May 6, 1999
Hi, this is Charles Corfield. It is the 6th of May. Pete and [members of] the group are coming down now. Yours truly lost his voice yesterday on his way down from the South Col. This has produced great amusement all round, and now its becoming a very quiet expedition.
Just to fill you in, Pete and Bill did a splendid job up on the summit using the care [that] the packages needed and doing extra drilling. It was just absolutely beyond all reasonable expectation. Congratulations to Pete, Bill, Jeff, Kelly, and the superb Sherpa staff that we have here that made everything possible.
Today we are postponing at the South Col here, for a second wave summit attempt. Pete, Bill, Jeff, and Kelly are down, coming through Camp III, packing up as they go, so we know where everything is on the mountain.
It has been a very exciting last few days, and we look forward to being able to cross some more ts and dot some more is on the expedition. Weve got an absolutely splendid [day] offering us hope from afar, and we still think there is more yet to come. So were hoping that the weather will cooperate and also allow the trilogy peak to peak climbs over the next few weeks. Everybodys feeling literally on-top-of-the-world right now, and we look forward to giving you close dispatches as people come down the mountain and can tell you some stories.
My own amusement was discovering that I have now, on several occasions, climbed more of this mountain without oxygen than I had actually intended. I ended up climbing to the South Col myself, when my oxygen bottle had run out. It makes a better story in the telling than the experiencing, needless to say. However, it just goes to show that even though oxygen is very useful, it is not completely essential in climbing the mountain.
Lets see, on other notes, the weather down here isits kind of a breezy day. Were expecting a few [more people from] the expedition to come in. One of them is a doctor. I think that my voice is going to be a patient in the afternoon.
We hope everything else is going well at your end. Its been great now that the B-terminal is up and running and weve been able to get dispatches back and forth. In the meantime, the very best from the Everest Millennium Expedition. So hang in there and take care. This is Charles Corfield at Everest Base Camp on the Everest Millennium Expedition signing off. And if anybody has a spare voice, please put it in an envelope and send it to me, care of the Everest Millennium Expedition, Everest Base Camp, Khumbu, Nepal, and it will be gratefully received. And please, if youre listening do not send me your old voice, since I need a new one. Thats it. Ciao.
Charles Corfield, Climber