and Tashi Delek from a snowy Mt. Everest Base Camp!
We have spent the last two days hydrating and resting, cleaning
and organizing our loads and, of course, praying for safe
passage when we begin our climb for the summit - or as my
good friend Mike Trueman says, "if Sagarmatha
allows us to safely climb her." (By the way, Hi Mike
and thanks for the emails!)
We've been unable to send up additional loads with the climbing
Sherpa because of the consistent snowfall. Nima Dawa Sherpa,
the climbing Sirdar and my good friend, made the decision
this morning for the climbing Sherpa to rest an additional
day before carrying loads to the higher camps. As mentioned
in our previous dispatch, Camps 1, 2 and 3 have been established,
and we have made one carry to Camp 4. Pemba Tenzing, our Camp
2 cook is awaiting our return at Camp 2. Gary Scott and myself
have had numerous meetings with the climbing Sherpa discussing
our plan for the coming weeks. We have beefed up our day packs,
tested the oxygen and regulators, and checked and rechecked
our medical supplies.
thanks to Janis Tupesis, our team physician, and to the University
of Chicago Hospitals for allowing him time away to be part
of our team. Janis will be leaving camp soon, and will be
dearly missed. He and his wife Nikki were instrumental in
the success of Team Everest '03 - Nikki, with her good humor,
positive attitude and affable nature on the Challenge Trek,
and Janis, who is not only the best expedition doctor I have
ever seen, but has a loyalty and dedication to TE '03, and
a respect for the Sherpa people and culture, which have been
a true asset to the expedition. We all owe him so much.
Again, I truly appreciate the support he has received from
the University of Chicago Hospitals. The pictures you see
are from of Janis' going away party complete with a special
cake prepared by our talented cook, Buddha. Janis is seen
above with some of our climbing sherpa: from left to right
Nima Dawa (bottom), Karma (standing), Dr. Janis, Pem Tenji,
Gary and Namgya.
Everest '03 continues to be blessed with fine people committed
to furthering awareness throughout the world about the expedition.
I have great pleasure to introduce Bob Martin, a reporter
and pilot for CBS News who has been here at BC with us for
the past few days. I could tell straight away upon his arrival
at BC that he believed in the message of TE '03 - promoting
the potential of people with disabilities and believing that
all people, regardless of the abilities or disabilities, should
have the freedom to explore.
Bob is a fine gentleman and will be departing our company
soon. He has interviewed Nima Dawa and me, has assisted us
in repairing and improving our electrical supply, and has
shared stories of his career, all of which have added a general
joy to our camp for the past few days. CBS has a true gem.
We will miss him being here.
Everyone be on the lookout for the TE '03 story on your local
CBS station's "The Early Show", which should be
airing in the next few days. I look forward to crossing paths
with Bob again. And you never know, this CBS connection could
finally fulfill my dream of sitting opposite Mr. David Letterman!
(Come on Dan Steinborn, you can do it!)
To answer some recent questions from our supporters around
Question #1: When it is snowing, how do you bathe?
Answer: You do naked snow angels first. If that doesn't
work, you get a bowl of hot water and a towel, light a candle
in your tent, and you give yourself a scrub down. Basically,
take off one sock, clean your foot, and put your sock back
on. Repeat with other foot. Then, one leg out of pants, wash
and put leg back in trouser. Take glove off hand - clean hand
and put glove back on FAST!
Question #2: What is the most important holiday in
the Sherpa culture?
Answer: The most important holiday is Losar, the Sherpa
New Year. Currently, the year is 2130, the year of the Mountain
Sheep, and Losar was on March 3. Losar is celebrated on a
different day each year.
all those of you making Sherpa language dictionaries (including
Ms Kane's students at Texas School for the Deaf), here is
the next installment of words courtesy of our amazing Sherpa
teammates. Many Sherpa are named for the day of the week on
which they were born. The days of the week are Sunday: Nima,
Monday: Dawa, Tuesday: Mingma, Wednesday: Lakpa,
Thursday: Phuru, Friday: Pasang, Saturday: Pemba.
On our expedition team, we have Sherpa named Nima Dawa
Sherpa, Pemba Tenzing Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa,
Lakpa Dorjee Sherpa, Mingma Kami Sherpa, Lakpa
Sherpa and Phuru Dorjee Sherpa.
We also learned the colors - blue: ngrbu, red: maru,
yellow: ceru, green: jungmu, pink: gemu,
black: nakpu, white: karu, brown: muki,
gold: ceri, silver: nul.
We'll write again soon before heading back up the mountain!
Thanks to everyone for your support.
All the best!
Gary G. and the team
To contact the TE '03 Summit Team: email@example.com
Greetings from Gary Guller back at Base Camp!
cannot tell you how nice it is to be breathing some thicker
air and enjoying the few comforts we have at Base Camp: a
better selection of food and drinks and, of course, the company
of the TE '03 staff.
To give you a quick update of the status of our team and
our progress higher on the mountain: the high altitude climbing
Sherpa with the support of
the entire expedition team have successfully established Camps
1, 2 and 3 high on the Lhotse Face, and have moved one load
to Camp 4 on the South Col, approximately 950 meters (3,116ft)
from the top of the world! the world! Gary Scott, the climbing
Sherpa and myself are all at Base Camp having a few days of
much needed rest.
Five days ago, we ascended from Base Camp to begin the hard
work of establishing the higher camps. There is an incredible
amount of equipment and food that has to be moved up through
the Khumbu Icefall and Camp 1 to our advanced base camp at
Camp 2 (at approximately 22,500ft). The first time any of
us non-Sherpa make this ascent, it feels like breathing extremely
cold air through a mixing straw. (Some of you may remember
trying the experiment at one of our presentations - running
in place or around your auditorium and then trying to breathe
through a thin straw.)
have been very fortunate that Gary Scott was able to shoot
some fantastic video footage of our team ascending through
the Icefall and going to Camp 2. The ladders en route to Camp
2 are mentally taxing to say the least. There are a number
of places where there are multiple ladders strung together
over crevasses that appear to be bottomless and looking through
the rungs is like looking into a sea of darkness. Unfortunately,
just the other day, two ice walls collapsed while two Sherpa
were on the ladders only 20 minutes in front of us. Hopefully,
they will both be okay, but it hits home how dangerous this
route can be. (If you heard on the news wire about me slipping
on one of the ladders - it is true, but I can assure you it
was minor and I am in 100% good health!)
We've established our Camp 2 just past the other expeditions.
In all honesty, humans weren't made to live at these altitudes.
But even though the conditions are extremely tough going,
the beauty looking out over the great Himalayan Mountains,
surrounded in the Western Cwm by Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse,
I can only marvel at how all this was created. Until, that
is, the wind picks up and the clouds appear and I am quickly
reminded how inhospitable it can be. The cold just sucks the
life out of you! This is when we draw most from the support
we are receiving from home about reaching deeper within ourselves
to succeed when perhaps it seems easier to give up. Team Everest
'03 is all about doing the best that we can within ourselves.
A personal hello to our supporters and the team back
in Austin, and all at CTD. I miss you and appreciate the continued
support we are receiving as we enter into this mentally and
physically difficult phase of the expedition. A big hello
to the students at the Texas School for
the Deaf, Dripping Springs (Hey Chris!), St. Mary's Hall (Hi
Sharon Goodwin), Easthampton Middle School, and in Riga,
Latvia! Hope you enjoy the pictures from our trip up
and back to Camp 2. You can see how tired I look after a long
day on the mountain.
We'll be re-ascending to the higher altitude camps for further
acclimatization, but will write again from Base Camp before
To contact the TE '03 Summit Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
CURRENT INITIATIVES: Texas Public
Housing Authority Training and Technical Assistance Project
Housing options for people with disabilities, especially those
transferring from nursing homes to the community, are often
extremely limited by affordability and physical barriers.
CTD is currently working on a project that will provide training
and technical assistance to local Public Housing Authorities
so that they may increase the number of affordable, accessible,
integrated housing units for people with disabilities. This
project influences public policy surrounding affordable housing
in the state.