After Hours

Daily update: Struggle at 16,000 feet

Bad weather and altitude sickness could signal the end of the climb for the almostEverest team. Will they be able to continue?


4/21/00
Loboche, Nepal

All is not well with the almostEverest Team, folks. The weather systems are not typical for this time of year. We've had sleet and snow every afternoon for the past week, and it's cold, cold, cold. Of the 22 teams on Everest this year, only one, count them, ONE has made it to Camp 3.

And did I mention that I'm suffering from altitude sickness? Yep, the guy who's been to 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) has come down with a very annoying case of AMS at 16,000 feet (4,877 meters). My head hurts, I'm nauseated all the time, and I'm feeling very weak. Tomorrow we'll head down a notch and see how things are. If I don't improve, I'll head down lower and not attempt a summit of Island Peak.

Am I disappointed? Yesterday I might have been tempted to say yes. See, I was halfway to Gorak Shep, and another three hours to Everest Base Camp when it was determined that I needed to turn back and spend another night at Loboche. I thought, "Man, what timing." But as I lay there in that teahouse last night, and looked out the window at 2:00 A.M. straight into the glowing face of Nuptse, I thought, "What do I have to feel disappointed about? My goodness. I'm in Nepal, sleeping beneath the summits of the highest mountains of the world. I've met some incredible people, made some wonderful new friends, and each day is more spectacular than the previous." Feel sorry for myself? Not a chance.

But I am worried. I can't eat because of the nausea. And at this elevation, you can burn from 6,000 to 10,000 calories a day. No, it's not a fad diet. But if I don't get better, you can see the slippery slope I'm perched upon. So, tomorrow I go down the mountain and to better health.

Each day is a struggle to bypass a personal best. Setting limits and goals each day helps us move forward and meet another objective.

That's about all for today. Thanks for the positive thoughts. I really appreciate them.

Namaste.
Dave
Want to win a TechRepublic baseball cap? Share your climbing experiences or give the guys encouraging words by posting your comment below, or send us an e-mail. It's that simple.And so you don't miss one step of David and Mike's climb up Island Peak, subscribe to our free TrekMail. Be one of the first 2,000 subscribers to our TrekMail, and you'll get a cool TechRepublic flying disc!

David Bard has been a fixture at TechRepublic for some time now. At one time he was editor in chief of LinuxRepublic and then AdminRepublic. Currently, he occupies space as an editor in chief with TechProGuild. In addition, he’s a freelance writer who has covered extreme sports for years. He also is a writer of horror and—contrary to what his climbing partner may think—is hoping the expedition to Nepal doesn’t provide fodder for his next story. When he’s not at home teaching his year-and-a-half-old daughter why it’s not a good idea to eat rocks, or trying to convince his wife why yet another expedition really is necessary, he’s usually off in some remote section of woods trying to discover himself. He’s still looking.

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