5/20/2007

Everest Camp 3
May 20, 2007

Namaste,

I wish you could see me now. I am in my tent at Camp III on the Lhotse face with an oxygen mask covering my nose and mouth. I had to take it off for the phone call of course. The oxygen mask is attached to a large oxygen bottle. It will be interesting to see how well I can sleep with this oxygen mask strapped to my head. So, from here on, we will be on oxygen for the rest of the trip up the mountain and back to Camp III.

We will sleep on oxygen at Camp III and then attach a separate bottle tomorrow morning when we leave for Camp IV. We have 16 bottles of oxygen stored at Camp IV on the South Col. Tomorrow we will leave for the South Col and from there we will make our summit move, probably be tomorrow. I will report more from the South Col when we get there.

Camp III, on the Lhotse face, is the most dangerous of the camps because it is literally located on the side of the mountain. You never want to venture out of your tent without your crampons on and without being attached to a fixed line on the mountain because the drop is several thousand feet. We have a pretty good camp and everything seams in order at this point.

The move from Camp II to Camp III was just as difficult as the previous. It just never seems to get easier. I arrived in Camp III and totally crashed. But, after some rest and food I feel really good. The oxygen helped.

Tenji, my sherpa, tells me that the supplemental oxygen vastly increases your power while moving up the mountain. Terry, who has used supplemental oxygen before, agrees with this information. I certainly hope they are right.

I keep thinking as I move up the mountain, that the difficulty being so great, at least I would not have to climb up that section anymore.

I will report further from the South Col.

Bill Burke