News: 3rd Summit Team Starts Up Eric Simonson - Basecamp Fri, May 11, 2001 1:10AM
Our third summit team started up today, a beautiful morning with not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately the day did not end up quite so nice. As I've said before, about the only thing we can be sure of here is to expect the unexpected.
We were psyched to see search team members Jake, Tap, and Brent joined by guides Heidi Eichner and Jason Tanguay (who had guided the 8000m climbers earlier in the trip). Jason and Heidi had climbed to Camp 5 and been patiently biding their time, waiting for a chance to slot into a summit attempt. Today was the day. Everyone left with lots of handshakes, hugs, and well wishes from the other team members and trekkers here at Base Camp.
Three hours after leaving Base Camp enroute to ABC, we received a call on the radio from Jake saying that he was on his way back to Base Camp due to pain in his knee. Jake had twisted it while carrying the Chinese pulmonary edema victim down in the dark a few days ago, through the rugged Rongbuk moraines. He had been nursing it for the last few days, taking lots of anti-inflammatory medication. Now it had flared up again. By the time he got back down to Base Camp, it was snowing hard and Jake was hobbling. He had a sharp pain in the knee that was even worse when he bent it or walked down hill. Not a good thing to take up the mountain with you! Jake had wisely decided to go back and give it a few more days of rest in the hope he could rally for a late summit bid.
Also today, higher up the mountain... Dave, Andy, John, and Sherpas Lhakpa Nuru, Pemba Nuru, and Pemba Tenzi moved up to the North Col. It had been several days since we had anyone on the Col and they found that most of the tents were nearly buried in the snow that has fallen in the last few days. After a lot of digging, they excavated the cook tent and enough sleeping tents for their use.
Now it is snowing hard at Base Camp, ABC, and at the North Col. While the jet stream is still not in the area, there seems to be quite a lot of moisture around, thus the snow. We are keeping our fingers crossed that conditions don't deteriorate too much.