Friday, 1 June 2012

So what's next?

Well some people have been far too generous and have said I should write a book about the trip. I suspect it would only appear as a freebie for Kindle owners or for wrapping up fish and chips! 

Can you beleive that some of the team members have said I should be a stand up comedian (they can't get out much), to which I replied ' I already was standing up!'.

Which reminds me: why do women get married in white? to match the kitchen appliances! Boom boom. Ok I'll stick to the day job.

I've been as open with you as I have felt possible (some might say to open at times!) throughout the 10 weeks however there are some things that I have omitted.

Firstly if you are considering climbing any mountain over 8000m there is a strong possibility of risking your life or health, not just with AMS, HAPE etc but also snow blindness, frostbite or retinal haemorrhaging to name but a few.

Very few people know that I had three bleeds in both my retinas following my 2010 trip (sorry Dad as this is the first you will have heard about this). I put them down to my severe coughing. Well perhaps unsurprisingly I'm fairly sure it has happened again this time.

On my last trip down to Gorak Shep about three weeks ago the sight in my left eye became very slightly blurded in part of my field of vision. Thankfully this rectified itself the following day. I also had a piercing headache like pain directly behind my right eye shortly after this which took three days to subside. Every time I coughed it felt as if my eye was rattling around in it's socket. It was so painful I thought I would have to go and see the HRA doctors, who I was convinced would send me down to Kathmandu and end my attempt. The pain started up in Camp Two so I was really relieved when our first summit bid was aborted and we returned to base. I'm pleased to say that everything seems to have settled down now as I've had no similar symptoms since then.

On any long expedition you're bound to have good and bad days and you've got to be strong enough to overcome those days of self doubt etc by yourself.

You will have read about the numbers of climbers on the route. David estimated that in the end around two hundred and fifty climbers probably summited which is a large number. It's hard to be accurate until all of the teams are back and have spoken with the Ministery of Tourism.

In terms of the total of number of ascents from the UK after this season it will probably be around 450 people which out of a population of 60 million is a very small fraction.

So that's it for today. Only two more days and hence posts to go!

1 comment:

  1. Just more reasons why you should put a book together Ian ....... Although I would leave out he get married in white joke for your own safety!! You've given us a real insight into the highs and lows of climbing at high altitude, and the extremes the body has to endure pushing it beyond what it was really designed to do - unless you are a Sherpa of course. It's been a really interesting read and hopefully worthwhile for you knowing people read it and it's a great record of your achievement for you and your family. A friend of mine's husband was based in Tibet with the army in the 30's and 40's I think and she kept all his letters he sent home to his parents. They make fascinating reading.