Sunday, May 10, 2009

Work and Play

5300m Himex BC - Recently I have fielded several emails asking, "what do you do to pass the time?" or "do you train while you wait?" To answer the first question a lot of us read books, some play cards, movies are shown inside the Tiger Dome/White Pod or some of us utilize our ipods for movies and music. One can only clean and reorganize his or her tent so much. Then there is the need to keep clean as we typically shower or "bird bathe" once per week. We are approaching week #2 of rest here in BC. Most of the guys that were growing beards started shaving them off recently. My buddy Chris Macklin is the exception as he his starting to look like Grizzly Adams! (I'll have to get a photo soon).

It has been fun bonding with certain individuals here in camp. My buddy Jim Holliday of Pittsburgh decided to shave his Santa Clause beard today so we had our picture taken together (see photo). As you can see, we ironically own the same sherpa hat, each of us having purchased them at the local REI store, respectively. Turns out Jim is at least 50% Polish like me so it has been fun trading Polish words and phrases.

I also asked Big Boss (Russell Brice's nickname) for a photo but on one condition: that we have another one taken after I get back from my summit attempt only then he has to wear my cheese wedge hat! He kindly laughed and agreed yet right after the photo today he put me to work with the ice pick to help him level one of the ice mounds in front of our dining tents. Makes me wonder what I'll have to do after the cheese wedge photo?! :)

So we really don't "train" down low but rather rest and recuperate, maybe taking short walks to either traditional Everest BC or even an hour walk down to Gorak Shep (local village that offers internet access). It looks like we will be in BC until the 15th/16th as the ideal summit window may open up shortly thereafter. Not too long now and we'll be climbing into the heavens once again. Each day the excitement grows...