Back in Kathmandu

Yak & Yeti Hotel
Kathmandu
May 26, 2012

Dear Family & Friends:

I am back in Kathmandu waiting for my bags to arrive from the mountain. Two days ago, I submitted an audio report from a city in Tibet, but I guess it did not go through. Below is a transcription of that report:

Bill

May 24, 2012 Audio Report
Zangmu, Tibet

Hello Family & Friends:

I am submitting this report from the Tibetan city of Zangmu, just over the border from Nepal. Tomorrow, we will cross the border into Nepal and return to Kathmandu.

On my way down the mountain on May 21, I received news from home that Oliver’s condition has worsened. Our plan is to admit him to the hospital at Stanford University. This will be the fourth hospital that Ollie has been admitted to in 3 years. The doctors have not been able to diagnose and treat his condition. This is all very stressful for our whole family. Ollie is beloved to his family, and he means everything to us. Personally, I desperately need him in my life. Please keep Ollie in your thoughts and prayers. For more information on Ollie and his condition, please review “My Training Partner” on my website.

As promised, when I get to a computer and have some time, I will prepare a full report of my 5 days and nights climbing on the North side of the mountain. The climb was difficult, painful and challenging. In the meantime, the drama on the mountain continues. As of yesterday, a team of Sherpas was attempting to carry a stricken Italian climber down from Camp 2. I met him on the way up to the North Col. I understand he spent 3 nights at Camp 3, which is unheard of and very dangerous. Apparently, he has had some significant fluid build-up in his arms and legs which is why they are now trying to carry him down to safety. [Update: I heard this morning (May 26) that he was brought down the mountain successfully, but he may have suffered significant frostbite damage] Last night at Chinese Base Camp, a member of another climbing team came to our dining tent asking me for information about his teammate who died at the Second Step on May 20. He was apparently coming down the mountain and ran out of oxygen at the Second Step where he spent 24 hours before passing away in the storm on May 20. His teammate wondered if I saw him or his body as I was moving up the Northeast Ridge to the Second Step in the same storm on May 20. I told him I saw several bodies, but I don’t believe they were his teammate. It was heartbreaking to see his grief and pain as he searched for answers relating to his teammate’s death on the mountain.

So far, it has been a really tough year on both the North and South sides of Everest. One of my teammates on the South side died of high altitude cerebral edema while on his way down from the summit on May 19. I am having a hard time coming to grips with this tragedy. Maybe next year, Chomolumna will be kinder to us.

I feel good, although I am a little weak from the weight and muscle loss. I frost-nipped 9 of my 10 fingers moving up in the storm on May 20, so I have no feeling in these finger tips. But, they will heal in 1-2 months, so I am not concerned.

All my attention is now on my grandson and Training Partner Ollie. Please include him in your prayers.

Bill