Return to Everest 2009
Avalanches are common in these parts but Saturday's was one of the largest this season - and it happened near Everest base camp at the lower West Shoulder and crashed into the lower Khumbu Icefall. No one was injured or killed by this avalanche. Only ice dust or "spindrift" made it to base camp.
This video was taken on 17 April 2009 at Camp 2 on Mount Everest at 21,500 feet. In it, IMG climber Scott Parazynski talks live via satellite phone Michael Barratt aboard the International Space Station on the occasion of his 50th birthday. In the background are three sherpas - the middle one, Danuru, will accompany Scott to the summit. Together they are known as the "Singing Sherpas". Video courtesy of Ed Wardel.
Board members Scott Parazynski (L) and Keith Cowing (R) at Everest Base Camp
Challenger Center for Space Science Education has added a new member to its Board of Directors: former Astronaut Scott Parazynski, MD. Dr. Parazynski was informed of his election at Everest Base Camp in Nepal where he is preparing to make a bid for the summit of Mt. Everest. If he is successful, Dr. Parazynski will be the first human to stand on the highest point on our planet and to orbit our planet in space. Dr. Parazynski has been joined at Everest Base Camp by fellow Challenger Center board member Keith Cowing who formally welcomed him to the Board of Directors. [More]
Skype Interview: Meet the Sherpas!, Miles O'Brien
"Astronaut Scott Parazynski checked in from Everest Base Camp at 11:15pm EDT - 9am Saturday morning at Everest. This was a surprise as he told me 24 hours ago that he was going to hike down into thicker air to do some blood doping for the big push to the top. But on further reflection, he decided not to go. Word is some climbers got the trots while there - and it is overrun with lowly trekkers - who are not aiming for the summit. A real mountaineer cannot be seen with such a crowd, can he /she? This gave us a serendipitous chance to meet Scott's Sherpa Deanuru - who has summited Everest no less than ten times. Scott's video Sherpa Keith Cowing also had a few words to say about these amazing, resilient guides (his has topped off 11 times). So what's the secret to being a good Sherpa you wonder? I asked (of course)..."
An evening stroll
My last side trip before heading for Everest Base Camp was to climb Kala Pattar. This large dark structure has a summit at - which is slightly higher than what I will be living at when I arrive at Everest Base Camp. Kala Pattar is an unremarkable hill amongst giants that looms above Gorak Shep. The only reason anyone bothers to climb it is the unparalleled view it offers of Mt Everest.
(Legal) Blood Doping at Everest, Miles O'Brien
"Just got off the Skype with Astronaut Scott Parazynski and his Media Sherpa Keith Cowing at Everest Base Camp. Great conversation. Got a bunch of questions in from Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to leave questions you might have below. Scott is hoping to summit on May 9 - the full moon. Mother Nature may throw a monkey wrench into those plans however. We won't have video from Scott for a few days as he is heading into thicker air - to do some legal blood-doping at a village a few thousand feet below Base Camp."
Keith Cowing note: Scott just made a change in plans and will stay at Everest Base Camp until he begins his summit - so you can expect to see both of us in tomorrow's Skype chat with Miles. Preview: its Science and Technology Weekend at Everest Base Camp.