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April 2003:

1 | 3 - 4 | 4 - 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 11-16 | 17-19 | 21 | 22-25 | 27-30

Apr. 21

Namaste from Base Camp!

Khumbu Icefall from BCBase Camp weather showed its true colors yesterday! Our plans to enter the Khumbu Ice Fall were halted by a snowstorm with fierce winds that sprung up yesterday morning. We awoke at 4am to make our climb preparations, but by 4:15am, the clouds had rolled in and it was difficult to see even the close peaks. Snow began to fall and we decided to wait another day before ascending the Ice Fall. We went back to sleep and woke for bed tea around 7:30. There was a good 3-4 inches of fresh snow blanketing Base Camp - obviously the right decision was made!

Even though the sun came out later the wind continued to howl and whip through base camp; higher on the mountain wind speeds were surely close to 100mph. When snowfalls like this happen, it can be very dangerous on the mountain. The picture below of Gary Scott at base camp shows a huge avalanche in the background. This particular avalanche probably sent several thousand pounds of snow and rock tumbling down the mountain, which was extremely loud and very scary. Gary Scott at BC with avalanche behind himAnother reminder why it is important to respect the weather up here in the high Himalaya.

With the extra day of rest at BC, we decided to have Sherpa language lessons. Although the primary language of Nepal is Nepali, the climbing Sherpa and cooks in our camp speak their own Sherpa language, in addition to Nepali and English! It has become our goal to learn as much of this Sherpa language as possible during the remainder of our time here. We have even begun a Sherpa dictionary where we write the new words and phrases we have learned. For all the schools following this expedition, we'll be sharing new Sherpa words and phrases in each dispatch. See how much Sherpa language you can learn:

As I said before, we didn't go to the ice fall because ka gepsung (it was snowing). Also there was much lung geno (wind coming). We wished there was lots of nima sharsung (sunshine), but no luck! At night time we see many karma (stars) in the nam (sky) and there has been a full dawa (moon). Since we were unable to climb today, we enjoyed some solja (tea) with homa chendi (hot milk), ate some riggi (potatoes), listened to lu (music) and learned lots of Sherpa words!

Gary G. with Liaison Officer Mr. ManandharLater in the afternoon, our Liaison Officer arrived. His name is Bijaya Narayan Manandhar. He is a good friend of ours and has been to BC about eight times. He'll be here with us through the remainder of the expedition. He is very excited to be here and even sang a beautiful Nepali song for us. He has a great voice!

Since we weren't able to climb yesterday, we ascended into the Khumbu Ice Fall today to do some acclimatizing at Camps 1 and 2. All of the high altitude climbing Sherpas, as well as Gary Scott and myself will spend about 4-5 days acclimatizing at these high camps. Our skilled high altitude Sherpa will establish Camp 3, so it will be ready for us after we have a few rest days back at BC.

What is really exciting is that the message of Team Everest '03 is reaching new heights every day. Soon it will be at the top of the world! On that note, we send many thanks and good wishes to all the amazing and dedicated folks at the Gary Scott, Gary Guller, Christine Kane, Dr. Janis TupesisCoalition of Texans with Disabilities who have helped make this expedition the greatest on the mountain! And to all the Team Everest '03 supporters, we thank you for your continued encouragement, positive thoughts and financial support. It is never too late to make your contribution to promoting the abilities of people with disabilities! Take the time to forward this groundbreaking story to friends, family and colleagues today!

With many thanks and good wishes,
Gary Guller




Contact Dennis Borel at 512/478-3366 M-F (other times at 512/431-1656) or for a info about interviews, sponsorship opportunities, TE '03 and the advocacy work of CTD.

The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities to live, work, play, and participate fully in the community of their choice. CTD has consistently delivered important results for persons with disabilities for the past 24 years, and needs your support to fight the discrimination that faces individuals with disabilities in almost every aspect of their lives.

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