Local time: 31 March 18:45
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Weather: Overcast, 24C
Hi It’s Paul sitting in an internet café in Kathmandu writing this update. I have had a reasonably relaxed day today, meeting with Lhakpa to sort out oxygen, meeting with Billi (Ms Hawley’s representative) and looking at gear shops.
Meeting with Ms Hawley
Alas Ms Hawley couldn’t meet with me herself today, so she sent a representative, called Billie. I had a really good chat with Billie about Ms Hawley, which I recorded and hopefully I’ll be able to post it up here soon. I found out that Ms Hawley has been gathering statistics herself since the first American expedition here on Everest in 1963 and has personally recorded all the details of the expeditions since then on over 250 peaks. She has also documented the details of the climbs prior to 1963. Billie told me how Ms Hawley likes to look at people’s email addresses and she says that you can tell a lot about a person from their email address. I asked Billie how they track people down and she explained some of the lengths that they have to go to contact the climbers.
Buying some extra oxygen
I met with Lhakpa this morning to sort out buying some extra oxygen. I have 5 x 4 litre bottles included with my base fee, but I wanted to get a few more to have in case I need to make a second attempt or stay a another day on the South Col to wait for better weather. Judging from last year, I think that I would be OK to stay at the South Col without oxygen, but having a little would make things a lot better. A couple of times we got up to go to the toilet and didn’t bother taking any oxygen with us, and we were looking forward to getting back on it by the time you got back to your tent. But lying in your tent it was just Ok without. I haven’t had it confirmed if Lhakpa can actually get some, but hopefully he can. (The Sherpas bring surplus oxygen bottles off the mountain and you can buy it. Obviously it’s not advisable to use this for critical situations, but for sleeping at C3, going up to C4 and resting at C4 I think it’s fine.)
Lhakpa also mentioned that he wants to take me to the Lama for a special blessing on Monday. Hopefully I will be able to take Tim and Damien too, as this should be quite an experience.
Tomorrow I have a logistics meeting with Mohan, my brothers Tim and Damien arrive in the early afternoon and then we need to get them a few items of gear (sleeping bag, down jacket, trekking poles), but this should be pretty easy here.