NEWSLETTERS - Everest North Side 2005

Newsletter 614 May 2005

The waiting continues

Since the last update the majority of Himex members have remained at Everest Base Camp. Apart from a few coughs and colds everyone is in good health and remains in good spirits. Unfortunately the weather is currently not in our favour. Jet stream winds are buffeting the top of the mountain and are forecast to continue to do so for several more days. This means that our summit attempt is likely to be delayed until towards the end of May. Not surprisingly the weather is a regular topic of conversation among expedition members who are a little anxious about the wind. However we continue to have a positive attitude. We are a strong team and have the resources to sit it out until the weather improves.

While the wind remains high we have remained at Base Camp following the daily routine described in the last newsletter. While the Rongbuk Valley is a spectacular place to camp we have been here for almost two weeks and not surprisingly many members are getting a little restless. In order to break the monotony Russell organised a day out to visit a local school sponsored by HIMEX clients and to have a picnic. All members (except Charlie and Chuck who are at ABC) plus the guides and sherpas crammed onto the back of a truck for the one hour trip down rough roads. We spent an hour or so visiting the school and village. The families living there are obviously very poor but it is heartening to see that the children are at least able to get a basic education. From the village we drove a further 10 minutes to a picturesque spot next to a river and had our picnic on some of the only grass in Tibet. One or two of the members did remark on how the truck ride was better (or worse) than a Disneyworld rollercoaster but on the whole it was a very enjoyable day away from Base Camp.

Despite the weather the bulk of the expedition is now intending to move back to Advance Base Camp. The sherpas went on the 13th while members are going to do the two day 22km trek starting on the 15th, 16th and 17th. After arriving at ABC we expect to have a couple of days rest and then do a climb to the North Col to regain acclimatisation and take up a load of food ready for our summit attempt and then return to ABC. We will then wait for the wind speed to drop. Everyone hopes that will be sooner rather than later.

With warmest regards
Richard Staite