NEWS: Artifacts from the 7th Day of Searching Eric Simonson - Basecamp Mon, April 30, 2001 10:00PM
After a great day yesterday, the weather took a change. The morning of Monday April 30 was overcast with clouds rapidly enveloping the upper mountain. By the time Brent and Jake were out of the tents at 26,900 foot Camp 6, it was starting to snow lightly. They had now spent 6 nights above 23,000 feet, and were starting to get a bit toasted, so they decided to search for half a day, then descend. For the morning, they returned to the Chinese 1975 camp, and started re-searching this area. The snow started to fall heavier, and by noon, it was a genuine storm. Time to go down!
They spent the afternoon descending, a job made more difficult by the heavy packs they were carrying, laden with artifacts from the 1924, 1933, 1960, and 1975 camps that they had visited. What a couple of packrats!
Jake eventually made it all the way to ABC by dark, while Brent held up at the North Col for one more night, before descending in the morning (May 1) to ABC. That afternoon, they both went all the way to Base Camp, a 12 mile hike down the rugged moraines of the East Rongbuk Glacier. Joining them was John Race, who had stayed at ABC, due to a chest cold (he is now feeling better and is planning on going back up on the next rotation).
Now the team is all back here at Base Camp. Yesterday we all gathered around in our big communications tent in the late afternoon as Brent and Jake told their stories, and pulled lots of great old relics out of their packs. What an adventure! We have only begun to study the items brought down and better understand the stories they tell. In the next couple of days we hope to share some of these with our friends who are following our expedition.
We will take a few days now to rest and get our plans made for the next phase of the expedition. Our Sherpas have now finished restocking Camp 6 and we will soon be ready to launch our summit bids.
On a personal note, I would just like to say how proud I am of the professionalism of the team. Any one of them could have snuck up to the summit, no problem, during their respective stays at Camp 6. The fact that they all put their personal goals on the back burner, and dedicated themselves to the search, demonstrates their dedication. Talk is cheap. These guys walked their talk (at 27,000 feet). Way to go!