A journalist observes life in the far north.
I rifled through my purse as soon as I heard my cell phone ringing, but—in a panic—I was not quick enough to find it so I missed Alec’s call. Luckily, Al called his father, who offered this brief report from the mountain: The team arrived at Camp II, slogging through stormy weather to reach 11,100 feet. They are still strong, and their plan is to go down again tomorrow to bring up more gear.
A dispatch on Alpine Ascents’ Web site shows that Team III is holed up in Talkeetna, waiting for good weather to fly out.
Don, Al’s dad, was watching a PBS special on the 1996 climbing season on Mt. Everest when we spoke. Alec plans to climb Everest next year and I am going on a trek to base camp, maybe higher. I know the story of the storm that trapped climbers, killing a handful, high on Everest 12 years ago. Don knows the story too. We both agreed that we shouldn’t be watching such things on tv. I turned on PBS as soon as I hung up with Don .
Anyone interested in the program but who doesn’t want to wait for PBS to air it again or who doesn’t want to wander the PBS Web site, which is very comprehensive, can get a quick and dirty description