It’s Paul coming to you from my home in Melbourne nearing the end of what has been a busy week. It’s now less than two weeks before I leave for Nepal and begin the trek in with my brothers Tim and Damien.
No major issues with the web site in it’s first week
The website has been live for nearly a full week now and there have been no major issues. Thanks to everyone that has created a login and in particular to those that posted messages. I have been working hard with TA and Pat helping them setup their pda and technology, and I am pleased to report that everything is going really well so far. It does take a bit of effort to learn the system, but like anything, practice makes perfect and pretty soon it feels like you could do it in your sleep (or even at 8000m). I should add that it takes a bit of effort to do updates every day, particularly when you are tired and cold, but the reward is the feedback you give in the form of your messages, so do keep them coming. We would start writing our daily update at about 4:30pm Nepal time, including answering your questions (we loved getting questions) and then upload it shortly before 6pm, when we would receive all the messages that you had posted up until that time. Going through your messages afterwards was one of the highlights of the day and we would often share them with other climbers. In a later update I’ll describe a bit more the steps we take to go from a scene half way up Everest to your computer screen. (Someone please remind me if I forget!).
How we will try to climb safe on Everest this year
I wanted to draw your attention to a post that Fiona put up in the climbing page of this site. It’s our ideas on how we will try to climb safe on Everest and it’s updated with our learnings from last year. Perhaps most importantly there are some ideas that we have about how climbers could verify that their oxygen regulator is delivering the correct amount of oxygen. On my second attempt last year I noticed what I thought was a significant difference in the amount of oxygen that I was receiving into the mask and it caused me some concern. (I felt fantastic aerobically, and it was only 14 hours since I had last been climbing above the South Col. You can read about our 2006 climb under the Preparations menu -> Past Climbs.) However I was able to check while I was climbing from the South Col up to the Balcony that it was actually delivering the correct amount of oxygen.
Medicine and Health focus
Fiona and I went to the doctor last week and had a Hepatitis B booster shot (the last one in the course so that you get 10+ years of protection). A good friend and former neighbor, Dr Daryl Jones, also suggested getting the flu vaccination too as this might offer some additional protection against upper respiratory illness – those that followed us last year will remember how I was really hit hard with this, and I am trying to think of everything that I can do to prevent it this time. We received some Psolar heat exchanger masks last week, which I am also hoping will help – check out our sponsors page for a bit more info. I have loaded up on Codeine based cough mixture as this was the only thing that would stop me coughing – works great for putting you to sleep too :). Again on Daryl’s advice, I am taking a B complex vitamin (B12 is the important one) and a Folate tablet to hopefully boost my ability to create red blood cells during the acclimatisation process. Apart from a mulit vitamin, I will also take a baby asprin daily to try to prevent frostbite caused by your blood not reaching the extremities. The acclimatisation process makes your blood much thicker and it doesn’t move as easily through the small capillaries.
Anyway off to bed now to try to get a good night sleep before my ride tomorrow – approx 180km from home down the Mornington Peninsula to Portsea and return.