Changing China

Giant on the move

Nick (& Mark & Dave), the torch and Everest – Day 6

May 1, 2008


You’ll never guess who I met at Base Camp.

After a quick stop to watch the monks and nuns at the Rongpo monastery at prayer this morning, we finally got up to Base Camp proper this afternoon.


It was pretty bleak. Basically, a cluster of tents on an exposed rocky flat. It made us feel almost grateful for our humble cabins back at the media centre.

The views, as always, were a compensation.

I was trying to get a couple of basic facts from an official whose English was as good as my Chinese when we reached the point of non-communication.

I turned around to find someone to help me out with translation and found a willing soul who I assumed tday6-31.jpgo be from the corps of Chinese media at the camp.

He translated and nodded in reply to my cheery “thanks mate”.

Next thing I knew, though, three Chinese women journalists were squealing like schoolgirls and posing for pictures with my interpreter.

Turns out this was Zhang Chao Yang, CEO of Chinese web portal Sohu and hero to China’s vast young army of netizens (couldn’t someone invent a new name for web users?).

Once we repaired to a nearby tent for tea, Zhang told me he was not only at base camp because Sohu was a media partner of the Everest legday6-1.jpg of the torch relay, but also because he was a keen climber himself.

He has climbed a fair few mountains himself and been to 6,666m on Everest. He didn’t fancy going all the way to the top, though, because he thought it might damage the brain which has made his fortune.

I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if there were at least some celebrity involvement with this great adventure.

Ed adds: Our team have to tough it out for a few more days at Everest. You’d think by looking at the pictures the weather is lovely, right? Wrong. Apparently it’s blowing a gale up there, so at the very earliest it’ll be Saturday before there’s any action. Read Nick’s story.

And by the way, we’ve hit the 100-day countdown till the start of the Games. For all our Olympic stories, take a look at our website .

reutersteam-everest-30apr08.jpgPix from the top (l-r). Armed Chinese border police stand in formation at a camp near the base camp of Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma April 30, 2008. Buddhist monks and nuns pray as they sit in the temple of Rongbo Monastery situated at the foot Everest. Yaks laden with supplies walk past the large camp for the Olympic torch’s ascent of Everest, also known as Qomolangma, in the Tibet Autonomous Region April 30, 2008. Chinese journalists taking it easy. And the Reuters team … Mark, Dave and Nick (tough job guys!: Ed). All snaps by David Gray.


Great job guys! Thanks for the stories and those amazing pictures! You have the best pictures from the torch trip to the mountain Everest(comparing with CNN and BBC).

Posted by JL | Report as abusive

Congrats! well done. How lucky you folk are to witness such a big event and the high-tech Olympic Torch on its momentous journey to the peak of Everest. We are leaving for EBC on 22 May and hope all will be clear for us. All the best from the Malaysian contingent looking forward to be where you are come 22 May 2008.

Posted by MRS JAGJEET | Report as abusive

Yeah, I really enjoy your blogs from the roof of the world! Pictures are always a plus. I do like the blogs from the CNN side and from the BBC side, but they don’t update as often. Good jobs to all of you and your colleagues!

Posted by Leo | Report as abusive

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