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OPINION: The Great Virtual Mount Everest Climb – Porg Cavern

Mountaineer Martin (aged 64) and grandson Nanatuk Nathan (aged 10) are climbing Mount Everest, 200 stairs per day. They left Base Camp (17,600 feet) on April 14th and hope to reach the summit of Everest (29,029 feet) on July 17th.
Day 29 Porg Cavern
Mountaineer Martin and Nanatuk Nathan in Porg Cavern during their virtual climb of Mount Everest. Photo Illustration

Mountaineer Martin (aged 64) and grandson Nanatuk Nathan (aged 10) are climbing Mount Everest, 200 stairs per day. They left Base Camp (17,600 feet) on April 14th and hope to reach the summit of Everest (29,029 feet) on July 17th. In total, it will take 95 days including 4 Camp rest days. This is their journal:

Day 22 of 95: Tuesday, May 5th 2020 (Elevation 20,225 feet: Stairs 4,200: Vertical height climbed 2,750 feet)

Mountaineer Martin: The band of plucky climbers reached Camp I on Day 19. The Valley of Silence, as it is known, is a vast, flat area, deep crevasses and mountain walls frequently washed by avalanches. At night we listened to the deep, murmuring cracking sounds under our tents. The pounding headaches were torturing us but as we left Camp I, early morning of Day 20, we gained the first close sight of the mighty Everest.

Nanatuk Nathan: After leaving Camp we continued up Mount Everest with our Sherpa guide. I still had some fluff on my coat from the Himalayan Tahr we saw earlier. After a long climb we hit a rather nasty snow storm, it was tough but we pulled through. After it cleared it was beautiful and sunny.

Day 29 of 95: Tuesday, May 12th 2020 (Elevation 21,100 feet: Stairs 5,600: Vertical height climbed 3,625 feet)

Mountaineer Martin: Things had been going well for Nanatuk Nathan, Sherpa Jyamchang and myself, however that was all about to change. On Day 26th the weather went from clear and sunny to a complete white out. Fortunately we were roped together as we couldn’t see more than 2 feet in front of each other. Hour after hour we trudged on not realizing we had taken a wrong turn and were heading into the South Face of Everest. Suddenly, as the mist started to lift, we spotted an ominous dark shape, it was a huge cave. As we entered the mouth of the cavern we couldn’t believe what we saw!

Nanatuk Nathan: After entering the mouth of the cave, that I decided to call Porg Cavern, I opened Papa Martin’s backpack and took out a flashlight. When I turned it on I was startled by a baby Himalayan Tahr who had wandered off from its herd.

After the little scare we continued on through the cave. After walking for a while we stopped for lunch and I shared some of my sandwich with the baby Tahr who was following us.

Martin and Nathan are raising funds to support Sherpa Jyamchang and his fellow Sherpa’s who have lost their jobs and livelihood due to the closure of Mount Everest on March 15th. So far they have raised $225 of the $5,000 target. If you would like to help them then please go to www.martinparnell.com and hit the big, red “DONATE” button. Thank you.

If you want to participate in your own “Climbing Everest” then email me at info@martinparnell.com and I will send you a route map, tracking sheet and completion certificate.

Onwards and upwards!

© 2020 Martin Parnell info@martinparnell.com www.martinparnell.com



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