Himalayan Mushroom Treatment

Himalayan Mushroom Treatment. We decided to come down to Pheriche for a few days to recuperate at lower altitude. It is hard to emphasize what a difference 3,000 feet in elevation and a different view and food can do for you. It is at least a hard six hour hike and toward the end I was wondering if it would be worth it. It has been. So far anyway.

Unfortunately, the disadvantage of being down here is not knowing what is going on a BC. There was a big meeting yesterday afternoon among the larger expeditions. I have heard from multiple sources that Russell Brice of Himex, one of the largest, that they are suspending operations on the mountain until further notice. His concern, at least as I understand it, is all of the falling rock on the upper reaches and some questions about route through ice fall. He affirmed they are not abandoning the expedition. I get the impression that short of major snowfall on the upper mountain Himex will be calling it quits. They have actually packed up C2 which I think is as strong a statement as any. Unfortunately Himex had taken principal responsibility for route fixing above 26,000. I am not sure there is enough logistical support to accomplish that if he completely pulls.

Russell Brice is not the only major expedition on the mountain. In fact until 2008 he was only on the Chinese side of the mountain. Ultimately the biggest ego and biggest country couldn’t co-exist and he moved to the south or Nepal side. Still there is no benefit to him in this that I can see. It could hurt his business in years to come. He currently has about 34 climbers on his Everest permit. Most will understand but there are plenty of big egos on this mountain, yours truly (also know as your humble servant) no included.

The problem I see is that IMG, Alpine Ascents, Adventure Consultants and some of the other big commercial outfits are going to be put in an awkward situation. Even if they don’t agree with Brice’s assessment are they going to risk their own reputations when someone else has taken such an emphatic position. Even if one of their members got “beaned” with a frozen Snicker’s bar from some climber higher up it isn’t going to look good. Our team is all self guided but if everyone else is pulling we will too. If it is truly that dangerous then I would not risk a close encounter of the head rock kind or more especially put any of our Sherpa at that kind of risk.

I have recently learned there was a significant earthquake on Everest last year. This combined with a very dry winter and little snow pack up high usually helps stabilize the upper mountain. In the meantime I am sitting down here in Pheriche getting the usual Himalyan Mushroom Treatment – kept in the dark and fed manure. I hope to hear more in the next day or two but a flood of climbers coming down the trail may say all I need to know. Yak happens.