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Author Topic: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC  (Read 4357 times)

Romke

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13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« on: May 17 2005, 21:52 »

13th-May Back to the Advanced Basics

As Noel & Lynne's gear is still at ABC, and we have 2 porters today to bring stuff up, I will go to ABC as well to prepare their luggage, so the porters can take it with them on the way down.

After breakfast and a much needed shower I head off to higher grounds. Not completely rested, but with my favorite songs on the Ipod and a nice cool but sunny weather, I do not stop and reach middle camp in about 2.5 hours.
The cook prepares a quick lunch and within an hour I hit the rocky track again.
Very few people are hiking today and I feel alone on the earth. While Everest gets closer, the music in my ears keeps me going faster and faster, my senses work together and my emotions mix into a whirlpool of feelings.

There is something about this place, last year the exact same thing happened here, somehow going to ABC using this desolate track means crossing some mental border. I appreciate the beauty of life while almost desiring to turn back at the same time.
The ugliness of the dry rocks and Ice sharks is only surpassed by it's beauty, the smell of the dry air, the view of giant Everest, so close but so far away, the feeling of the wind through my hair and the sound of the best spinechilling music in my ears.

Senses overload.

Time seems to stop and simultaneously speed up and mix future, past and present into one giant symphony that drives me crazy and makes me ecstatic at the same time.
This is part of Everest's magic, I am terrified by it and love it as well and float across the moraines towards ABC.


Still the last hour is hard and I am glad when I reach ABC, deserted as it is.
Pemba Sherpa helps me packing all of Noel & Lynne's gear and before the porters arrive we have everything packed for their return the next morning. I am the only teammember here as the rest will stay in middle camp and after a quick meal I head into the cold tent, wind picking up in speed.


Song of the day: There were about 90 songs in my mind today, but maybe they can be added to one in particular:
Black - Wonderful Life
"Look at me here, here on my own again, up straight in the sunshine. No need to run and hide."


14th May Russian camp

While I am resting, the first team drops in. We have divided the remaining climbers into 2 groups, the first group is mainly Russian, with James as the exception as he's climbing with his friend Karo.
But James had breathing problems when going to Middle camp yesterday and stays one extra day there today.
So in the evening it is Russian camp again, with little room for english..

But I meet up with Paul Boslooper, the other Dutch climber and we have a nice chat about the mountainlife.
Also Lakpa Sherpa drops by, she is not only our Sirdar Mingma Gelu Sherpa's sister, but a national climbing hero, having summited Everest 4 times. She is only 29 and will try to add two more Big E summits this season.
She is very knowledgeable and funny as well and it is nice to chat about the weather, mountains in general and other aspects of life while our gas stove acts as a woodfire..

There are different weather forecasts; one of them predicted a dip in the wind these days and the Norwegian team has gone up for a summit attempt. But the wind is strong as ever and they will have to abandon their attempt, a Sherpa getting frostbite while fixing ropes.
So now the ropes are fixed to about 8500m, but the weather does not seem to change anytime soon, at night the tents get hit hard again...

Song of the day:
Bob Dylan: Hurricane


15th May: Patience in ABC

During the day, Karo, James and the Slovenians Victor and Marco arrive, and that is about the most exciting thing happening. It is important to do stuff while not exhasuting yourself, meanwhile patience is the only way to make it through the next week..

Nickolay, Ivan and I prepare 15 bags of food for the high camps and Lakpa drops by again for more chats about oxygen, tourists, accidents and the ever central weather forecast, which does not seem to change an inch the next few days...
While Doc Andrey arrives in the evening, James and I go for a neighbour visit and drop by in the Norwegian tent, to hear about their warstories from the past few days. They are very friendly and strong guys and we spend quite some time there.
Noel calls me to let me know he and Lynne are enjoying a Sundae brownie: Kathmandu!
They arrived ok, after a long day of driving and now have to wait for the confirmation of their return flight.
The wind is blowing harder than ever when Jamie and I return to our tents and a restless night will follow..

Song of the day: Guns 'n Roses - Patience
"You and I got what it takes to make it"

16th May: Politics and the FBC semi-reunion.

We start off quietly at breakfast, but soon a discussion about politics between James, Karo and myself gets heated. But as always we end up with  a smile and harsh words are quickly forgotten and exchanged for some chess games.
In the afternoon the FBC is almost complete again when Lorenzo, John, Nate and -late- Robert arrive.
The entire team is up at ABC now, but  it is clearly a lot quieter without Noel and Lynne and most FBC's head to their tent early.

17th May: Speculations

There are different weather forecasts, and while it is tempting to just pick out the one that suits your schedule best, it is important to try to get the whole picture.
As we know now it will be louzy weather for another 3 days minimum, after that it can be anything, we have no reliable forecasts.
Two members, Ivan and Igor decide that this is enough reason to go back down to basecamp again, while the rest stay in ABC.
It is hard to say what is wiser, as both options have its pro's and con's.
BC has more luxury & better air, ABC makes your blood still change more which will help later on.
In ABC the rest of your body and mind will deteriorate more, but you save two tiresome days of hiking to BC and back...

So there is no definite truth, for now we stay here, but I personally feel the devastating effects myself: my sinuses are blocked, my throat is painful, swallowing is hard and my voice is down to a minimum...
Even small hikes to other parties can leave you out of breath for many minutes and the summit seems a long way from our cozy ABC tent...

We get many visitors from other parties wanting to discuss the options with us; the latest news is that there might be a decrease in wind the 20th & 21st, then more storm and another possible decrease the 25th.
But even if this will be confirmed the next days we still have the problem of the ropes above the 2nd step. They have not been put there,even though many parties have paid Himalayan Experience to take care of it. But their clients might not be ready, so we will need another meeting of the heads tomorrow to check the possibilities...
We will keep you posted!

Signing off from ABC,
Harry
Www.7summits.com

Song of the day, we played this during dinner, and it seems appropriate from now until after summitday:
Bee Gees: Staying Alive...

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EdwoodCA

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #1 on: May 18 2005, 04:37 »

Hang in there... may the weather gods shine upon you soon.

Been reading this forum the past few days to catch up on my Brother*, John Christiana from the Bay Area of California.  Current member of the FBC.

*Brother, as in business fraternity brothers from Cal. State Long Beach.

All that has happend so far, is the stuff of Hollywood.  I actually hope things stay rather calm and 'boring' [so to speak] and that all of you safely summit and return home to your loved ones. 

I'm amazed at your adventure-in-progress near the top of the world. 

John... why didn't you list "Stiller" as your nickname in the FBC bio???  LMAO
Missed you at Nitro's wedding this past Saturday... but we were thinking and speaking of you fondly, humourously, and with awe, as well.   

Laters,

Edward in So. Cal.
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Mary Clare

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #2 on: May 18 2005, 06:22 »

Hello to all at ABC

Harry
Thanks for the updates on the last few days.  Your descriptions of the events of each day and how the magic of Chomolungma makes you feel, are so well spoken.  I hope you will one day write a book on your adventures! (if you haven't already)

As always, I love your "song of the day".  You always pick a song that is most approciate!

Romke
Since Harry has found a way to e-mail you...is it possible to get the words of my song to him?  If not, I will try to SMS him this week.

Sincerely,
mc
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Mary Clare

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #3 on: May 18 2005, 08:44 »

M.C.'s post (cont.)

Harry
One more comment on your description of the mixed emotions you were feeling while climbing the moraines & viewing the shark fins once again from BC to ABC...from the elation, jubilation & rejuvenation to the isolation, desolation & frustration.  Hey, that sounds like a song...a little bit like "Bad" by U2.  There should be a good U2 song that you could use for "song of the day".
You write very well, Harry.  I sincerely hope you get some things published.  Thank you from so many of us who are riveted to your "postings".
We are all hoping for a window of good weather for this final push to the top!

mc
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Mary Clare

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #4 on: May 18 2005, 23:08 »

M.C.'s post cont. again!

I came up with (2) "song of the day" possibilities by U2.
I still haven't found what I'm looking for.  "I have climbed the highest mountains.  I have run through the fields.  Only to be with you".
One tree hill.  "We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill; as the day begs the night for mercy.  Your sun so bright it leaves no shadows, only scars carved into stone on the face of earth".
Both songs are from The Joshua Tree Album.
(For what it's worth... a couple of song choises!)
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MournesMan

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #5 on: May 19 2005, 05:37 »

Harry

I continue to be riveted to the adventure unfolding there in Tibet on the highest mountain in the world.  Great post and well written - sounds like you had a lonely time during your trek to ABC, with only your music for company.  But your song of the day for that 13th May was a great choice - Black and Wonderful Life as it is of course when you are with friends and surrounded by the beauty and magnitude of God's great creation.

Like MCs U2 choices - very appropriate also.  Both of you obviously have a talent for music and lyrics.

Best wishes to all the team and I hope the weather is kind to you and you get your chance to summitt.  Keep on trekkin!!

Colin
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Mary Clare

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Re: 13th - 17th May: BC to ABC
« Reply #6 on: May 20 2005, 01:21 »

Thank you, Colin

I truly love reading your posts; you are very informed and you have a great sense of humor!

Your support of this team has been wonderful.  I wish you the best in all your endeavors.

Sincerely,

mc   :)
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