Changing China

Giant on the move

Nick (& Dave & Mark), the torch and Everest- Day 10

May 5, 2008


The foreign media contingent was moved from the huts to rooms inside the media centre late on Saturday evening, due to to the extreme weather. It was welcome, and much warmer. It seems it was by way of compensation for not taking us back to a hotel for a shower and a night in a proper bed, as we had requested. After the recent snow, the roads were apparently too dangerous.

One man who did get away was Joerg Brase of German television. Joerg had been suffering with high blood pressure ever since our arrival at the foot of Everest.

rtr2069r_comp.jpgHe decided that the risk to his health was not worth the story we might get if the torch does finally get to the top of the mountain.

The altitude effects nearly all of us. A slow walk up stairs will have all but the Tibetans puffing and wheezing like 20-a-day smokers.

Headaches are commonplace and sleep, even in the relative warmth of the inside of the media centre, is troubled.

Several of our contingent have had upset stomachs, not a pleasant experience at night when the latrine is a 100-metre walk (or dash) in the freezing cold.

I have felt sluggish and lethargic since we arrived here and, when writing, struggle to recall sometimes very simple words or constructions.

We do have the wonderful Dr Li, who roams around the camp telling us to drink plenty of water and to pace ourselves when working.

He also tolerates our frequent demands to use the machine he wears around his neck to test our heart beat and blood oxygen levels.

Today my heartbeat was 103, my oxygen a rather disappointing 81 percent. Dave was 97 and 86 (after hyperventilating before the test, the cheat), while Mark was an impressive 75 and 86.

Pix from top: Chinese border policemen take photographs of each other near their guard posts in front of Everest. And Buddhist monks and nuns feed yaks after a snowfall outside the nearby Rongbo Monastery. Photos by David Gray


One of the Tibetan remedies for altitude sickness is eating garlic. Might be worth a trip to the mess to see if you can cop some.


Fascinating read everyday Nick, outstanding video from Mark and ditto on the pix from Dave. Hope you’re all holding up in what surely must be frustrating circumstances. Stay well. Paul

Posted by Paul Barker | Report as abusive

Great job! Beautiful pictures and interesting stories. I enjoyed very much reading your daily. Stay
health…Hopefully your effort will be rewarded.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

If the risk of avalanche is too great to use the roads, I can’t imagine what the risk is half way up a mountain. I think mountaineers must be a little brain-damaged to attempt what they do. I must say I more appreciate my cozy cot at sea-level reading about your adventures..

Posted by john wright | Report as abusive

Congratulations for the great work: sending us pictures and texts and keeping us interested when not much is happening is a great skill. Please keep monitoring the blood pressure, keep warm, and continue sending us the ‘gossips’ from the top of the world. It is a great pleasure to read you every day and have a laugh at the chinese pretense.

Posted by CF Muirhead | Report as abusive

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