May 25th, 2007 by Firat
From a series of dispatches from the Alpine Ascents 2007 Everest Expedition team.
Well this expedition has been busy right up to the end! Everyone is EXTREMELY happy as you can imagine. Yesterday after all members got down, we had a nice dinner with Champagne and wine in our tent and then went down for a small party with our fabulous Sherpas in their dining tent. We handed out tips to them for which they were very grateful and then proceeded to the glitter and dancing (including Nepali, Sherpa and Western) and drinking. Much fun was had by all and it was so nice to have time to enjoy getting to know all of them a little more.
Today Bill and Firat left for down valley and places beyond. Firat will be on a helicopter out of Pheriche tomorrow while Bill is heading for Lukla to catch a plane to Kathmandu to do some work for his foundation, Basic Health International, for about a week. He would also like to thank his foundation for all of their support on his Everest expedition. The rest of us were packing and getting ready to make the transition to home while quite a bit more activity was going on in the Khumbu Icefall. Our Sherpas were up at 5am to haul the last loads down from Camp One and were on their way down when a part of the upper Icefall collapsed below them. Dave and Lakpa were on their way up to retrieve Pemba Doma’s body which was on it’s way down from the Lhotse Face. Dave and Lakpa waited for a long time before a new way was found through the collapse and our loaded Sherpas were able to get through. A great effort was made today to get the last loads safely down and it feels like a huge weight is lifted now with everyone safely down and nobody to go back up tomorrow. Dave and Lakpa made an incredible rescue of Pemba Doma today that included the entire Icefall and involving many lowerings, raisings, and 2 tyrolean traverses. They were assisted by some IMG Sherpas and team mates of Pemba as well as a few of the Icefall Doctors and others as they got lower. A helicopter took her body out after it was prepared for cremation at the heli pad. This makes two rescues in two days for Lakpa and it has been a very intense last 5 days for him! Lakpa Rita has got to be the strongest and strongest willed of anybody on this mountain and we are so honored to have him on our team!
Tomorrow morning we finish packing and head down to Pheriche and possibly a possee to Gokyo via the Cho La Pass. Our Sherpas will catch us up in Namche.
We are looking forward to warm temps, tee shirts and grass again!
Tashi Delek from our last night in Basecamp!
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