“Rocking” From Everest Summit

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(Sorry for the pic of a pic, I need a new wifi camera}

I’m still floating on air since my 24 hours above 8000 meters to the summit of Mt. Everest four days ago. It seems like yesterday. I realize that it will take a while to assimilate the events. One thing that has not been revealed was our role in the rescue of a seriously injured Sherpa at the beginning of our summit push which altered the entire schedule to our advantage.

On May 21, our full team headed up to camp 3 on our summit push and started up the bergschrund on the base of the Lhotse face. Immediately an oxygen bottle comes tumbling down the 45 degree slopes and careens over our helmeted heads. Sherpa eschew helmet use for one primary reason. It prohibits use of the endemic forehead strap that connects them to occasional 100 lb loads.  This day, it would almost prove fatal for one heavily laden porter.

Subsequent to the oxygen bottle near miss, I, along with my Sherpa, Ang Dawa and Neil Kushwaha along with his Sherpa, Sange paused to re evaluate the safety of the route given the recent spate of projectiles.  Within two minutes a large rock dislodged from ascending teams on what was becoming a typically blistering day in the Western Cwm of Everest.

The dull thud unmistakably suggested that someone had received the business end of this one. A fully suited Sherpa came dragging towards me. Down was leaking from a profuse gash in his suit. Aside from the obvious injury to an expensive down garment, this high altitude dude appeared uninjured.  He pointed at the hockey stick gulley and indicated there was another victim.

Neil, Dawa and Sange rushed to the scene as ascending climbers ignored the splattered blood and crumpled form in a pool at the base of Lhotse. A sizeable rock, which had clipped the first Sherpa nailed this poor porter. Neil and our Sherpa essentially carried this considerably bloodied chap to a safer point off the fixed line.

Blood was everywhere. We immediately found a pair of his socks to apply pressure to his skull. It was the one thing Icould recall from my last first aid class years ago. This Sherpa was in trouble and was in shock. He couldn’t remember his name. We gave him water and immediately got on the radio. It was Neal, Sange and Dawa who reached Kaji, our Sirdar at Basecamp. From there, Kaji was able to get in touch with the HRA who dispatched a helicopter. The helicopter made a high altitude rescue above camp 2 and this Sherpa was airlifted to Kathmandu. My Sherpa and Neil walked many extra feet to ensure this guy would live to climb again.

The resulting delay caused us to depart from the South Col one day late. In my next post, I will explain how this made all the difference. Right now we are on hold in Namche Bazaar as flights from Lukla are on weather hold. Thanks for following, I will post more photos soon.

John

25 Responses

  1. Lee

    Congratulations John! You’re the man! Can’t wait to hear more.

  2. Beverly Quillen

    ……………and he persisted. Looking forward to seeing Laurel today.

  3. Bunyan

    WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!! Congrats John!! So happy you are safe and healthy I hope!! Please take care of yourself on your journey back! The Faction is very proud of you!!

  4. Angie Lay Davis

    Woo Hoo!!!!! Congratulations, John!!!!!
    Momma, Daddy & I are just thrilled for you and so proud of you!!! Praying for your safe trip home now!!!

  5. Lee

    Congratulations! You’re the man! I’ve been following you the whole way. Looking for more stories and lots of details.

  6. AJ Sisson

    Congratulations JQ! Very happy and proud that you aummited. Hoping that the porter you helped survives. Not surprised at all to hear that you helped in his rescue. Have a safe journey home. Looking forward to swing you and Luarel and your family in June.

  7. AJ Sisson

    Congratulations JQ! Very happy and proud that you summited. Hoping that the porter you helped survives. Not surprised at all to hear that you helped in his rescue. Have a safe journey home. Looking forward to swing you and Luarel and your family in June.

  8. Lee W

    Congratulations!!! You’re the man! I’ve been following you the whole way. Looking forward to more stories.

  9. Mark C.

    You did it! A big high five for this top of the world climb. I’ve been on pins and needles to know if you got down safely, and so glad to hear you did. Hope you are resting well waiting for a flight towards home. Been sharing what’s going on with anyone who would listen to your adventure here in KY and there have been a bunch of interested ears. Looking forward to being immersed in the tales of this adventure and beholding your pictures. Congratulations my friend!!!

  10. Wendi and Mike

    Congratulations, John! We are happy that you summited, and thankful that you and Laurel are both okay. And it sounds like the other climber will hopefully be OK too. I wonder if you will be writing another book…

  11. Craig H

    Congratulations on a dream come true. You have been constantly on my mind. So very proud for you. I cant wait to see you again to ask you so many questions. Safe travels.

  12. Tenntrace

    Congratulations! So happy for you to complete this once in a lifetime experience, and safely, too.

  13. Ashley Hammonds

    Such an incredible story! Glad you are safe! Thanks for sharing this adventure!

  14. Heather L.

    Awesome!! Congrats!! Looking forward to hearing all about it!!

  15. Slappy

    All I can say is Congratulations! Thankful for a safe descent! I enjoy seeing people reach their dreams and you did it buddy!

  16. Rob Spire

    Way to go Sparky. Congratulations!!! Glad you are back on safe ground!!

  17. Boz

    Dude, can it ever be uneventful on one of your quests? Proud for you. We see barbecue and bluegrass in your near future.

  18. The Edge

    You are the man. So glad to be reading these posts from you. I can’t wait to see you guys in July.

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