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Author Topic: April 30: Bill Tyler: back from NC and first 2007 summits on Everest  (Read 5602 times)

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Hi all. Back in the BC and feeling good. I willl break the updates into several as to not bore you guys!
 
We left BC on the 19th of April to head up into the high country to get better aquainted with the mountain. Befiore we left, we had to say goodbye to two great guys and dear friends. Armin, from Russia, who old his wife that he was leaving for Everest the day before, (which proved to be his undowing when she stopped taking his calls) and Bruce the Kiwi. Bruce was on the North COl program, But WISELY made the choice to head home after ABC. (Bruce baby, the Noth COl was one of the hardest things I have evere done on a mountain, the first time.)
 
The trek up to ABC sucked as usual, and I was glad that my times improved dramatically. SO I felt that maybe there is something to training before a trip. We spent 3 days at ABC, 1 due to weather. I felt fine the whole time, with little headaches and short of breath to really make life interesting. It took a few days for mr to sleep longer than 3 hours. We got snow and wind, but I was fine. Warm as heck to say the least.
 
Off we went to the North Col at 7000 meters. The walk is about a Kilometer from our camp site, and not really too stressful. here is a place called Crampon point, where you strap on the crampons and harness. Then another walk for about 30 mins and there you are at the base of the col.
 
The north col is quite steep. Talking with the sherpas and other who have been there last year indicate that it is much steeper than previous years. NIce thing is that is makes it a short diatance to go. But it is steep! up to 95degrees in several places. I got on the lines and it took me about 5.5 hours. It was a struggle. Basically you pull yourself up a step, then rest, the do it again, all the while dealing with the wind, snow, and other climbers. There are alot this year. It just seemed to go on forever.
 
I was really glad to finally make the top and see tents. The whole of the tent site is on top of a serac, which someday is going to come crashing down. Lets pray not this year! Again I had no issues with altiude, just a dehydration headache. Oh ya, I puked my brains out at one point, I think due to exhertion.The nort col is a small place, and the views are tremendous. You can see the whole  of Everest in a way that no other place can give you. So it wsa great to be there.
 
I met up with some of the cast from the Discovery everest program, Met Tim and Moegns, and did not sleep a wink that night. Was glad to be going down in the morning. It took me 30 mins to get down the fixd ropes! Damn I love going down! My best ability!
 
So after the first time at the Col, we spent 2 days resting in ABC. PLayed alot of chess and tried to sleep as much as I could!
 
Stay tuned for Part 2! Gets interesting!
 
Just heard that the 2 super stars from Kasicstan who have been in and out of our camp nade summit. No oxygen, 11 8000m peak under their belt.
 
Bill
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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Hey Bill

What great news! I am so pleased for you and obviously the others whom I hope you will mention in your next post...can hardly wait as this wait 'till now has been far too long!!! I can just imagine the scramble to get to the two, or is it now one, computer in the entertainment tent!

I am starting to realise that I was more shaky than I thought while up there and that your quip about making ABC was enough of an achiement for a novice that probably saved me further embarasement higher up the mountain!!

I have sent mail to you guys and look forward to some replies. Please pass on my best wishes to the team and let them know that they are in my thoughts daily...this is an exciting time!!

Bruce

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Bill just sent part 2 of his trip report:

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So I left off after the first time up the north Col. Just as a point of reference, The north col is a bridge betwen the main mass of Everest, and the North summit of the mountain, called Changste (I will make sure thatis the right name for that part of the mountain). This "bridge" allows the climbers to set up a camp to continue to climb. The flank of Everest has no place to camp really, although it has been climbed before.
 
After the night at the north col, we dropped down the 400m face by rappelling and walking using the ropes fixed in place. It took 30 mins to go down the face that took 5.5hrs the day before. Sleeping at 7000m really means that you try to find a comfortable spot and then relx enough to let the min drift. There is no deep sleeping. MAybe for some, but no one I know! Sherpas maybe.
 
The next three days we spent just resting at ABC. I mean rsting. Lay in the tent, look at the roof, roll over and stare at the walls. Eat as much as you can, although there really is no appetite at this altitude either (6400m). If you move and forget that you are this high, You spent a few minutes gasping to regain control. I got pretty good at moving slowely. Ever time I got out of my tent though, I would gasp away.
 
So generally the days pass pretty fast, even though we did no do much at all. But I sure could not wait until the next trip up the ropes. I am really glad that the team decided to get all ofo the acclimatization done at once, instead of retuning to BC and then going back to the north col over that long approach. I hate that!
 
So after the three ays, up to the north col we went again. I must admit the second time was easier. Maybe because of the mind games, but it was not so bad. I beat my time alitle and felt pretty good. But, I got the cough!!! Nothing like last year, where I was coughing up lung chunks, but nontheless I got the high altitude cough. That night, we mashed down the floor to give us a smoother surface, which helped. One of the reasons that I slept so bad the previous time was because the floor was so bad the three of us ended up with sore backs and spooning on top of each other the whole night. No one could move or turn without disrupting the other two.
 
Again I did not sleep a wink. The coughing and thin air just make the night one long trial or endurance.
 
Up in the morning to head up the long snow ramp to 7500m. at this point, one is actually on the mountain. I felt strong, but a real problem cropped up.
 
We started out in our down suits, and the heat was so bad I felt like I was in a hot sauna. No wind, which is very unusual. The down suits are to help us with the wind, but ther has got to be some wind!!! I was sweating my brains out, which is exactly what I do not want. I pefer to move as cold as I can stand it, to keep fluids from sweating out.
 
The problem that Ihave is my feet were froxen. I have the best boots money can buy for this sort of thing, But my feet were like lumps of ice. I stopped after about an hour to tell the guides about it and I felt I should go down. I felt strong and had no altitude issues, but I didi not want to lose anything. I waited for about 45 mmins for Alex to come by. Wa talked about it and actually called a doctor (we have a new doctor now) and discused it by radio. At first he thought it was due to a bad heart, but after the talk decided it was due to cold boots. So Alex got me up and moving higher.
 
I moved to 7250m and felt really good. I knew that I could have caught up with the team struggling ahead of me. I actually was only one rope length away from the last team members I was moving so fast. But my feet were lumps of ice. I stopped and noticed that one of the team was on his way down. So I waited and Curt came doown due to stomch problems. At this point, I told Alex I was going down. I had no issue with it because it was to prevent any damage to my feet. I felt good about going furthur because I was physically felling strong, but I needed to figure out what was going on with my feet.
 
So we two headed down to the north col, taking out time. Once we got there, we then packed up and headed down to ABC. The ropes were no problem, and we got down to ABC in 1.5hrs. So we were doing well. My feet started to warm up once we got to crampon point, about 6500m. So I am wondering if maybe there is an altitude issue with my feet.
 
My personal no oxygen high point is 7250m, I think it is ok.Next time I am even near there, I will be on ox and it wont matter.
 
next, the descent to BC..
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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and part 3! Thanks Bill!

-----------------------
Here is the last and up to date post
 
After the descent to ABC from the high point, I was feeling the effects. We spent the night at abc and then walked the 19 kilometers to BC. The walk took about 5 hrs. We did not stop much. I was tired. After 10 days of no real sleep, coughing, and generally not eating (the food is great, but everyday it is the same. Chiken, some kind of vegs, some kind of carbos, always the same old thing).
 
The last 3 klometers are the worst, since it is really monotonous. But then you leave the trail and there is BC!!! YAY!! home!!!! THe first thing I did was take a shower. Oh wow! Clean and shaven. My lips look like they have been through a welter weight fight. Puffy and completely covered in scabs from sunburn and various other maladies. It hurts to smile or eat. But the thick air down here should get them fxed in no time. ALso, I have lost alot of weight. I feel like a skin and bones version of myself. But maybe this is a good thing, if I can stay this way.
 
After my shower, I sat around with the russians and yes, drank alittle too much. They sure are persistant wih the vodka. Never seen anything like it! Here at 5200m.
 
So, the next big question is where are we going for oue deep descent. It looks like the chinese have screwed us with prices, as it costs the same to go 350ilometers as it does to go 150. SO all of us are going to the border town of Zhangmu, for 4 days. That is the 350 k trip. I am not happy about it, as it is a large cost that I had no planned on, but they have us over a barrel. who to complain to? We will drop in altitude to about 7500ft, so that will be really good for the recovery process.
 
Yestrday was the 1st of may, I guess a real important day in China. SO we invited Russell BRice over for a party, complete with fire works. Go Alex!! It was alot of fun but I burned out early and went to bed around 1130. THe party went on until 2 am, with alot of folks getting hammered. Rusell is a nice guy, with a trememndous amount of experience and years of doing this. He gets alot of bad press by folks who dot even know him.
 
So, about the only thing standing in my wa to summit from me is the cold feet issue. I did not ome here to lose anything, so it will be crutial in the summit attempt. I am not going to lose my feet for this or any mountain. Not worth it. I talked to the doc and he feels it is a cold boot issue, which I can do something about. Keeping them as warm as I can before putting them on, etc. But if it is indeed a circulation problem, then I cant do anything about that. But we shall see. The summit attempt is more than 2 weeks away as it is.
 
 Thanks for all of your emails. I read them and it keeps me going. Time is limited for each of us on the inerenet to avoid one person taking all of the time, so I cant respond to all of you. But I am thankful for you thoughts.
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
 

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