“Namaste family and friends!
This is Bill Burke from ABC. The weather has been typically erratic and nasty and unpredictable just like last year on the North side. No summits obviously because there’s no lines to the summit. Yesterday my good friend Martin from Ireland, who is on the International Eco Everest team was up on the snow field above Camp I moving up towards Camp II and he got caught in a white out storm, couldn’t see anything. And to make matters worse, the fixed lines and parts were buried in the snow and they couldn’t find him coming down. It was pretty harrowing.
The latest word from the Chinese, came in yesterday, the “Big Boss” as they call him, told Mingma they won’t be fixing lines to the summit till the 18th or 19th at the earliest. That pretty much dooms my plans for a double summit because the monsoons move in from the Bay of Bengal in late May and the mountain shuts down. So that wasn’t good news. Today I plan to propose to Mingma and Dawa Steven from Asian Trekking, an alternative plan to propose to the Chinese and that is we fix our own lines to the summit. No reason we can’t do that. We’ve got the man power, and I hope the lines, and if the Chinese assist we can take them down as we come down from the summit. Alternatively I plan to propose, it’s called a running relay, where you put 4 or 5 of us on a common rope with stakes, and the lead person on the rope team will stake the route, and then as you move up, the last person on the rope team will remove that last stake and move it forward, and you just move up the mountain in that fashion.
So we’ll see how those proposals go, and I’ll report back later today after we have those discussions with Dawa, Mingma and the Chinese to see if either of those plans are acceptable to them so we can get up sooner. I’m getting pretty tired of lying in my tent staring up at the walls, but everybody is physically well and mentally well. We’re a good team and I’ll just see what happens and report back to you tonight or tomorrow morning. Goodbye.”