Archive for April 13th, 2010

Acclimatization Hikes

RMI Dispatch from Dave Hahn…

April 13, 2010
17,575 ft.

A three a.m. snowstorm blew through just as our Sherpa team was trying to decide whether to go ahead with a carry to Camp One. Tendi and the boys wisely decided to give it a miss. Ultimately, it was only two inches, but it changed the basecamp scenery immensely. Leif Whittaker and I took an easy rest day while Chad, Casey and Seth took Scott, Rob and Wendy on acclimatization hikes. Several of the team went all the way up to Pumori Camp One for a little altitude and a lot of views into the Western Cwm.

The big event of our day was Jeff Martin’s planned departure for home. He has worked good and hard for a week now (on top of several months, pre-trip) to get our logistics off on the right foot, but now he is needed back on Mount Rainier. We said goodbye to him with a lively, latenight game of Texas Hold ‘Em and a good and hearty breakfast.

Now that most teams have arrived, we were entertained with a steady stream of old friends passing through and telling their stories of travels and treks over tea. We’ll continue our training for the icefall tomorrow.

Dave Hahn

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Altitude

Yesterday we ventured into the icefalls.  Our goal was to get to the first set of ladders, about an hour and a half of climbing through a labyrinth of ice, water and rock.  Wow did I have memories of last year.   I couldn’t believe that I was back so soon and all the pain and suffering came sweeping back.  It was a hard day for me.  Not certain if it is because I am not yet acclimatized or if I once again have become a tent potato, but yesterday nearly killed me.  I couldn’t catch my breath, find my rhythm, get into the groove… whatever it was it was eluding me.  I crawled back to my tent totally deflated and ready to pack it in.

It snowed last night.  Everest base camp is coated in white, and the rough rocks and jagged edges of this inhospitable world are softened.  The sun is out and the day is warm.  Seth and I are heading out for a hike to stretch the legs and get the lungs working.  I am hopeful for a better day than yesterday.  Guess I should look on the positive side, as Rob reminds me, I did achieve my goal and made it to the ladders, crossed many and returned shortly after the group.  To me it was a miserable experience.  Still this is Everest and misery is part of the territory now what am I going to do about it?

Time to dig in right?  Keep reminding me of that.

Wendy

Oh yes… Climb On!


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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.