Monday, May 21, 2007


EverestSA2007 Update 11

In what looks to be a record year for most Mount Everest summits (there have been about 362 so far and the record is 486) we haven’t heard much from the South Africa team last few days. The team, excluding Andy van der Velde who summitted early on the 16th, were preparing their assault and had had computer problems last week, so no email.

This morning Ronnie had contact with KFM from their camp at 7,800 m, and said that my unc, John Brand (right), had gone a little moggy due to suffering from altitude sickness, and had been escorted by a Sherpa to a lower altitude. I think that this is it for John, and that his quest to summit will have to be put on ice for awhile.

We are very proud of him, for having gotten so far, but would prefer it if he just got his ass down to where there is an abundance of thick wonderful air.

I have been following a number of expeditions up the hill, and heard very similar stories that do strengthen the worry. The Discovery Team wrote about Gavin Bate, and how just a few hours of oxygen at Advanced Base Camp (and a cuppa tea) transformed a man from a wreck near the brink of death, to a very grateful rosy-cheeked mountaineer.

Cousin Mike & Ronnie still feel positive about their own summit plans, and I am sure we will hear more as it happens. Today was the day they had hoped to reach the top of the world, as there has been a pretty good weather period, and this has allowed a number of groups to achieve their aim.

Our thoughts go to the families of those who won’t be going home this year. Already there have been a number of deaths (5) – not that this is a deterrent – on what is quite a busy season on Mount Everest.

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