News: Team Decides on One More Push Eric Simonson - Basecamp Fri, May 18, 2001 4:10AM
Yesterday we had a big team meeting, and discussed a number of different options for the remainder of the expedition. I have to say that it was a real pleasure having such a discussion with a group of people who share a lot of respect for each other. Everyone came into this trip with their own hopes and expectations, but all of us put at the top of the list coming home friends.
We've been dealt some bad weather and some unexpected twists and turns. Dealing with all this and giving it our best shot is what a trip like this is all about. The current situation comes down to the time required to do another rotation up the hill and the time necessary to get everyone rested and healthy to go back to 8000 meters. Unfortunately, time is starting to run out.
Jake's knee, hurt in the Chinese rescue, is still bothering him, despite the cortisone injection Lee gave him. We're going to send him home to get an MRI. John Race blew out his throat on the last summit bid, and is hoarse and coughing. He's not in any shape to go back up. Brent Okita is scheduled to leave for Mt. McKinley on June 2, and he can't be late, since he is the lead guide for his RMI team. He's not going to be able to go back up. These three climbers are going to be leaving for Kathmandu in the next few days.
Dave, Andy, Tap, and Jason are all strong and psyched to go back up and give it another attempt. They will be our last summit team. Heidi is doing well, but doesn't feel up to another climb to 8000 meters. She will stay in support, along with me, Jochen, and Lee. The plan is for our Final Four to leave BC and climb to ABC on the 20th, climb to the North Col on the 21st, Camp 5 on the 22nd, Camp 6 on the 23rd, the top on the 24th. Our Sherpas will be moving up right behind the summit team, taking down tents and carrying down gear. We hope to leave Base Camp on the 29th, two days before our Chinese visas expire, which means that the last few days will be incredibly busy. We'll have to clean the entire mountain and pack it all away for the yaks to carry down, before we leave for Kathmandu!
We have also identified one more high probability area to search, which we didn't get around to looking at during the earlier effort. There has been a lot wind in the last few days, and a lot of the fresh snow that fell last week has blown away, so we feel there remains a good opportunity to do a bit more searching.