(This post was meant for May 9, but due to weather it just came through. The audio reports below are more recent than this written report.)
Everest Base Camp
May 9, 2009
Another search effort was mounted this morning in the Icefall, but the team was unable to locate the body of Lhapka Nuru Sherpa. They found his other boot, and believe they know the general location of his body, but retrieval is difficult, if not impossible, since his body is located in a large crevasse and could be buried in tons of snow and ice. A final search will be made tomorrow morning. God rest his soul and bless his family. Donations for his family are being made by many teams on the mountain, including our Asian Trekking team. A real sense of sadness pervades the atmosphere at Base Camp, especially with respect to our team.
On a happier note, my granddaughter graduated yesterday from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the first of our 14 grandchildren, so Sharon and I are very proud of her. Congratulations Bailey! We love you.
Also, my very good friend David Liano, arrived at Base Camp yesterday. We have climbed together in Antarctica, and he has summitted Everest twice from the South side. He was planning to do a double traverse of Everest this year, and I was going to do a single traverse, but our plans were dashed when the Chinese refused to issue permits for the North side. It is great to see David again and is so nice of him to travel from Mexico City to EBC to see us and wish us well on our expedition. My friend, Ed Culbertson, from San Diego, is trekking to EBC and should arrive any day.
Every member of our team, except me, is either resting in Pheriche for several days, or on their way down to Pheriche for rest. The forecast is for heavy winds on the upper part of the mountain for 5-7 days, so this is a good time to travel down into the villages for rest and recovery. Tomorrow morning at 4 am, I will make another rotation up the mountain to Camp 2. I will sleep at Camp 2 for one or two nights and then move up to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. I will probably not sleep at Camp 3, but will move back down to Camp 2 for another night of rest. Then, I will return to Base Camp. After this rotation, my next trip up the mountain will be to ring the bell.
Tonight, the Russian team (7 Summits.com) had a huge celebration in honor of Russian Victory Day. They invited us to their camp to celebrate with them. They had a very large, tubular, tent that more than 50 people crammed into. We sat, crossed-legged on the floor of the tent and they served a really tasty Russian meal consisting of meatballs, rice and vegetables. There was also a generous supply of Russian vodka and whiskey (which we did not drink—honest). Then they started singing Russian songs, karaoke style. We had a great time.
My next report will be from Camp 2.