5/19/2007

Everest Camp 2
May 20, 2007

Namaste,

This is a PS to yesterday’s report.

I’ve decided to come clean and describe an event that occurred yesterday on the way from Camp 1 to Camp 2.

We were about one mile from Camp 2 and I sent my Sherpa up to Camp 2 since he was our cook for the day. I continued climbing to Camp 2 and decided to rest so I sat on my backpack with my head between my knees and was catching my breath and resting for several minutes. After several minutes I decided it was time to continue up to Camp 2 so I stood up quickly and all of the blood from my head rushed down my body and I was overcome with extreme dizziness. The next thing I remember my face crashed into the snow and my glacier goggles and hat flew off. Strangely, however, I do not recall falling. I remember laying there thinking where am I and what just happened to me. I pushed myself up into a crawling position and looked around and saw snow everywhere and that’s when I realized I was on Mt. Everest and had just fainted. I got up and regained my equilibrium and after several minutes put on my backpack and continued up to Camp 2.

Please don’t freak out at this news. The same thing would have happened if I had pulled that silly stunt at sea level. I have not had any prior occasions of dizziness and I feel excellent. So it was just the process of having my head between my knees and then standing up quickly that caused the dizziness and the crash into the snow. I got a small scratch on my nose and my lip is a little puffy this morning, otherwise I feel excellent. The guys asked me about the scratch and I was too embarrassed to tell them.

As I think back on the event it makes me laugh, although I am glad no one was there to witness that sorry spectacle.

Okay that’s my confession for the day and I feel better for having given it. Remember, please do not worry as this was an isolated event and I learned my lesson. I feel just great, better than ever. Today is a big day and I’ll call you from Camp 3. I love you guys. That’s it.

Bill Burke