May 3, 2011: 21:00hrs (Nepal Time) Busy…..
Busy day for an expedition leader. Who says there’s nothing to do at base camp?
Tim’s day was spent preparing the team for their next move. Another oxygen mask rehearsal and discussions on weather and summit options…. Running oxygen to the HRA till their shipment comes in…. A few hours with Russell Brice discussing the old days they shared in the early 90’s on Everest and how the joint effort budget is working out…. Discussing how much more work is needed to get more cooperation from teams who arrive with the intent to surf off the backs of other expeditions, or lack of knowledge on the new communities effort to share expenses and manpower in this regard….
He was also running around camps in an effort to find teams that might have Sherpas going up to take some batteries to Willie for the bolt gun. Our Sherpas are all up on the mountain right now or coming down. He was happy to find that our Japanese neighbours had someone going up so that worked out.
There was a disturbing part in Tim’s day today. That was when he learned that our long-time cook assistant Desh-kumar Sherpa was taken down to the HRA clinic due to extreme abdominal pain. He has been keeping this secret because he was afraid. This happens often with Sherpa people who have never been anywhere outside of their Himalayan heaven. They are afraid to go to clinics for help. They have seen people go in and come out dead and this has a huge impact on them. They certainly still need more education in this regard. Surprisingly still today they are fearful of child birth in remote regions. The need for prenatal education is very much needed in Nepal.
The Khumbu is getting much better but still like in Desh’s case- he has never been to a city before. He has never seen the bright lights, the movement of a car or a hospital. He has only ever seen such things on DVD’s that make their way up the valley and stories from his families and friends that have had that opportunity.
Fear has resulted in a critical situation for Desh. Tonight he is at the HRA clinic and it’s thought that he has an ulcer that he has had for sometime and needs to go to Kathmandu hospital. He is on IV and morphine, under the care of Dr. Dawa and Dr. Hasish, the two Nepalese “first time” doctors new to the EverestER this year. Tim tried to organize a helicopter evacuation today but the weather in Kathmandu wouldn’t allow for it. They will try again tomorrow. Desh’s brother who also works on our expedition will go with Desh as he knows Kathmandu and will be able to walk him through the steps of getting into the ambulance and admit him into the hospital in an attempt to help relieve his anxiety throughout this ordeal.
He is seriously dehydrated because we just learned that it has been too painful for him to eat or drink but no one knew. He’s in good hands now and hopefully his pain will subside soon. We pray for clear skies tomorrow enabling a helicopter to get in. Tim said he couldn’t help himself from pacing outside the clinic yesterday like an expecting father would feeling helpless. He will back over there first light to see how Desh’s night went.
Climbing: Camp 3 push is in the works in the next day or two. It will be the typical progression, C1 or C2 depending on the individual. Then rest at C2 for 1 or two days, again an individual preference. Climb to C3 and retreat to C2. Or, some may decide to go back up and sleep. We offer a great deal of flexibility to our climbers when the weather and health of everyone looks good. Our high climbing Sherpa guide ratio allows for this. No one is set to a specific schedule as we prefer to offer a more of pure climbing experience if all our rescue implements are in place but not before that.
Member updates: BG is getting over a bit of a cold, much improved today. Roger’s cough is gone, everyone else is doing fabulous and again Tim shared with me his observations on what a strong team we have this year. He said they are tough bunch, they tromped back into base camp from Pheriche in epic time and none of them felt any fatigue as a result by days end.
Weather: Is is looking really good in the long-run. This has all our Freaks in the Peaks getting a tid bit excited… I had a conversation with Tim about how odd it is that there isn’t a lingering jet-stream this year. It has other long time Everest players befuddled too….. Oh well, we’ll take it……. Stay tuned!
Photo: Desh-kumar Sherpa