Everest Summit 2002

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ready... Set... Wait...

Julio and Lhakpa Gelu were so excited I was able to buy minutes for their phone they made me feel like a heroine. I have saved the dying phone! They were laughing and celebrating that the phone was "alive". Yesterday, the team moved from BC to ABC. The trek was extremely difficult because of the heavy snow. Almost 4 feet of new snow had fallen since they last traveled the route. They were slipping and sliding all the way up to ABC. It took them 9 1/2 painful hours. According to Julio this was the first time ever he has heard Lhakpa Gelu complain about anything, and the first time Julio questioned himself as to what he was doing there. They were mentally and physically exhausted by the time they reached ABC.

Julio used foul language in Spanish while recounting the treacherous walk to ABC and I heard Lhakpa Gelu laughing and adding to the conversation, in Spanish! Julio explained that Lhakpa has spent time in Argentina and knows the “essential Spanish". I took advantage of their good moods and told Julio to tell Lhakpa Gelu he is a rock star according to Jordan Romero’s Blog. This is what the blog states “He holds the world record for base camp to Summit of Everest and back. That’s right, world record and he’s here going for his 14th summit. A man with the softest smile and a voice you can’t imagine. After giving 3 truckloads of advice to our team and Jordan, he offers his personal help should our Summit days coincide. This is like Michael Jordan walking into your gym, when you’re a freshman in high school, and offers to personally coach you before the big game. Ok, not the perfect metaphor, but dang close.” I told Julio, Lhakpa is probably the most famous Sherpa in the world by now not because he has the record for the fastest ever to summit Everest, but because he had tea with Jordan Romero.

Tentatively the team expects to move on to the North Col tomorrow, spent the night there and return to ABC until there is a weather window suitable for a summit bid. Lopsang already took oxygen and other needed supplies to camp 2, so they feel they are ready. Julio sounds positive they could summit if the weather cooperates. That’s the main caveat for now.

I heard some Sherpas have already reached the summit from the other side of the mountain. That means the ropes are fixed on the South. Hopefully the North will be ready soon.

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