Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 1, 2009

Happy May Day

Today I am celebrating the May 1 Holiday. Actually I am celebrating my first month since I left home. It is the biggest absence from home in my life I believe. So it is a time to sit, relaxed and think what was achieved over this last month

1. I am here in one of the most amazing places on Earth.
2. I do not have Khumbu cough (
3. I did not get diarrhea on the way here
4. I believe I can still count up to 10 regardless of people saying that
at altitude brain cells die like crazy
5. I already reached 6600m, which is my personal record and on the way I
did not lose any food except in the normal way.
6. I have the honor of being in the company of very famous climbers, who are
frequently subjects of photos, and who give me so much to learn.
7. I am in the middle of my dream and playing a part in it.
8. My loved ones and friends are in good health and are supporting me.
9. I am waking up every day and see through the open door of my tent the
most beautiful pictures that one can only imagine

On April 30 I went to the Pumori base camp again for exercise. At this time I went alone and enjoyed the solitude. I reached the Pumori base camp and continued up the trail somewhere toward the Pumori advanced Base camp. I reached 5700m and turned back.

After my previous trip to Gorak Shep, where I took a very fast pace and burned myself out, I was not sure of my strength. However during this trip I was feeling normal but still not sure completely if I gained or lost my initial strength when I got to Base Camp.

The weather turned cloudy and as soon as I got back to my tent and it started snowing. It is a usual pattern here at BC were the weather is perfect in the morning and then gets cloudy around 1 pm.

Today I woke up under the perfect blue sky and the BC was covered with an inch of fresh snow. As usual our Sherpas woke us up with a cup of hot tea at 7:45 or so. Some of our members recommend to carry out this practice when we come back home, so I am writing this so that it’s no surprise at home when I will not wake up before the morning tea.

Because of the first of the month and the Holiday, as our old Russian tradition dictates I decided to take a shower. It was quite pleasant as you can imagine. After the shower I just turned my clothes inside out before I put them back on (just kidding).

My next step to celibate May 1 (Labor Day) was to go and collect some Everest garbage.

Our leader Dawa Steven Sherpa for the second year in a row pays cash for garbage that people collect on Everest. This is a part of our Eco Everest Expedition. This year it started slowly but after one of our member Nic brought 35 kg of garbage (and got paid on the spot) after just an hour walking on the glacier the whole idea exploded. Sherpas from all teams worked constantly for 6-7 days now and as of now we have around 5 tons of garbage collected. This number is already a record of any such efforts.

So this morning I decided to go for garbage hunting also. You just go toward the ice fall on the glacier and after 5 minute you are in a beautiful maze of ice formations running from 1 to 10 m high. Because the sun is up pretty high and the temperature is around 15C the glacier is melting and multiple rivers run on the surface and somewhere under the ice.

Ice formation frequently opens up for the big flat ares were one has to be very careful not to get under it in to he water. It was difficult to find any garbage as Sherpas did a great job collecting it. After 1.5h I was able to collect some old ropes and some old Aluminum cans.

On the way back I decided to test the fact that flat places on the glacier might give out, and got my one foot under the surface where it found some ice water. But I was quick to get it back so the damage was not so great. I also successfully tested the idea that SmartWool socks keep you warm even when they are wet.

In any case as you can see the day went fully engaged in celebration and
some experimental work. As I am typing this update I am looking forward to change into my down clothes as it is getting a bit chilly. After the dinner I will go to my now relatively clean apartment (tent) where I will watch 67th, 68th and maybe 69th episode of Prison Brake – another day at Everest Base Camp.



  1. you are not just a good climber , you are also a good writer

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