donna mccollum climbing updates 3, 4, 5

April 28, 2011

April 26, 2011 - Donna recently returned from her first rotation through the Kumba Icefalls and now has a few days of rest before starting her final rotation up to Camp 3.  At the conclusion of this final rotation, the group will wait until the window opens for a summit attempt.  The window will be between May 15 - 27. 

This year there are 28 teams attempting to summit this year.  The number is down from previous years.  IMG has three teams attempting to summit (Express, Hybrid, and Classic).  Four women are in the group - one from South Korea who is attempting the last of her seven summits.  One from Costa Rica who would be the first Costa Rican to place their countries flag on the summit, and a third from an undisclosed country.  Backgrounds of climbers range from engineers to attorneys to restraunt owners.

Two groups have already abandoned their climb and have left the mountain.  Approximately 80% of the climbers on Mt. Everest are sick with some form of illness.  "We are not staying in basecamp "proper" due to all the sickness.  We have our own basecamp about 15 minutes away. A security perimeter surrounds our basecamp.  IMG is the most respected company on the mountain.  I am hoping to take a helicopter out of basecamp after I summit.  It will drop me off in Lukla where I will take a small airplane to Kathmandu.  If I time it right, I may be able to get out of Kathmandu that very same day for home!  I will email as soon as it is reasonably possible on my summit.  That may mean from kathmandu if satellites are down at basecamp. "

April 19, 2011 - After climbing Lobeshe, Donna started getting sick at low camp.  Since the schedule dictated a few days of rest before the rotations up the icefalls begins, she has descended to 14,000' to a village named Perishe for several days of rest.  There are currently 28 teams attempting to summit Mt. Everest this season, and three have already descended below 14,000' to rest an recuperate multiple sick climbers.

April 18, 2011 - Donna and fellow climbers participated in a ceremony called puja, a form of celebration where the climbers ask the lama for blessings and a safe climb.  You can learn more about puja and the entire climb by visiting the Mountain Guides website.

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