l/minute had turned empty, which hit me on the head like a steel hammer.
So it was again dark when I abseiled one rope, using my HMS carabiner, while he was shining his light from the other rope.
Coming down on the flat, 'easy' part of the glacier I could not stand on my legs at all and fell al the time while following Lakcha's small bundle of light through his legs. No voice to warn him, I just fell down and lay there until he realized I was no longer there. I had to stop myself from sleeping in my warm down suit in the dark night, get back up my feet and stumble a few meters before collapsing again.
I did not make it to the end of the ice where 2 other Sherpa's where waiting for us with tea. Even though our radio never recovered, we were followed by our team and they were sent ahead to help us back to ABC..
After the tea and relieved from the weight of my backpack and crampons, I could walk again, but still only for a few meters before hitting ground. More Sherpa's had arrived and our Sirdar Mingma said that it would be faster if they could carry me.
I had not a single bit of energy or pride left to argue against this and so, almost 48 hours after setting out for the summit of Everest, I was carried the last few hundred meters back to camp, over a simple rock path, that normally takes only a few minutes...

Alex and Doctor Andrey were waiting for me and placed me on a makeshift intensive care room in our huge dining tent. Andrey opened up my down suit and started giving all kinds of injections; from soothing to very painful ('This should hurt!').
But the best was the tea and juice they gave me, although it was followed by rough fits of coughing and spitting, mixed with weird dreams about Russians not wanting each other to speak.


4th June: ABC, 6400m - BC, 5200m
The next morning Andrey seemed pleased to find me still alive, though they both had checked on my all night long.
'Time to get up, we are packing'. It took me ages to get upright, amazed by what I had spat out in the big bowl during the night of hallucinations dreams.
But I had to get to my tent, start packing as the yaks already arrived.
What's more, I had to get going as I should be down in BC, 20 km away the same day...
So I started packing, feeling like I had drunk the entire expedition liquor cabinet the evening before and still weak.
While walking down I had to focus constantly, but could continue for longer periods and even made it down before dark, totally exhausted...


5th June: BC, organizing
Finally I had a reasonable decent night for the first time since leaving ABC a week ago, though I still feel totally hangover.
Today we pack our BC and get ready for the descent, but I also want to talk to Andrey about what happened to me.
'Your old infection was slumbering and only came back up on the summit ridge due to the extremely hard and dry wind, drying your throat, creating some kind of acute Bronchitis, blocking your throat as no phlegm could go out and it was all stuck and dried in place, therefore not letting enough air in, even with maximum oxygen flow.
When you were brought in, your blood pressure was so low and you had a serious cerebral oedema, as a result of the ongoing hypoxia, so I gave you 2 shots of dexamethason, some stimulants and painkillers to keep you going. It is a fairytale you came down by yourself and that you are alive now."

I thought about this and suspected a bit of Russian drama, but reality hit me only when that same evening we heard about someone from Gary Kobler's group, who had a similar problem, but less serious, he turned around on time and managed to get down to 7700m camp after his summit attempt.
But there he died the same night.

Should I have turned around? Of course, especially when you know all the facts afterwards. I summited with an acute bronchitis and made it down alive, though it only feels so now, several days after.
Whatever the best course of action would have been or should be, Everest is a serious mountain and should never be underestimated by anyone. Do not climb alone, and as I can add from personal experience which I am lucky enough to share now: if you are not 100% fit, forget it. The summit is far less than halfway down on Everest.


6th June: BC- Zhangmu
Just entered the internet cafe and one of the first things that struck me was the death of Scottish climber Rob Milne. Though we never met, Rob contributed a lot of pictures to the site as well as GPS coordinates from his climbs, some of them were even used in the just released Aconcagua guide. We agreed by email to meet on the summit. I wish his family and friends all the strength they will need to help overcome the loss of this great person.

Simultaneously I read about the 7th summit of my friend Jake, whom I had the pleasure to take to the summit of Denali in 2003; if it weren't for the summit of Danielle Fisher a few days before, he would have been the youngest 7summiteer as well.

Ok, have been writing for 5 hours non-stop, time for some recovery sleep as I need a long way before I am strong again...
Hope this story makes any sense, maybe can help others, or just confirms to you that climbers are complete nitwits ;-)

Signing off from a lonely internet cafe, 04.16 Beijing time,

Harry

Harry Kikstra,
7summits.com
« Last Edit: Jun 7 2005, 15:58 by erikv »
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EdwoodCA

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Holy sh**.

I am floored by your recollection of you ordeal/adventure.  Amazing and miraculous.  Grateful to be alive is a huge understatement, huh?  Congratulations on your dramatic summit! Thanks so much for sharing your fresh memories.  Safe travels to you on your way home.  [fast recovery, too!]

I'm a college friend of John Christiana's, and I really apprectiate the remarks about his experience on the attemp, as well.

Thanks,

Edward
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Corsair

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 :)
Great story Harry and yes, it does confirm that we are knitwits, but I'm proud to be one.

One more time - Congratulations!

Off for an 8000-er myself in a couple of days.

Later, Corsair.
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To die? No, I climbed up there to LIVE!

Mary Clare

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Hi Harry

Unbelievable!!!   :o   :eek)

An amazing story.  You really are lucky to be alive.  Count your lucky stars!  When I spoke to you at ABC, you had said you thought you would go down to BC on the 6th.  I can't believe that you were woken up after your ordeal and had to immediately pack and head down to BC!  I hope you will get some much needed rest now and recover 100%.  You really should write a book...as Lorenzo put it...this is one hell of a story!!!

I am very happy that you did summit.  Congradulations big time!

All the best to you in all your adventures.  (Maybe a little less dramatic on your next one!)

mc
(John Christiana's sister)
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Terry Cutts

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Harry, it was interesting meeting you at our friend's Ap sculpture party...Thank god we will have another opportunity to meet in person again.

From the very flat lands of Toronto

Please keep well!

Terry Cutts
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Mary Clare

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Hey Harry

A possible song of the day for Summit Day:

Katmandu by Bob Seger..."I think I'm going to Katmandu.  That's really, really where I'm going to.  If I ever get out of here, that's what I'm gonna do".

I'm sure you will come up with one of your own...just thought I would throw this one out there.

Cheers,
mc
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Jette

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When will you be at Schiphol you crazy man?

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bassie

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Hi Harry,

wat een verhaal!! gevaarlijke gek!! Hoop dat je snelweer terugkomt in Da Lowlands, laat even weten wanneer. Dan gaan we snel de berg in het Amsterdamse Bos beklimmen om je nog een beetje in shape te houden!!

tot snel!

groevaba
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Bassie from Holland

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 :eek)
nn......, still want to fiets back to Holland?
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Hi all,
thanks all for your first reactions, I will have to reread it to see what I exactly wrote last night, but it seems quiet accurate..

 
Quote
nn......, still want to fiets back to Holland?

I do want to. but I just gave away my new bycicle to Lakcha Sherpa as a thank you for helping me save my life. I do not think I would have come down breathing if he had not been there. Our Sherpa team is truly amazing, this was recognized by all teams on the mountain...

Corsair, good luck! Where are you climbing?

Terry, maybe flatlands will be better for me, though drinking with you and Ap might be worse for my survival chances  ;)

Am back in Kathmandu now, due to all flight being full, I cannot stay longer as planned and will have to fly home tomorrow morning..

When will you be at Schiphol you crazy man?

I will arrive tomorrow evening, 8th april at 22.25 from London...

MC, Edward, John is still sitting next to me, having finsihed his 2nd sundae brownie in 10 minutes, so he will be ok  ;D

Gotta arrange my cargo now, but love to hear more from all of you.

Xox,
H
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

EdwoodCA

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 :lol)

Thanks Harry, for letting us know about John's post-summit rehabilitaion plan!!!


Safe travels to ya!
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Mary Clare

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:lol)

Thanks Harry, for letting us know about John's post-summit rehabilitaion plan!!!

mc

p.s.  I am seriously considering a 7 Summits trip to Kilimanjaro and combining the climb with a safari.      ;D
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Henk

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Harry:

What an incredible story!  Congratulations!  So glad you survived it and are safe.   The whole thing is very high risk; look all the folks that perished and others who experienced serious medical conditions. I can't imagine doing anything like this ever (even if I had been younger).   I trust you have learned some serious lessons from this experience.    Maybe you can make it your mission from now on to talk people out of trying to climb ME.  I think it's lunacy. 

All the best,

Henk (off to the US again tomorrow (June 8))



   
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Ron

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Hey Har,

That was right on.....no over the limit m8. Im gonna give you a good spanking when you get back  ;). Dont do thaty again m8.

Having that said. Looking foward to your arrivel in the good old netherlands and have a party celebrating you being alive. ;D
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landrover

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hi harry,

i believe that your survival story should be re-enacted in a documentary film for others to experience everest's true-to-life experiences so if anyone should make an attempt at everest's summit, he/she can prepare best physically and mentally.

what do you think of my suggestion ?

landrover
« Last Edit: Jun 8 2005, 21:35 by landrover »
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landrover's everest ascent 2006

ap

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Harry just called:

He missed his plane in London.
He is OK, but arrives tomorrow morning at 8.40

I tried to phone to Schiphol, to tell the people who are waiting, but Schiphol can't be reached by phone.

Sorry for all.

Greetings,
Ap
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wtyler

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Well done Harry! I followed your adventure with a great deal of interest, as I am going with the Russian Adventure Team to Everest next year. I have a number of questions concerning your experience that I am hoping you can answer that are related to the logistical side of things, for instance, were there any hidden costs that you found that ae not covered by the the fee that I pay to the RAT. Drop me a line through my email. I am keen to heat what you have to say.


Bill
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MoT

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Holy Crap! That sounds like a serious amount of luck went into your survival...  :o

I'm smiting you for making us all worry like that! One less altitude point next to your name - let THAT be a lesson to ya!   ;D

Seriously though - don't put us through that again!

Remember a message you sent me last January?

Quote
Hey MoT!

glad you are back in one piece as well. Damn your bad luck 
At least you did not have eggs this time..

Reading your story, I think you made a good call turning back; the mountain will be there much longer than your feet...

Amazing but oh so recocnizable to read about your sick teammate not wanting to descend. Because of the little technical ability needed many people do not see the real danger of this mountain. He is very lucky to be alive...

Lucky - lucky indeed!

All the same though - well done!


PS - Ron, welcome back!
« Last Edit: Jun 10 2005, 01:20 by MoT »
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Rob Krenik

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hey, my wife and me have really appreciated all your logs Harry. I am a college friend of John's too.  Congrats on the successful summit and glad you made it down alive.
Welcome home!  Rob Krenik  ;)
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Arbu2

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Well done Harry on making it up there, and more importantly on somehow surviving having done so. I think reading your report makes it clear that I made the right decision in turning around; I would have had even more touble than you. Incidentally it wasn't an asthmatic problem that I had, but the same cough that I think you had and other people had earlier on. I just kept coughing up all sorts of stuff (stomach lining?) and it was really weakening me, so it was becoming clear with that and the weather that I was never going to make it. And it meant that you guys got to use my three oxygen cyclinders at Camp III, so I hope you're grateful!

Robert
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Romke

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I am so glad I read this story only after seeing you for diner, Harry. The course of events on June 2nd and 3rd are as exciting to read as a best selling thriller. I felt so happy to have peeked at the last page and know that you lost a few kilograms, but are back home safe and healthy.

Feelings were mixed when I saw you today, more than 9 weeks after dropping you off at Schiphol airport. First of all I was plain happy to see you back alive, in one piece and with all fingers and toes in place. I expected you to still talk with a cough and a squeak as in the last phone calls, but you sounded amazingly familiar like Harry!

Then some profound anger came up. Anger for getting a good friend worried. It wasn't fun, trying to enjoy a holiday in Spain, squeezing my phone to see if any new message would come out, hoping for good news and fearing for bad. It was a welcome relief, kicking your butt hard, but remember that I intend to kick a lot harder if you ever come up with a similar bad idea.

It's impossible to stay angry though. I had a good laugh about the 'boys kick ass too' banner and the image of you in the Kenny suit. I sure shed a little tear when you gave me your present. Small, but from the one and only top of the world.

But finally, the emotion that will sure last longest, is that of awe. I'm seriously impressed by how you pulled this one off. The whole organization, getting the funds together, throwing yourself into a two month adventure, reaching the summit of the big E and crawling away from it alive. You really deserve an oortje Har!

 
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PeterR

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Congrats Harry - and welcome back home - that was a close call.

Goed gedaan jochie  ;)
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Paul en Jacqueline

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Hoi Harry

Proficiat met je fantastische prestatie!
We hebben met veel ontzag, verbazing en respect je "ijzingwekkende" relaas gevolgd. Petje af!

Succes bij je laatste 7 summit

Paul en Jacqueline
Tilburg
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7summits

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Re: June 6 Hello from Zhangmu! New pictures added
« Reply #25 on: Jun 22 2005, 18:07 »

Hi all, thank you so much for your support and comments, both on the forum as well as by email. I will miss that the coming months!

I have just added 12 pictures and a one minute summitvideo from the Everest trip, you can see them here in the 7summits.com Everest picture gallery

As always, you can send every picture as an ecard and leave comments on the picture.

We do sell handmade limited edition signed prints of these files (made with pro Digital SLR), contact me if you are interested.

Enjoy!  O0
Harry
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Anthony van Tonder

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Well done Harry!

regards,

Anthony
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