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CHE North Col team
Joe Pilaar lead our Everest ABC trek and North Col climbing team, here are the highlights...
8 May the North Col team "summits"
The Everest ABC and North Col team was 10 people total, with Joe Pilaar of CHE (Canadian Himalayan Expeditions) leading the trip on behalf of his company, and Explore Himalaya with help from Jamie was the ground operator. Everything worked...
They had a cold but social trek up to ABC where I (Jamie) met them.
After a couple of days in ABC building up for the ascent the team set off. Four out of six climbers made the Col remarking it was far tougher than they expected. Of the other two, one had low oxygen saturation and found it too tough, the other who should be named, said he could have made it the day before or the day after but not that day! It was a TOUGH trek but it seems that everyone really did enjoy it.
Erika, thanks for the boots, one of our sherpas will be happy!
Here are just a few snapshots.
Joe Pilaar (CHE) and the new cut...
Jamie crosses the first small ladder
Erika crosses the second more serious ladder, in between the two
sections of the North Col camp.
She topped out at the North Col soon after!
I could not resist this further picture...
Guess who was on top of the North Col at the same time? The mad Viking,
The inevitable slide show question
Kevin tells his wife about these things that everyone wants to know but is afraid to ask. Note the "Fred" in the bottom of the story is the photo above... Do you have new respect or disgust?!
I feel that it is my duty to send this particular e-mail to you and anyone on your forwarding list so that I might shed some light on the realities of mountaineering and thus be of some service to humanity. Perhaps the following accounts will help extinguish any lingering romantic notions that some may have about climbing large mountains. (Please Note: The squeamish are best advised to go read something else)
So there I was on the North Col of Mt. Everest the other day (elevation 23,000ft.) in what was essentially an acclimation hike, when I felt that most natural of impulses to evacuate my bowels. Under normal circumstances, this is no big deal, but when it is blowing snow outside, and one has suffered an on-going case of the "Tibetan Two-Step", such a bodily function takes on an immediate urgency.
I was alone in a small dome tent that was being partially used as a Sherpa
storage tent for breakfast foods in what was rapidly becoming a desperate
situation. There was no time to put on my liner boots, plastic overboots,
parka,gore-tex bibs, gloves, etc. and make it outside to hang my behind over the
yawning abyss of the designated
My intense gaze brought me upon a box of cereal. The box of cereal looked back up at me as if to say, "What?!!".Quick as a cat, I snatched the innocent from among his fellows and promptly removed the inner plastic bag containing the grains. Then, in a 'McGyver' inspired stroke of genius, I ripped the box into a small tray configuration complete with spatter-resistant sides (the narrow box ends that say, "Nutritional Information-Questions?,Comments?-phone etc, etc.), and proceeded to do my urgent business in a well-targeted squat position. AHHHHH!!!
For me - MONSTROUS RELIEF!-for the box? - the ultimate disrespect. Upon completion of the necessary paperwork, I carefully folded my prize into a tidy satchel and then placed it outside the back door of the tent to freeze instantly. Ouila! (Martha Stewart would be so proud!). A little Purell hand-sanitizer and I was good to go! (after becoming solid as a rock, and I was dressed to go outside, into the crevasse it flew).
Later on, I informed my fellow teammate Frederick (from Sweden) of my dire predicament and cereal box salvation. Fred, who has many high-altitude summits around the world to his credit, was quick to let me know that I was very lucky to have a piece of cardboard laying about. His Story: "We were on an expedition to climb Dhaulagiri and were stuck in our tents for ten days in a raging storm. The winds were so strong we thought we were going to die!-there was no going outside for any reason at all! We were forced to line our hands with toilet paper and....."
So on these cheerful notes I shall sign-off, my dear, in the sincere hope that you never take up mountaineering.
Your Husband, Kevin