Posted by: Yury Pritzker | May 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Summit: Yura’s 5/15 Update

This e-mail just came directly from Yura.

“I came to BC yesterday after spending 5 days in Pheriche.  It is a common
practice to spend some time at the lower altitude before the summit bid.

The lodge was filed with climbers resting there. While in Periche
 I catch some stomach bug and got sick at the end of my stay. It is very
common here because of the food preparations and general hygiene. Having stomach problems is usually a consideration for the climbers when they decide to go down to villages from the Base Camp. There are much more possibilities to get sick here being in contact with so many trekkers and locals. Unfortunately it happened to me and I could not eat during the last two days I was there. Because of that I was very weak coming back to BC. I am much better now. I am eating normally (and even asking for the second helpings) and I am getting my strength back.

The base camp met us with a beautiful sunshine and much better weather. It felt much more like home. There are many changes on the glacier. Most of the tents now are standing tall, settled on the ice pedestals because there was a lot of melting going on around the tents. I was about to make a picture of such tent that
was towering in front of my tent and then discovered that my own tent has
even more dramatic view from the side.

Even though the Base Camp feels sort of like home, it is still a very difficult place to
live.  It is located at 5350 m after all! We are wearing down coats almost all the time
here. Yesterday, it was minus 10 degrees C inside my tent when I went to sleep.

Our team is holding up pretty good in comparison to the other teams. According to the BC rumors, other teams already lost about 25% of their members that either got sick or quit for some other reasons. We are all still together accept for Will Cross who decided to climb another 8000 m peak instead and left 8 days ago.

We are not really wasting our time here trying to warm the environment with our own body heat. We are the real scientists now.  Austrian doctors
are conducting a study here. They are testing how Viagra can help adjusting to the high altitude and our team is gladly participating in the study. We went trough the ultrasound test today were Dr. Felix was measuring our heart chambers. Then we took the pill and measured the heart chambers again in two hours. According to Dr. Felix our results are very good and we will use Cialis from camp 2 and on. We will see what will happen later on.

Most of our conversations now are around the summit push that we are
preparing for in a couple of days. We talk about how to use the oxygen,
the optimal rates of usage and work out summit strategies. The whole base camp is in the “short start” as we are all getting the weather forecast from the same couple of sources.

This is a difficult year for all the teams that came to BC much earlier then our team. The weather is not cooperating and they are running out of time. As of now there were only 5 summits made by Sherpas who went to fix the ropes to the summit on May 5.

Today we received our oxygen masks and went through the exercise of fitting them and learning how to changed oxygen cylinders without blowing regulator gaskets away. We are now fully trained and the mask feels much more comfortable then I was expecting.

It is an afternoon at BC and it is cloudy as usual. The temperature
is dropping fast after the sun is gone and I am finishing this update in my
tent, sitting in my sleeping bag with the hot water bottle inside – very nice.

This is my last update before I am going up for the summit.  I do not
know how it will turn out, but I am full of optimism. I will continue to
call home via my satellite phone from all camps and Sveta will continue to update this blog.
As of this moment my schedule looks like this:
May 17 – Base Camp – Camp2
May 18 – Rest at Camp 2
May 19 – Camp 3
May 20 – Camp 4
May 21 – Rest at Camp 4
May 22 – Summit.

The summit day will actually start at 9 pm on May 21st. That is 10 am on May 21st in Chicago. The Summit is expected May 22nd  somewhere between  9 am and 12 noon Nepal time which will be an evening of May 21st  in Chicago (central time.)
This schedule might change upon the weather forecast of course.

I am grateful for all your love and support and I appreciate your encouraging and supporting thoughts during my summit effort.
Big love to all of you,




  1. Yurik, hello!
    I was reading most of your posts but never responded.
    Now I think it’s a time to send you our love and support!
    It’s easy to tell seating in the worm office in front of monitor 🙂 You’re a real hero!!!
    I hope weather will cooperate and you’ll be able to complete your mission!
    Kiss from me and Tolja

  2. Yury. Make sure you wave to us in Chicago when you get to the top. We’ll be looking for you.

    If you could climb Mt. Prospect you could do Everest!

  3. Yura, I wish you good weather and fortune!
    You can do it!


  4. Yurik
    good luck!!!!!!!
    Everything will be OK
    Best regards from all Gindin’s family
    Viagra will help you
    Just ask your doctor, do they need somebody to test this method on 400 m height in Holy land?

  5. Yuri, I am glad to hear that you are doing well and have achieved so much already. Good luck on your final stages. Hope to see you soon and successful in Chiago!

  6. Good Luck! Stay safe! I am following your climb and the women’s Croatian team ! I got all excited about your climbs by receiving an email from Zora one of the Croatian team members. I have never followed a climb like I am now and it’s exciting and fun ! I can’t wait to hear from you or the women’s team! If you see them tell them hello from me! Pls stay safe and enjoy your climb! Thanks for keeping a blog !
    with many thoughts and well wishes,
    Shareca Thompson Tulsa Oklahoma

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