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March 31,1999


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1998 Cho Oyu

1999 Everest



Namache Bazar Update:
Elevation:  11,400 ft
Wednesday, 3/31/99

Hi Everyone:

Well, had a nice surprise today in finding someone with a laptop setup  who was kind enough to let me sneak out an email a little earlier than I had expected.  As I mentioned in my last update, there were some problems with the airlines due to strikes. as such, we were forced to hike in on foot to the Khumbu Valley.  This entailed about a 60 mile hike, which does not seem so bad, but we were hiking east to west through many valleys that ran north to south, between the towns of Jiri and Namche Bazar, which is a little more than half way to base camp, we have ascended over 30,000 ft and descended over 22,000ft cumulatively between all the valleys and passes.

Essentially, we have already climbed the total elevation of Everest from sea level and we still have a tremendous way to go. The weather has been good so far, although apparently there are some huge forest fires somewhere west of here that are creating much more haze than expected.  This is playing havoc with my photos, but we are hoping to climb above it in the next few days.   We´ve seen some spectacular scenery thus far including our first views of Everest 2 days ago.  All I can say is that it was big, a long way away and very cold looking.   Since the jet stream has not risen as of yet, the summit is still sitting in 200 mph winds.  The day we saw it, there was a 3 mile snow plume coming off the summit.

The team all looks good and we all seem to be bonding pretty well.  We are representing quite a diverse group including USA, Canada, Spain, Argentina, England, Wales, Hong Kong and Holland.  A few problems with language barriers, but overall not too bad. 

From here, we will take about 4-6 days to reach base camp where I will send my next email and try to provide a little more detail than I am able to provide here due to time.   Bottom line, everyone is healthy, moving well and feeling strong.

Talk to you all in a few days,

Take care.