News: Weather Breaks, Mass Exodus from BC Eric Simonson - Basecamp Sat, May 12, 2001 12:30AM
Yesterday was a miserable day, with almost continuous snowfall here at Base Camp. Up on the North Col, Dave, Andy, John, and six of our Sherpas stayed busy digging out the camp and re-pitching tents. All other teams had bailed off the Col, and many of the camps from other groups were virtually buried. Down here at Base Camp our solar power system took a beating, as the panels were getting covered up by snow as fast as we could brush them off. For our trekking group, who arrived a couple days ago and who are getting ready to go up to ABC, it was starting to look dubious as to whether the yaks would be able to go up in support of them (the yaks don't like to walk on snow covered rocks).
This morning, thankfully, dawned clear and warm, and immediately the snow started to melt. Up on the Col our 7am radio call told us that everything was OK, and that Dave, Andy, John, and the Sherpas would soon be heading up. The Sherpas would be carrying half loads, to make it easier to break trail. By our 10am radio call, it was clear that everyone was going to make it to C5 (7800m or 25,600 feet, almost the height of the South Col). Brent, Tap, Heidi, and Jason would hang one more day at ABC, and plan on moving to the Col tomorrow. Later today, Panuru, Phu Nuru, and Palden would move to the Col with their plan to go all the way to C6 tomorrow and meet our climbers for summit day.
Down here at BC, our trekkers, led by Heather Macdonald, were relieved to see their yaks and yak drivers show up on schedule, and soon they were packed up for their climb to Camp 1. Tomorrow they go to Camp 2, and the next day to ABC. Joining them on their trip to ABC is our doc, Lee Meyers.
Also moving up today were our non-guided climbers. This included Mike Otis (from Phoenix, AZ) and Terry LaFrance (from near Albany, NY). They plan to go to ABC today in one push, take a rest day, and go to the Col the next. Joining them are two of our best Sherpas, Danuru and Kami. Also moving up today were our friends from Singapore/Latin America, who are climbing along side of our team. Today Singaporeans Mohd Rozani , Dave Lim, and Brazilian Gil Piekarz move up to Intermediate Camp, and ABC tomorrow. They are to bejoined by their old friend from Cho Oyu 97and Everest 98, MB Tamang, one of our sherpa team (though his is really Tamang, not Sherpa).
So...this is it....everyone is streaming out of BC. Before leaving for ABC this morning, our doctor Lee Meyers did some work on Jake's knee, in the hope that with a bit of rest he could still get a crack at the summit. After consulting by sat phone with three of his orthopedic doc friends back in St. Louis, Lee gave Jake an injection of cortisone. We are hoping this will knock down the inflammation of his knee tendon, and give it a chance to heal up this next week. We'll just have to wait and see.