Stephen Fahey – Day Four
Reporting from Camp IV on Mount Everest, via Everest Link; Joseph Ernst
Susan has ordered us to summit. She has more guts than all of us up here put together. She used to climb, before the kids were born. She’ll “fall apart after we reach the top”, she said. God, she’s an incredible woman. For now the storm is still battering us. The Italians reached the summit yesterday, minutes before we lost Clarence, and they’ve begun their decent. Their joy is such poison in our hearts. I don’t blame them. I just hate them – for now.
There are only three more days before the window closes, at which time making an attempt becomes impossible. If that happens and we are forced off the mountain for another year Murray and I have already agreed that we will return. I said all along that this would be my last trip, no matter what. But, for Susan and for Clarence, and for honour, we will return, if we must.
Base Camp informed Bishal this afternoon that they haven’t found the body. They probably never will. Plus, the storm is to continue for at least another day. Often teams never make it to the summit. But we will. I know it, despite everything. Right now we’re both feeling so low, but Bishal and Prajun are just great. They keep making us tea and giving us biscuits. They’ve seen so many die up here but they haven’t lost their humanity. I don’t know how they do it. Just to know that they are with us makes all the difference.
I don’t want to rest but I need to, even though I know that sleep won’t come to me. I’m going to try now. Just to close my eyes and lay still for a while would be nice. I keep seeing Clarence tipping over and falling into the clouds. Our window could come at any moment. We still have three days. Oh God, let us we can make it. We need to. We will. I know we will. For you, Clarence, and for all of us. Watch over us, buddy!