Back in Kathmandu

Yak & Yeti Hotel
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:


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.



17 thoughts on “Back in Kathmandu

    1. Hi Bill, Thanks for the update. I know this is so hard on you. Please know that I pray for Ollie every night and morning and have been for several years, ever since he started having seizures. Come home safely. We’ll also be praying for your safe return.

  1. Bill,
    What a brutal year it’s been on Everest! So many lives lost. It really makes one question this at times. However, all of your climbing friends are ever so grateful you’re safe. And of course, Ollie will be in all of our prayers.

  2. You are always an inspiration Bill. I hope to make choices in my own life as wisely as you have done for yourself and your family. I will pray for you and for your grandson. All my best, Jennifer

  3. Bill God Bless you and our prayers for a speedy recovery for Oliver!!! You summit my friend..dont forget that…You Summit!!!

  4. Oh dear, precious Ollie! He is so lucky to have you and Sharon for Grandparents. I know how special he is to you and how much you love him. I will pray starting right now. He is in a great hospital and will get the best of care and treatment possible. I am so glad you are safe. love and hugs to you and your family.

  5. Bill, I pray for your safe return and for Ollie’s recovery. I know how anxious you must be to get home to him. Hope everything goes smoothly and you can get there as soon as possible.

  6. Everest was, once again, the supreme challenge filled with physical difficulties and pain. Returning home will fill you with the emotional challenges, difficulties, and pain of Ollie’s present condition. Action on Ollie’s behalf is the only reality–and necessity. Prayers.


  7. Bill, I have heard several stories about Everest this year. One of a Cdn woman who summitted [thinking the N side] but ran out of oxygen and died on the way down. Apparently she had moved up the mountain against the recommendations of others and she paid the ultimate price.
    I believe you have to be beyond intelligent to make the tough but logical decisions when they have to be made – as you have done. A lot of work and preparation; considerable disappointment. But you are alive! Congratulations!! And you will live for another adventure. Will be interested to hear what other pursuits peak your interest on your return. Best wishes to you, Ollie and the family in finding both life and happiness.
    Thanks so much for keeping us up-to-date on your adventure.

    A Canadian who met you in San Marcos in March.

  8. Bill,
    Hope you are resting nicely at the wonderful Yak and Yeti. I will pray that they find a path of treatment for Ollie. I work for Ronald McDonald Charities, and I understand full well your pain and frustration. Ollie is blessed to have such a wonderful family as yours.
    Eat up, rest and have a safe trip back home to your beautiful family.

  9. Hi Bill,
    It was nice having breakfast with you at Y&Y hotel in KTM.
    I am so sorry to hear this about your grandson. I wish him well.
    Hope we will stay in touch.

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