Photo: post-recovery at the “football field” in the ice fall. Garrett with the recovery team.
Today we returned from our short outing at Gorak Shep to the comforts of our Everest base camp, and we are all very happy to be back in our “home away from home”. The mood in base camp seems to be improving,
At 10 AM tomorrow morning we are going to partake in a Puja “aatma shanti” (peace of the soul) ceremony with all individuals in base camp. This event will be held at the SPCC camp and the purpose will be to pay respect to the men who lost their lives in the Khumbu Icefall on April 18th. We are very excited to participate in this ceremony as we feel this community gathering to recognize the importance of the life of all of these men is an essential piece of the grieving process. This ‘coming together’ in base camp has been a missing element the last few days and we hope will give solidarity to our climbing community on Everest.
After the ceremony our team will head down valley to Lobuche where we plan to spend the night. The next day we will climb to Lobuche high camp, and then the following day awake before dawn to climb the glaciated slopes of Lobuche East. After the climb we plan to stay in the Lobuche lodge and then return to Everest base camp the following day. We are very excited to be “going climbing” the next few days!
I wanted to touch upon the recovery that occurred on April 18th & 19th. After the accident on the morning of April 18th, I climbed up to the accident site and worked for several hours with others who had also climbed up to assist such as Dave Hahn, Jeffrey Justman, Ben Jones and Andy Tyson. The following day on April 19th several of us flew up to the “football field” and then climbed up to the accident site and proceeded to finish our work in extricating the body of my Sirdar, Dorji Kartri, as well as search for a few of the missing Sherpas who are now buried under massive amounts of ice. The other recovery volunteers (Damien Benegas, Melissa Arnot, and several Sherpas) worked for several hours and in the end we flew off the body, then descended to base camp by helicopter. This recovery effort was a fine example of how foreign climbers and Nepali Sherpas can work together to accomplish a common goal, and I am very proud to have been part of this effort.
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