May 10, 2006 - Team Reaches Dingboche

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A loaded yak making his way to our next stop

It is May 10th and we are moving closer and closer to Everest Base Camp in all kinds of ways.  We’re higher, it’s colder, we are above the main villages now and we are getting into more and more spectacular scenery every day.  Also we are talking to more and more people down from Base Camp, moving right back up to Base Camp.  This is a very exciting time for this group.

Jackie and Charles (Doc)We are over 14,000 ft (4267m) in the village of Dingboche where we are staying at a very comfortable lodge.  This morning Jim Barr, Opus, Pemba and other members of the group started walking uphill, excited to see Makalu.  Doug Welland who knows more about these peaks around us than any other member of this group because he’s read extensively about this region for years and loves it, was excited to see Makalu.  The rest of the group took a lot of photographs in the changing morning light as the clouds were coming and going.  Opus and Jim who I already mentioned […broken transmission…] 16,600 ft (5060m) and that is a new high point for Jim Barr.  He’s going to go higher quite soon but he reached a new personal high point at the elevation of 16,600 ft.

In the afternoon John Gutman and Alice Murray, two great physicians who are staying at the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic in Pheriche this season came over and gave our group a lecture on altitude illness and acclimatization.  Then we had a nice time drinking tea and visiting with John and Alice afterwards.  John and I climbed Denali together a few years ago, so it was great to hook up with him here on the approach to Everest.

Erin spins the prayer wheelsI met a number of old friends today.  One good, old friend of mine and I sat for awhile and shared with one another that we had both been counting hour to hour on this day, the anniversary of the events that were going to lead to us losing two of our close friends, Scott Fischer and Rob Hall.  Many of the Sherpa friends I know were also talking about that day.  Those ten years have passed quickly and in some ways it seems like only yesterday but in other ways life has continued.

Now with more ascents of Everest about to happen, I should report to you that I saw a lot of very strong and motivated people from several teams down here resting, ready to go back up.  Don’t let the supposed late schedule or anything else like some of this year’s tragic events keep you from thinking there won’t be some successful Everest summit days coming up in the next few weeks.  I can guarantee you that it is almost certain to happen.  I saw some well prepared, healthy and determined, strong people that are about to go back up for their… [lost transmission]

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