Location: Camp 2
Local Time: 17:30, May 10
Weather: Fine in the morning, snowing heavily all afternoon
Hi, it’s Paul here,
We woke this morning to hear that a Czechoslovakian climber on Lhotse had fallen overnight and had just been found in the snow on the face below the Yellow Band. He was barely alive and had severe frostbite after spending the night out in the open.
He was found by Sherpas heading up to the South Col. They had him on oxygen pretty soon, and moved him over to the fixed line. They were joined by a doctor from the Chilean team. They then attempted to get him down to the tents at camp 3, but by the time they got him there he was pronounced dead by the doctor. One of the sherpas climbing with Fiona and I, Mingma Ongel from Phortse assisted with the operation and provided much of the radio communication from the scene.
We are not sure of any other facts at this stage. Yesterday evening we could see a deep trail coming straight down from the snow high on Lhotse – we thought that it was made from climbers glissading down. We now know it probably wasn’t.
Jim and Jack
We have not reported so far on Jim and Jack, because of a request by Jack. However as there has been some information posted about the situation we felt obligated to provide a little detail. Jack we hope you understand and that you have had time to call loved ones.
On Sunday Jim and Jack climbed up to Camp 3. The day prior both had been complaining about sick stomachs from something they had eaten. They were undecided as to whether they would climb up to C3 the next day and left the decision up to how they felt in the morning. We woke at 8am and they had gone.
Later in the day Jack, and his Sherpa Tashi, caught up to Jim, who was looking very tired and hot. They helped him lighten off his clothes. Shortly afterwards Jack felt ill and decided to turn around. Jim at this stage was above Jack and he descended to assist. Along with Tashi, Jim provided vital information to the HRA and two more IMG sherpas were dispatched immediately with oxygen. The Sherpas reached them in under an hour (amazing!) and together they descended to camp 2. Although not well himself, Jim continued to monitor and provide expert medical advice over the radio as to Jack’s situation. Several hours later they all walked into camp 2, looking very weary, after what had been nearly a 12 hour day. We will leave Jack to fill in any details about his illness, if he chooses, but suffice to say he was able to walk himself back down to base camp. He was then assessed by the HRA and the decision was made to evacuate him from base camp. As his condition was not serious enough to risk a helicopter landing at base camp, Jack, Tashi and Mark Tucker walked to Lobuche yesterday where a helicopter was scheduled. However the weather did not permit a helicopter to land, so they continued down to Pheriche, spent the night and then Jack flew to Kathmandu this morning.
We are really sorry to see Jack go. It’s a real shame as this was his second attempt on Everest, first in 2002. For those that know Jack it will come as no surprise that he was the life of the party, always ready with his supply of Baileys, Scotch and wine. Jack got along well with everyone on the team, and we really enjoyed spending time with him.
Jim is currently at base camp resting. When we get down we will pass on all your messages to him. Dan, we contacted Jim on the radio and passed on your message asking him to call you. He said he would do so later tonight, our time. Please let us know if he does.
Dan & Brenda
Dan climbed from camp 1 to camp 2 today. He looked in good form, arriving before lunch. Brenda came straight from base camp to camp 2, also arriving before lunch. She feels much better (Cipro is working). Both Dan and Brenda say that they are feeling so good they might go up to c3 tomorrow, but they will see how they feel in the morning.
Dennis, Fiona and I will descend down to base camp tomorrow. We will leave early so as to hit the icefall when it’s still cold. We both have a cough from the cold air and hopefully this will clear up in base camp.
We spoke to Mary on the radio today and she is doing well, although still breathless. This will pass in a few days. She went for a walk today and introduced herself to some of the other teams.
Hi Kirk, Yes if one of us is forced to abandon, the other will continue the climb.
Hi Tim K, Thanks for your message.
Phil, We can see the South Summit of Everest, but not the main summit.
Hi Paula & Steve, I think we should be able to get an update out from the South Col (8000m). We will at least try. If we can’t do that then I don’t think we should be going for the summit!
John K Ozarks, the oxygen is cold, but it makes you feel warm. It’s no colder than the outside air temperature. I could feel the effect of the oxygen in my fingers and toes within about a minute of putting the mask on. I can’t remember why it makes your extremities feel warmer, but it does. Maybe someone could post the reason.
Pankaj, we got your sms on our phone.
MC, Yes we did go through the night without resorting to oxygen. It was a funny feeling lying there thinking that if you were taken from sea level to here you would be dead within half and hour, and here we are functioning fine.
Mark R, Great idea to post the links. The more info the better! (Are you from MBS?)
Hi John W, Great to hear from you.
Hi Ron, I don’t know if we would have the brain power up there to do any arithmetic.
Hi Lou, This is it. The next time we are at C3 will be our summit attempt.
Glenda and Colin, I don’t know if Mary has got her hands on a glass of wine yet, but somehow I think she wouldn’t want one anyway.
Michelle, I believe Jim was 60m below C3. There is still plenty of time for Jim. He just needs to rest properly before going up again. I heard him on the radio today asking for some menthol drops to put in an inhaler, so he is doing something about getting well.
Thanks for everyone else’s messages too. We love getting them and they really help to keep us motivated.
Tomorrow we should be coming to you from base camp,