|April 12, 2001
From: Luis Benitez
Greetings all from the roof of the world!
Part of the team has returned to basecamp after a loooong day. We spent last night at camp 1, and today carried on to camp 2 at about 22,000 ft (6,705 m). After that, when most folks would sleep right where they fell, we turned tail, and headed aaaalll the way back down to basecamp for 3 or 4 days of rest. Four of our team members decided to stay at camp 1 for further rest and recovery: Chris, Erik, Eric and Sherman. All are doing well. It took Erik 13 hours to climb thru the icefall to camp 1. Needless to say, he was exausted, but relieved to finally be on the mountain proper, and thru one of the more dangerous sections.
For those of us that carried to camp 2 today, the climb took us up to the Lhotse face. Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain in the world and is attached to everest. From camp 2, you can see the final 2 camps on the mountain and part of summit day. To stand on this ground that climbers and non-climbers consider "holy" is something that most of us as mountaineers wait a lifetime for, and non climbers find lifetime inspiration from.
As I sat there at camp 2, staring up at what will be the largest challenge of my life, I felt neither fear nor joy, just a growing warm feeling that summit or not, we will be undertaking a challenge that few in life get a chance to even touch. That, for me, is more than enough......
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