4/15/2007

Namaste:

Feeling really good right now since I just took an outdoor shower and shaved. Fresh again as a Himalayan daisy.

Two days ago, we climbed again to Pumori advanced base camp and set up camp for an overnight stay. The wind blew like crazy all night, but it was a good acclimatization exercise.

Yesterday, we donned our snow gear and ventured into the dredded Khumbu Icefall for some icefall training. Dan described crossing the ladders in the Khumbu Icefall as a terrifying experience, especially when several ladders are strapped together to span a large crevasse. So, I think we were
all psyched for this experience. The practice was great since, once we crossed and climbed several of these ladders in the Icefall, we all felt more comfortable. I found the snow climbing much easier than the trail and rock climbing. I have always preferred climbing in the snow over other terrain.

At 4am tomorrow morning, we will go back into the Icefall and make our first trip to Camp 1. This means crossing and climbing those ladders in the dark. We plan to sleep at Camp 1 and then climb to Camp 2. After we reach Camp 2,
we will return to Camp 1 and spend another night at Camp 1. The next morning, we will return to Base Camp and rest for several days.

I feel really good. I have been eating and drinking as much as possible to keep my strength up and to continue the process of acclimatization. Once we get higher on the mountain, the food will become more basic and the higher altitude will take its toll on our appetites. I have been sleeping great in my tent even though I slip and slide downhill all night.

I am thoroughly enjoying this trip. The Himalayan mountains are just breathtaking. And, as I reported earlier, I really like the group I am traveling with on this trip. It is especially good to share this experience with my friend, Mark Luscher. We have a lot of shared values.

Bill Burke

We practiced crossing ladders today.

48blokeonladder22

This is a picture of Bill at 5500 metres in the icefall on a ladder.
(Photo by Dan Mazur on 4/14/2007)