NEWSLETTERS - Everest Expedition 2001

Newsletter 1313 May 2001

Happy Mother's Day

Can you imagine the embarrassment of any mom, if they had to see their grown children celebrating Mother's Day by wearing Russian aviator masks and goggles c/w long hoses stretching to an oxygen cylinder? I was embarrassed to just be among this group of Halloween rejects. Seriously folks, dressing up like that is a bit absurd if it wasn't, "learn how to climb on Oxygen day." To an Everest climber, today is the second most important holiday in the month of May. Simply a coincidence that it fell on Mother's Day, the most important holiday. Think of the gift of grey hair and sleepless nights that we've given our moms. Pretty thoughtful, eh!!

But none the less, it was the perfect day to play with our oxygen sets. We all gathered on the "verandah" in front of the dining and comms tent, enjoying the warmth of the sun, while listening to Russ' expert advice on fitting and managing the oxygen system.

Ellen and I are even going to bake another carrot cake: a fitting tribute to our mom's. We do miss those hip chicks. In addition to the wonderful conversations, who wouldn't love a nice home cooked meal right now, perhaps a pot roast with mashed potatoes. We did have canned luncheon tongue for lunch. That made us all miss our mom's cooking all the more.

Well....we really aren't sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves all day. We have actually been enjoying a perfect day.

The sun has been shining and there is no wind. We've been busy with "projects" from charging video batteries, to airing out wet gear. So many folks have been stopping by for a visit. It is a front porch kind of day. Yesterday was almost as nice, except that Owen, Asmuss, Ellen, Andy and I hiked for 7.5 hours from BC to ABC, often having to forge the trail through the snow. It was a beautiful day, with superb early morning light. It was great to get back to ABC, both to our personal belongings in our tents, but mostly to be reunited with our team mates. This team really likes each other and even short separations begin and end with a "knoodle" (Swiss for a warm hug).

Together in the dining tent, we dove right into the discussion of summit attempts and strategy. Now, as funny as this sounds, we've been forced to avoid all strategy discussions by radio, because other teams are monitoring our frequency. While there is no great magic involved in the development of our plan, we do not wish for 30 or 50 other people to time their summit bids to conflict with ours. There is a danger in having too many people on the summit ridge at the same time.

And guess what, we're even keeping our strategy off of the Internet. You'll have to read about it as it unfolds.

But I'll give you this: the Sherpas are back up on the hill, carrying the final loads to Camps 3 and 4 in the next two days. Once this is done, only the weather will hold us back. The next 10 days should be entertaining.

OK time to bake the carrot cake. Happy Mother's Day from all of us to all our moms.

Chris Warner