Use the timeline to view daily logs and photos.
to all from Everest Base Camp (17,800ft)!
I just got off the radio with Expedition leader Gary Guller.
He is proud and excited to let you know that he and Gary Scott
are poised for a summit push on the morning of May 13th, which
is the evening of Monday, May 12th your time.
Today, Gary G, Nima Dawa Sherpa and Pem Tenji Sherpa spent
a productive day on the Lhotse Face between Camps 2 and 3
making sure all safety measures were in place for the summit
push. Both Garys and all the Sherpa are feeling healthy, strong
and positive about the plans for the upcoming days.
Vince remains at Camp 2, but plans for an additional acclimatization
hike to the base of the Lhotse Face tomorrow. These day hikes
will improve his strength and health, which is being monitored
daily. Vince's presence, as always, is a tremendous inspiration
to TE '03 members. [Vince sends his love across the miles
to his wonderful and supportive wife Connie.]
G. reports amazing cooperation among all teams to pitch in
the extra gear needed to fix the necessary ropes from the
South Col to the Summit. This harmony on the mountain truly
represents the importance of the 50th anniversary of the first
summit of Mt. Everest.
Further, the support, respect and goodwill that TE '03 has
received from international expeditions and Sherpa climbers
has been a blessing, showing how cross-cultural and far reaching
our message is. It is a testament to the dedication of CTD,
the sponsors, supporters, advocates and team members around
the world who believe in this cause. You are about to see
the message taken to the top of the world!
After hearing about the devastation of our camps by
the windstorm of the previous days, it is hard to believe
how positive and upbeat everyone is. However, when I think
about the people up there - Gary Guller, Gary Scott, Vince,
Nima Dawa, Pem Tenji, Karma, Daw Nima and Namgya - I am not
surprised in the least that they are working together as a
team, staying focused on the goal and the message and making
the best of a truly difficult situation. From the rubble,
they have emerged stronger! Even at the higher altitudes where
cold and harsh conditions make things very difficult, the
harmony and team work has been extraordinary.
the next installment of our Sherpa language lessons, I chose
some perfect words for our current situation, as all of us
up here in the Himalaya have become like a family:
Mother:mama, Father:apa, older brother:achoo,
younger brother:ang, older sister:azhi (what
everyone calls me!), younger sister: nuni, son:pujung,
daughter: pum, cousin: aku, aunt:umchung,
uncle:au, grandfather:paga, grandmother:gaga.
From our family to yours - Ngel pep (Goodnight!)
Christine Kane, Base Camp Manager
Support the team: email@example.com
INITIATIVES: Now is an especially
critical time for Texans with disabilities. The current legislative
budget not only does provide funding to decrease the existing
waiting lists for community services, it will actually eliminate
tens of thousands of Texans with disabilities from the community
services they are currently receiving. Further, the senate
version of the budget eliminates drug coverage for more than
208,000 aged or disabled Texans.
Tell your friends and family how important
these issues are. Come to the Capitol (north side) for the
Health and Human Services rally on Wednesday, May 14th at
noon OR contact your state representatives. (Click
here to find out who your representatives are) to let
them know that Texans with disabilities matter!
Contact Dennis Borel at 512/478-3366
M-F (other times at 512/431-1656) or firstname.lastname@example.org
for further info about TE '03 or the advocacy work of CTD.
Hello from the Base Camp of the tallest mountain in the
huge round of applause to our fearless leader Gary Guller
and our skilled high altitude climbing Sherpa who braved the
ferocious high winds at Camps 1 and 2 the past two nights.
Upon arrival at Camp 1, Gary and Nima Dawa Sherpa assessed
the situation and found that at least 70% of all expedition
teams' tents were destroyed or missing from the mountain.
Our tents suffered the same fate, but luckily extra tent
poles were brought and several yards of climbing rope was
used to tie our one remaining (but collapsed and damaged)
tent down securely. All this repair work done at an extremely
high altitude and after a long ascent through the Khumbu Icefall.
Needless to say, Gary and Nima Dawa were ready for a good
night sleep after the day's ordeal.
But, as the mountain and Mother Nature would have it, the
winds continued to rack the mountain and the two spent the
night bracing themselves against the walls of the tent. Many
times they needed to stand up to make sure that the tent did
not become dislodged and tumble down the mountain - with them
in it. Needless to say, they had little sleep during the night.
The Sherpa that continued on to Camp 2 found a similar scenario.
However, they were also prepared and spent several hours repairing
what they could after a long day's climb. They also had a
sleepless night, spending most of the time preventing supplies
and tents from being lost to the whipping winds.
Morning came and it was time to decide what course of action
to take. Here at Base Camp, I had spent the day comparing
weather forecasts with other teams in order to provide as
much information as possible to Gary so he could make an informed
decision. At 4am they called to see what I had to report.
The weather reports were conflicting, but after 4 days, we
figured the wind had to let up soon. They made the decision
to stay on the mountain and make the push to Camp 2 despite
continued wind. Gary also felt that if he wanted to keep the
hope of an early summit push alive, it was best to stay on
the mountain. Gary Scott, who had just returned from a week
of re-oxygenating and acclimatization at lower altitudes conferred
So, this morning, Gary Guller and Nima Dawa Sherpa made the
push to Camp 2 through the wind and arrived safely before
lunch. Vince left Base Camp and ascended to Camp 1 and will
meet up with Gary G. and the climbing Sherpa at Camp 2 tomorrow.
Gary Scott, after one more rest day at Base Camp, will head
directly to Camp 2 tomorrow. All the team will be together
and poised for a summit push as early as May 12th. To assure
the best chances for success, our climbing Sherpa will be
taking loads to Camp 4 tomorrow.
Nima Dawa Sherpa will be ascending to Camp 3 to assess the
wind damage there. Although we have not seen Camp 3 since
the high winds hit, we have heard reports from other teams,
some who lost everything, that the damage is great. We all
have our fingers crossed that our supplies such as tents,
sleeping bags, high altitude down suits, high altitude food
and fuel have not been blown off the mountain. For some expeditions,
these losses will be catastrophic and mean their chance for
the summit is over. For others, it will mean expensive replacement
costs as well as the time and effort involved in re-supplying
a camp at such a high altitude.
As always, we owe a great thanks to all our supporters and
sponsors who have made this expedition possible. With each
passing day, we are closer to bringing the message of the
limitless potential of people with disabilities to the top
of the world. We could not be where we are without all the
personal emails from all of you out there following our progress.
We especially thank the students following this expedition
from Dripping Springs, Texas School for the Deaf, Easthampton
Middle School, Sollars Elementary School in Japan, Dr. Janis's
sister's class in Riga, Latvia, the 3rd and 4th graders in
Westminster, CO and all other students who have contacted
Top Five Reasons to Climb Everest (in the humble opinions
of those crazy people who have come this far to do it):
5. Because we are not all there (upstairs that is)!
4. Because it is too hot in Texas.
3. Because who doesn't love walking across ladders above bottomless
2. Because we love staying awake all night at altitude wondering
if we will be blown away by the fierce winds.
1. Because we are sick and tired of indoor plumbing, hot showers
and the conveniences of modern life.
Stay tuned for the next dispatch about the exciting developments
over the next few days. We are counting on you to send lots
of positive Karma our way (and to make arrangements for optimal
weather and strong legs for our climbers!). Sherpa language
lesson number gu (9) in the next dispatch!
Talk to you again soon,
Base Camp Manager
Team Everest '03
Emails to the team: email@example.com
Tashi Delek from another extremely windy day at Base Camp.
climbing Sherpa and Expedition Leader, Gary Guller arose at
4:00 this morning determined to make the ascent to higher
camps. Having been forced to stay down due to strong winds
(50 mph and higher), the team was getting restless here at
Base Camp wondering how the high camps were faring in this
harsh wind storm. Despite continued wind this morning, they
packed up, lit the juniper to ask for safe passage from the
mountain gods and were on their way as dawn crept across Base
Camp. The Liaison Officer and I walked with them to the entrance
of the Khumbu Ice Fall and bid them farewell. Their bright
down jackets were the only ones visible on the Icefall.
Although the wind died down briefly early on, it picked up
again with renewed force by lunch time. We wondered all morning
how the climbers were doing traversing the Icefall with the
added treachery of the forceful winds. To our relief, Gary
just radioed and they are well and safe in Camp 1. Unfortunately,
the Camp has taken a serious beating due to the winds of the
past three days. Gary said that he has never seen as many
broken tent poles in all his years climbing as he witnessed
when he arrived to Camp 1.
The climbing Sherpa let us know that Camp 2 has also sustained
a lot of damage from a wind storm that continues to rack the
mountain. Gary and our wonderful team of high altitude Sherpa
had the foresight to bring extra tent poles and mending materials
so they will be able to fix the damaged tents. Gary and Nima
Dawa Sherpa are making camp tonight in the one tent that is
habitable in Camp 1. The other climbing Sherpa are making
do in Camp 2 and will make most major tent repairs tomorrow.
Such is Mother Nature in the mountains and especially Mount
Everest! Vince B., Gary Scott (who is now back at BC, rested
and re-oxygenated after time at lower altitude) and their
climbing Sherpa will soon be making their way up the mountain
to join Gary G. and head up the mountain.
Meanwhile at BC, we continue to see, hear and feel
avalanches very near our camp on a daily basis. Sometimes
they are incredibly loud, blowing snow into our faces even
though we are few hundred feet away. Sometimes they last more
than 3 minutes!
the students around the world following the expedition, thanks
for your wonderful messages. Here is Sherpa language lesson
tuk (6), or is it lesson number din (7)? The topic is "animals".
I have been surprised by the number of animals I have seen
on the mountain. Of course there are yaks, but I have also
seen lots of birds, spiders, flies, butterflies, and snow
cocks. I also saw two mountain goats at lower altitudes.
To add to your Sherpa language dictionaries
we have the following words:
animal: chuma, dog: gi, cat: bermung,
bear: thom, elephant: lungbu, tiger: tak,
horse: tah, cow: palang, snake: rool,
monkey: khrick, chicken: cha, eagle: tha,
rat: peh, spider: baljyang, and most importantly
yeti: sokpa! I don't think I'll see many of these animals
here at BC except maybe a tha, baljyang and
maybe the sokpa!
A funny story: one of the Sherpa started calling me brown-headed
khrick because I had to jump into a tree once to avoid
getting hit by a yak! I am happy that I knew how to climb
trees and didn't get hurt by the yak horns. That ends our
Sherpa language lesson for today, but more soon to come!
We do appreciate all your well wishes and positive
energy - just keep it coming. We need it now more than ever
with our slight setbacks at Camps 1 and 2 in this horrible
windstorm. With any luck it will let up tomorrow and we can
get back on track with the ascent to higher camps and a hopeful
summit attempt in the near future. Nothing will stand (or
blow!) in the way of bringing our message of the limitless
potential of people with disabilities to the top of the world!
We'll keep you posted on the team's progress ascending and
Warmest Wishes,Christine Kane
Base Camp Manager
Namaste from a very windy Everest Base Camp!
the last couple of days, our plans to advance to higher camps
have been thwarted by the strong, high winds that have been
blasting the mountain. We decided to relax and refresh rather
than fight Mother Nature on this one. Our plan of attack is
now to depart to camp One as soon as possible and head on
up to the higher camps 2, 3 and 4 over the next five days
I plan to keep Christine at BC posted via walkie-talkies
about the team's progress and she will relay these dispatches
on. I'll send images from high on Everest via Sherpa descending
to BC, which Christine will also send. We'll continue to video
document the team's progress on the mountain.
As we are writing this dispatch (Sunday), the wind continues
pounding the tents and throwing up snow in and around BC and
in the Ice Fall. When we make plans to begin moving up the
mountain and the weather prevents us from doing so,
we have to invent things to keep ourselves busy.
We take care of business, so to speak, moving tents
that have suffered wind damage or glacier shifting and reinforcing
our "luxurious" blue toilet tent (safely hitting
the target, the blue barrel, is a continuous test of one's
We also make delicious concoctions out of not so delicious
dried food packets for our team. One of our better creations
was a blueberry cheesecake with graham cracker crust shared
among 14 team members, including the cooks, Sherpa and kitchen
What a great time to give a special thanks
to our Sherpa, especially young Nima Sherpa, our cook's tireless
assistant who keeps the warm liquids flowing on these cold,
windy days. Nima has mastered our personal drinks of choice,
which we greatly appreciate.
Thanks also to TSD for use of the video camera and
to the wonderful support team back in Austin - Dennis, Chris,
Jodi, Joni, Dan, Brian, Andy Cockrum and Reid Nixon of Firelight
Pictures. Without you, the message of TE '03 would not be
where it is today.
I ask again for your continued support for the Coalition
of Texans with Disabilities. They are good folks who have
changed the way I view myself and others; their work has improved
the quality of my life. By supporting such an organization,
we are helping to ensure equal rights and freedoms for all
Talk to you again soon,
Gary Guller, TE '03
Send emails to the team: firstname.lastname@example.org
note from Chris Watkins who is currently in Australia:Even
though I had had a life threatening HAPE and HACE, I elected
to return to Everest and was able to climb on Everest's Khumbu
Ice Fall during the 50th anniversary. This fulfilled a personal
dream to at least climb on part of Everest this year. I had
to leave BC because the HACE had stared to reappear after
climbing on the Ice Fall, but I have no regrets in again climbing
up through the Himalayas to rejoin the team and to actually
climb a bit.
Now in Australia, I am proud to have carried the Team Everest
'03 message "Freedom to Explore" to the top of the
highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko, located in the Australian
Alps of New South Wales and one of the seven summits (the
highest mountain on each continent). I dedicate this climb
to the effort of all TE '03 members.
ROAD TO EVEREST
Article By LEE HANCOCK / The Dallas Morning News
Emails to the team: email@example.com
||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. Contact
Dennis Borel at 512/478-3366 M-F (other times at 512/431-1656)
or firstname.lastname@example.org for
further info about TE '03 or the advocacy work of CTD.