May 27, 2007


Yesterday began with the evacuation of Paul by helicopter from Base Camp. Paul left his tent and had breakfast at Base Camp and we then walked him down to the helipad which, of course, is just a pile of rocks on a flat top. He was on oxygen the entire way but walked under his own power and looked and felt excellent. The helicopter arrived and picked him up and it was quite exciting to watch the landing of the helicopter and the boarding of Paul and the helicopter taking off to take him back to Kathmandu. It was great to see him smiling and waving from the helicopter and I’m sure he had an exciting and eventful ride down to Kathmandu. He looked so much better than he did several days ago.

Base Camp is now like a ghost town with all of the teams exiting off of the mountain. All of our team of eight (unintelligible) -Dan, Terry and me. Following breakfast I began my descent solo and Terry followed me about an hour later with his sherpa. It was a delightful trek down to Pangboche where we had a great dinner and spent the night. It was wonderful to see lush green trees, birds and animals instead of rock, ice and snow. I had a deep and sound sleep in a real bed in my little room. It was the best I’ve slept the entire trip.

Today we will trek down to Namche Bazaar and we plan to spend two nights. In Namche I will have access to a computer and I will be able to file a more lengthy report. The plan is to be in Lukla on May 31 and spend the night and fly out of Lukla to Kathmandu on June 1.

Bill Burke