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Author Topic: April 23: Bruce Matthews: Back in Auckland...But, here is the news!!  (Read 3806 times)

bruce matthews

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This is quite difficult as I am now back in Auckland...but I am going to continue this report as if I were still on the expedition!

Sunday 15 April

Woke to a perfect day...every day has been perfect so far and hopefully this weather will hold for the season! today we move up to IBC and then onward to Advanced Base Camp.

The hike to Intermediate was as difficult as before...perhaps the apprehension of the severe headache I had on the previous visit made it seem even more difficult! I knew I was not 100% when I went off my food but I slept like a baby for 12 hours and no sign of the earlier headache.

The trek up to ABC is no walk in the park. The pace on the steep upward slopes is best described as slow! If you can imagine holding the hand of an infant that has just taken its first steps and as you attempt to walk them, thatís the pace up at 6000 meters!!

We reached ABC in 5 hrs 30 although there were a few that managed to do it in slightly less. Camp is situated amongst the shale and on the ridges of the moraine which is quite narrow...about 50 meters wide. At ABC, you are as close as you will get to Everest without putting on your boots and crampons to go higher. It seems that the massive of Everest is a stones throw to the right but in fact is probably 500 meters away...but it's size is daunting! Separating camp from Everest is a band of ice glacier and further up the ice field separating camp from the North Col approach.

The North Col route is very clear and climbers or Sherpa can be seen clearly with the naked eye.

It snowed over night and I discovered this very early in the morning when I had to make a dash for the toilet tent at 0500!! I had now been struck by one of the other symptoms of AMS(acute mountain sickness) diarrhea...not pleasant at that altitude and with the amount of clothing that needs to be discarded in a hurry!

I had no idea how badly I had been compromised by the diarroaeh and medication but I understand from my climbing companion that I was like a drunken man on the decent! At one point I did slip and Curt was at hand with one of his walking poles which he firmly planted between my legs to allay any further slip down the scree. A slip here would result in a tumble or slide of hundreds of meters down loose scree with dire consequences! I understand that I was much better after lunch at IBC but the day was long and arduous...8 hours to return the 22 kilometers!

It was to be two days of rest before returning over two days back to ABC and then the first push to the North Col. I had now suffered two serious bouts of altitude sickness and there was always the possibility that there could have been more dire consequences higher up! Not knowing how I was going to cope, and realizing that as a very first attempt at any altitude, 6400 was a very satisfactory height for this sixty year old!!!

It was an easy decision to take the option of joining Amen who had decided for family reasons to take a jeep out and within an hour of learning he was leaving, I was packed and ready for the drive out!

I had the most wonderful 4 weeks in Nepal and Tibet...I made a number of very good friends and people whom I will stay in contact with for the rest of my days. My Everest experience was amazing! The memories and photographs will remain for ever.

Now I am back in Auckland with my family. Their surprise at my unexpected return was a joy to watch...I never let them know I was returning!!

I am going to attempt to post some pictures here of ABC and IBC and I will post a further short background on the remaining members of The 7 Summits-Club Expedition. There are some amazing people in this group and this year there will be record numbers of summiteers.

I will be following their pursuits, as I hope you will also, and Bill Tyler, who has been contributing to this Forum, will continue to write from ABC.

They will be resting in ABC today and perhaps tomorrow before going up the North Col on Wednesday...Hopefully they will be back in Base Camp on the weekend and then we will all learn of that experience!!

Till later

Bruce Matthews
« Last Edit: Apr 24 2007, 13:13 by 7summits »


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Re: Back in Auckland...But, here is the news!!
« Reply #1 on: Apr 23 2007, 18:40 »

Hi Bruce,

thanks for the update, good to hear you are well! I am happy you enjoyed the wonders of Everest and the 7summits teams. Actually your times up and down are quite good, shame that the stomach did not cooperate.

I am looking forward to seeing more pictures, thanks for your contributions so far!

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

m.c. reinhardt

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Re: Back in Auckland...But, here is the news!!
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24 2007, 01:53 »

Hi Bruce

Welcome home! So glad you had a wonderful experience on Everest. Good for you, getting to ABC; an amazing accomplishment! I enjoyed reading your posts and viewing your photos.

You dreamed it, you envisioned it and you lived it!

MC  :)
"I go to the mountains for there I find higher ground." m.c. reinhardt


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Hey Rusty

What a trip! You've been from sea level to 6400m and back - like going to the moon, only tougher!!!

ABC sounds pretty scary and kind of out there, the whole thing is way cool dude. The villages (and villagers) sound wonderful. Pity about the pool table though!

You've had the trip of a lifetime my friend, congratulations and welcome home.

Jim, Rachel, Isaac and Ash

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