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May 2003:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | June

May 16

Texas flag at BCNamaste to all our supporters!

As they say in the mountains, it's time we moved onward and upward! All the weather forecasts, our health, our motivation and our spirit say it is time to ask for permission to stand on top of Mount Everest.

In approximately 5 hours (on May 17th your time), myself, Gary Scott, Nima Dawa, Da Nima, Namgya, Karma, Pem Tenji will begin our ascent straight to Camp Two. The day after, we will rest at Camp Two and then ascend the Lhotse Face to Camp Three and then onto Camp Four. All being well, we'll make our early morning summit on May 21st, nearly 50 years since the first successful ascent.

There have been so many people - climbers, sherpa, supporters - who have made it possible for people like myself, people with a disability, to fulfill their dreams. For those who support the potential of all people, you are the special ones - thank you. Please continue to send us emails of support, as we will be in contact with our BC throughout the ascent.

BCWe are proud to be Americans and this expedition is proud to support the dreams of all people, regardless of their ability or their disability. The freedom to explore and to fulfill goals should be enjoyed by every single person in the world. God Bless America and God Bless Texas.

Talk to you from the top of the world!

Gary Guller

May 15

Gary G. and Nima at BCGreetings folks from Mount Everest Base Camp,

We're here at Base Camp waiting for the jet stream to move away from Everest to give us the few days we need to climb this puppy and come home. We are doing our best to keep our positive spirits alive and our health in good condition while we await a window of good weather for our summit attempt.

Tentatively, our plans are to ascend directly to Camp 2 in a couple of days (May 17) where we'll wait for the window of opportunity to take the message of CTD and TE '03 to the top of the world (May 20/21). We are ready, the window will come, it is now all about patience.

Since we returned to Base Camp, we've been inventing daily projects to keep ourselves active. Yesterday, the wonderful climbing Sherpa and I spent roughly 6 hours building a Texas "sun deck" "Sun deck" at BC(all the Sherpa grooving to the tunes of "Rasta Man - Alien" by Urban Roots as we were moving the rocks!). As the glacier at Base Camp continues to move, change and melt, all tents inevitably become unstable. Basically, the tents provide shade to the ice underneath them, which doesn't melt, while all the ice around the tent does melt. After several weeks, your tent is pitched on a platform of ice that is elevated 5-8 feet because all the ice around it has melted! So our Texas sun deck is really just building up moving rocks to keep our tent in place. We are trying our best to make the hard work of reinforcing our tents a little more bearable, as well as aesthetically pleasing!

Ming and Pin of CCTV with Gary G. at BCI can not tell you how much your emails mean to us and your support of our message, CTD and our campaign. To the Challenge Trek members, the Sherpa have been asking how you all are doing since you have returned back home. You have really touched their lives, as you did so many others around the world.

As a matter of fact, over the last couple of days, representatives of CCTV-Central China Television have been our guests at Base Camp. We had a lovely visit, and a great exchange of ideas with our new Chinese friends Ming and Pin and their crew here at camp. They interviewed our climbing Sherpa and me on video, which will be flown back to Beijing to be aired throughout China. Disability awareness to a whole new level! Team Everest continues to rock the world - promoting the potential of people with disabilities. Thank you to CCTV and all of our supporters in China! Bless you all and good luck to the Chinese team on the North side of Mount Everest!

NIma with meat at BCIt is a fact of life at 17,000ft that you never really feel 100%. We keep discussing the powerful message behind TE '03 and what we have accomplished so far and I have to say that these are the best motivational discussions we have. Team Everest '03 is all about positive human spirit - regardless of culture, nationality, ability or disability.

In our down time at Base Camp, we are continuing to improve our Sherpa language skills. Today we spent some time learning mountain-related words, which we'd like to share with you, especially the students at Texas School for the Deaf Middle School, Mrs. Jaensch's 8th grade class at Easthampton Middle School in NJ, Dripping Springs,TX and the 2nd graders in Riga, Latvia! We love that you are learning the Sherpa language with us!

Now for the words: tent: tambu, mountain:kangri, rock:dou, icefall:charum, glacier:druk, avalanche:kugi tokpa, crevasse: sirka, ice: charum, Everest: Chomolungma, South Summit: mola gola, Summit: gola, snow: kha, wind: lung, helicopter: heli. [For those who are wondering, didi means sister in the Nepali language - not Sherpa!]

NIma in TE'03 TshirtWe'd like to send a huge congratulations to our Expedition doctor Janis Tupesis for his appointment to the National Emergency Medicine Residents Association - International Emergency Medicine Committee. Way to go Janis!! Thanks again to the Emergency Department at the University of Chicago for loaning Janis to us!

As you can see, our climbing sirdar Nima Dawa Sherpa is wearing the official Team Everest T-shirt. How much more official can you get then them being worn at Mount Everest Base Camp? The Ts are one of a kind and easy to buy. You will look great wearing it and your purchase will support the best cause going! The Tshirts (and posters) were designed by the famous team at Austin's Printglobe. Thanks to Mr. Steinborn, Philip and all of the staff.

More to come in the next few days!
Gary Guller


May 13

Gary crosses ladder in IcefallGreetings to all of our wonderful team members around the world who keep us motivated as we try to take disability awareness to the top of the world!

We were turned away from our summit attempt because of high winds and a variety of weather-related reasons. We returned to base camp yesterday and will take a few days here along with all of the other expeditions to rest and regroup. Our Sherpa are taking well deserved rest days with us here. We are all tired after spending 6-7 days at Camp and beyond.

Since we have arrived at Base Camp, the weather has been clear, however there are high winds beyond Camp 2. All of our camps are now fully stocked and awaiting our return for a summit bid. We'll plan to try again for the summit on May 20/21. Hang in there with us and enjoy the photos of this old one-armed guy (yeah yeah) crossing ladders and crevasses in the Icefall.

Vertical ladders in Khumbu IcefallOur friend and climbing partner Vince decided that to maintain good health he will not continue climbing. He accomplished many goals on the mountain and we'll miss his presence here. He plans to fly back home at the end of the week.

I've talked about everyone having their own Everest - be it a fear or a hurdle or trying something new for the first time. At the moment, we are trying our very best to keep the Team Everest '03 dream alive and get to the top of this very big mountain. We were ready as an expedition to summit - everything was in order - but as in life, not everything goes according to plan. Those of us who have had life changing injuries, as well as those who have always been challenged have learned to accept what is presented to us.

Climbing on the Lhotse FaceA personal thanks again to our supporters, sponsors and those who believe in our message. Please keep your positive emails coming to us and your support to Team Everest and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

I would like to especially recognize today Mr. David Kooy and the team at ESI. I look forward to getting to know you better when I return!

Thank you for believing in CTD and TE '03.

Yours truly,
Gary Guller

RunTex banner at C2PS The high winds of a week ago at 22,000ft blew away one of our tents at Camp 2. Along with our tent went the RunTex Banner. The climbing Sherpa decided to make another one. I think it is the first RunTex banner to be manufactured, painted and displayed high on Mount Everest.

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

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