Snowed in at Base Camp

On the summit of Mount Everest

First of all I would like to apologise that I have not updated my site since I returned to base camp from the top of the world, however, we have been snowed in and have been unable to move. I had actually been planning to rush back to Kathmandu to help Miss Hawley with her interviews, however, getting out of base camp has almost been impossible and flights in and out of Lukla have also been cancelled. It has been snowing for about two days and we all have been digging our tents out every other hour to make sure they do not collapse.

Anyway, I know this is old news to you but I have to tell you again: I reached the top of Mount Everest on 21st May at 9.45am and I still cannot believe it. I am sitting here at Base Camp inside the White Pod and it feels extremely luxurious after having spent five days on the mountain. Most of you will probably want to know how it feels, or rather how it felt to climb to the top of the world. Well, the first thing that springs to my mind is that it was very hard – much harder than I would have ever imagined. So far, the fact that I was actually standing on top of the world only two days ago has not quite sunk in yet, and every once in a while I stop short and a smile reaches my face when I realise that I actually did follow Sherpa Tensing Norgay’s and Edmund Hillary’s footsteps to the top of the world.

As our solar panels do not work very well in this appalling weather, I do not have a lot of time to write about my summit push, however, I just wanted to update everyone and tell you that I am well and that Everest has not left any big marks on my body or my soul. Apart from feeling extremely tired and a little bit emaciated (I think I am back to the weight I had when I was twelve – 49kg) I am absolutely fine. However, I have to say that for the first time in my life I had reached my absolute limits and I can now understand why people die of exhaustion on their way down. Not that I was close to that level of exhaustion, however, on my way down from Camp 4 to Camp 2, I was really struggling and every step towards camp was a real effort. I do not think I have ever been so tired in my life and I guess that so far Everest has taught me three things: 1. Sherpas do get tired (however, they have ridiculously big loads); 2. I am not as strong as a lot of my friends think I am, and 3. I know now what my friends mean when they say that I do not have any reserves! I hit the wall on my way down to Camp 2 and I had no energy left – I could not even talk to my team members over dinner at camp, and I think they were a little bit worried about me as this was VERY unusual!

Anyway, I am very happy that I made it to the top and I have to admit that when I saw the summit just in front of me it occurred to me how important reaching the top had been for me. I knew that I had been very slow during the ascent and Russell had given us certain turnaround times. I kept on looking at my watch and I was so worried that he would turn me around before I could reach the summit (which of course annoyed me very much as I am used to be one of the quickest), so when I finally made it, Deano, one of our mountain guides, was sitting up there waiting for me and I felt my heart jump. Standing on top of the world is an amazing feeling, however, it was also a very short experience as I knew that I still had to get down despite being very tired. Deano and I took a few pictures, had a look at how the earth curves and left the summit about 15 minutes after we had reached it. Pasang Kami Sherpa and Kasang Sherpa were the only two other people who were on the summit with us, which was great as some of my teammates had to share the summit with 20 other climbers.

I will write more about my experience to the top of the world, however, I would like to thank Russell Brice for his amazing organisation of the trip and for looking after me so well. I would also like to thank Phurba Sherpa and his team for making climbing the mountain possible for me and for hundreds of other people by fixing the ropes, putting up the tents, organizing the oxygen and carrying hundreds of kilos of equipment to the mountain – without the work of the Sherpas most people would not have been able to reach the top of Mount Everest. Furthermore I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support, love and interest in my expedition to Mount Everest. Thank you for bearing with me and letting my dream come true!

And a quick message from Megan to her family: She sends her love to everyone and she is currently on her way down to Pangboche and is looking forward to seeing some green again.

22 Responses

  1. Stiefy said on June 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hey Billi, unglaublich, Du hast es echt gepackt!! Mords Glückwünsche und gute Erholung in Bayern wünscht der Stiefy aus München!!

    Reply
  2. Charisa said on June 2, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Congrats – such an amazing accomplishment! I’ve enjoyed following your adventures, thanks for sharing everything.

    Reply
  3. BINGYINGGRAYLING said on May 31, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    HI,BILLI,CHECK YOUR PIC ON THE SUMMIT!CONGRATIONS!HAPPY FOR YOU

    Reply
  4. Steve said on May 29, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Hey Billi – many congrats! It’s so unreal – what an accomplishment. Hope you get in more friendlier climates soon.

    Reply
  5. martin said on May 29, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Berg heil! 🙂 Auch von mir die schönsten und sportlichsten Glückwünsche. -Martin-

    Reply
  6. rosanna didi said on May 29, 2009 at 12:52 am

    and now, “bistari bistari”
    you deserve it!!

    Reply
  7. Christian said on May 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Hallo Billi, nochmals gratuliere ich dir! Respekt!
    Gruß Christian

    Reply
  8. astrid Rößler said on May 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    hi billi du süße, wie gut daß du noch eingeschneit bist, dann hast noch zeit wieder anzukommen…und wegen deiner wenigen kg mach ich mir keine sorgen, du wirst sicherlich bald wieder mit schokoosterhasen gefüttert…gfrei mi auf a bier mit dir im sommer!!!
    umarme dich ganz herzlich und grüß mir russel und die berge!!

    Reply
  9. Dipendra & Binita said on May 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Finally reading something that you’ve written feels great.Meet you in Kathmandu,Thamel.Warmest regards and love.

    Reply
  10. Rosemary in Ireland said on May 28, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Billi, Gr8 to hear from you at last. Have been asking everyone I know in Kathmandu if they knew where you were. Was so happy when Fanindra told me yesterday about the problem in Lukla, it appears that Indra has been stuck there for the past 4 days waiting for a flight out.
    Soooo glad you are safe and well. Get home to Mother soon for some good home cooking and Auntys lovely baking. Cant believe you have been to the top of the world, I suppose a dive to the bottom is the next thing on your list( don’t even think about that one)See you soon I hope Well done once moreXXXX

    Reply
  11. Amanda and Anil Shrestha said on May 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Congratulations lovely! We are sitting in here (in Oz)in tears of joy. So so happy for you. We cant wait to see you soon. Much much love oxxox

    Reply
  12. Bonnie Waugh said on May 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for allowing us to follow you on this amazing journey! 🙂 What an experience.

    Reply
  13. Laura said on May 28, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I am very happy that you got down (finally!) and Mummy? she is very happy to.

    Laura

    Reply
  14. Chris said on May 28, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Ice Cream for two weeks! I am so happy for you, I know you will make the most of this experience as you have your life!

    Reply
  15. wanda said on May 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    woooohoooo Billi. Those deep fried snickers bars will get you through to Lukla. Doctor Wanda says! hugs Wanda didi

    Reply
  16. caroline said on May 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    You deserved your summit ! You trained so hard for it. All my admiration. Look forward to seeing you soon. Hugs

    Reply
  17. Gerrit and Geziena said on May 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Namaste Billi,
    Congratulations!! You did it!! Amazing, enjoy your victorie!
    many greetings.

    Reply
  18. Babsi und Nicki said on May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Juhuuu! Endlich kommen hier auch unsere Glückwünsche! Wir gratulieren Dir herzlichst! Wir sind voller Bewunderung und Stolz! Sei umarmt, dickes Bussi!!!

    Reply
  19. Dave Bottoms said on May 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Looking forward to reading the full account. Chill and enjoy the moment

    Reply
  20. Tina Rai said on May 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    HURRRAAYYYY!!!!!!!! looking forward to seeing you soon in Kathmandu. omg 49kgs cannot belive it, you must be almost non existant. all the same, big hugs. t

    Reply
  21. sam said on May 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    O no, dearest, snowed in! Happy to hear some news from you, was getting worried. Your report brought tears to my eyes though, very honest. I am sorry i am missing seeing a tired and silent Billi, a new side of you i do not know, not counting the falling asleep in front of a DVD…. I hope Russell still has some of his amazing food left to put those kgs back on quickly before you reach KTM. I will get ready for some cooking too! We all miss you over here. Serena was hoping you would make it to Sam’s tonight, so we will have a drink on you anyway to toast Billi on the summit! Rest, eat, drink, talk and laugh, my dear, and hope to see you soon for a big hug! Lots of love

    Reply
  22. Craig said on May 27, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Very cool Billi… I’m happy for you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts after you have had some time to think about things. In the meantime, have fun getting Russelled.

    PS
    Hello and congrats to the Russell, Dean, Mark, and all the Sherpa’s on a job well done…

    Reply

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