Sunday, April 29, 2007


EverestSA2007 – Update 5

We’re pretty worried about my ‘unc’ John Brand, as it was reported on Thursday that he had been sent back to Base Camp from Advanced Base Camp to rest for a few days, because he was/is suffering from altitude-related illnesses, and we haven’t heard any more. (right - ABC taken from Camp 4)

My mother, who is the early bird, said that there was no mention about it on KFM’s morning cross-over to Ronnie on Friday morning, but then we have noticed that the station is more interested in getting their ‘breakfast show mug' to the top, than what is actually happening on this expedition… Marketing and advertising at all costs!

John has suffered in the past from altitude related illness, and has had to turn around on Aconcagua without being able to summit because of this. There are various forms of altitude illness, but it is basically explained that acclimatization is a major cause of it:

Acclimatization is an adaptive process that allows human beings to tolerate high altitude. It is a great example of how the human body can adapt and respond to a hostile environment. The process of acclimatization begins immediately but requires several days to be notable and requires weeks to be near complete.”

“High altitude illness describes several syndromes that can occur in un-acclimatized individuals shortly after ascent to high altitude. These illnesses usually occur at altitudes of greater than 2,500 meters (8,200 feet)…

So we are just hoping that the rest will get his system back to normal before he attempts any further climbs! These mountaineers are pretty tough characters!

o further news from the mountain was that on 19 April Mike, John and Andy spent the day at Intermediate Base Camp, while Ronnie stayed in Base Camp resting his back. The higher up the mountain you are, the less conducive it is to recovery from illness or injury, so it is best to stay as low as possible when dealing with any unfortunate mishaps.

Over one ton of equipment, food and oxygen left Base Camp on the 19th on the backs of 29 yaks.

There were some technical problems, so Ronnie wasn’t able to communicate with the guys up at Advanced Base Camp.

I found this very interesting little BBC doccie on a team of Doctors who set up a tent-clinic at Base Camp, which I thought very interesting. It’s a relief knowing that medical care is available in the event of it being needed, and it is amazing that it is pure passion that drives people to risk their own lives to ensure the safety of others.

Ronnie left Base Camp on the 21st, and reached the rest of the team the following day – but not before getting stuck in a snowstorm! (And you thought Cape Town is cold at the moment!)

On the 24th Mike, John and Andy prepared their climbing gear and proceeded up to the base of the Fixed Lines beneath the North Col. Andy climbed to 6 900m, while Mike and John climbed to 6 750m and 6 650m respectively, leaving Ronnie to relax at A.B.C. – this is the whole acclimatization process.

We haven’t had any replies to our emails – they did say they were having problems setting it up – but I will post the replies when and if I get them.

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