5/14/2007

Pheriche
May 14, 2007

Namaste,

The mountain is fighting back. Gale force winds took out many of the camps at Camp 2, including all of our camp. Our sherpas were there and tried to hold the tents down, but they were unsuccessful. One of the tents was pulled straight up by the platform, snapped all the lines and disappeared down the mountain. Then an avalanche took out all of our tents at Camp 3, so we are back to square one to establishing camp two and camp three on the mountain.

One of our strongest sherpas caught his crampon on the ice and fell sixty feet down the Lhotse face. After the fall he said he had a “flash vision” and he quit the expedition and headed down the mountain. We saw him passing by on the trail from our tea house in Pheriche and went out and stopped him. But despite Dan’s best efforts, he would not change his mind. In tears he told Dan that he is never coming back to Everest. So we are left without one of our strongest sherpas. Fortunately, he is not one of the personal sherpas

It is a beautiful morning in Pheriche and we are headed back up to Base Camp. It was a wonderful stay, we all got lots of sleep in our warm beds and I think I put back on most of the pounds that the mountain took from me over the last few weeks.

Bill Burke