Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 3: Skills training at Base Camp

Today was a second skills day, this time with the rest of my team participating as well. For most (if not all) of us, it was merely a refresher course, but it’s still good to be 100% confident with your skills before progressing up the mountain. We got to know each other better too. A couple interesting facts about our team: We have a 48-year age difference between the oldest and youngest members of the team, and none of the clients drink coffee. (Though all of the guides do.) We also have a diverse team: Shlomo, the oldest of the climbers at 67, is originally from Israel and now resides in California. He climbed Denali two years before but got stuck at High Camp due to weather and was unable to summit. Arkhom, Shlomo’s tentmate, is from Thailand and is a doctor (always good to have on an expedition!). He successfully summited Everest last year. Greg, my tentmate, is Canadian and has three boys, the oldest of whom is around my age. He is a very successful lawyer, and you can tell why; he is very, very smart and well-spoken. We’ve already had some great conversations and discovered we’re both into sci-fi and fantasy literature. Silvia is originally Peruvian and now lives with her wife in California. She and I discovered that we are both climbing Everest next spring for charity! She is raising money to support women in the Congo. She might also be the first lesbian to climb the Seven Summits if she continues to climb them the next couple years. Her tentmate is Nancy, from outside Boston, who is an excellent photographer and brought a massive camera onto the mountain. I had tried looking her up before the trip and found a woman with her name who had competed on a game show but, alas, it was not the same Nancy. Bummer. Anyway, we have a fantastic group and I’m very excited to be spending the next two to three weeks with these guys and gals. 

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