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"May 23, Midnight" - Alpine Ascents left for Everest summit
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May 23, 2004 16: 39 EST
"May 23 Midnight

Hello from Everest,

It's now midnight, and Lama Geshe seems to be right in saying this is an auspicious day to climb. So far things are going well. The wind has dropped, and even here at base camp the stars are beginning to come out. When the climbers left the South Col at 10:00pm. all we could see down here was clouds and snow. I have not had a radio call from the team for a while, but from the time schedules of previous Everest expeditions they are still plodding their way up the triangular face. I don't expect them to get to the balcony for another two or three hours.

Here at base camp we are trading shifts for monitoring the radio. Ong Chu and Gopal had the first shift while I got a little shut-eye. Now they are now heading off to bed while I take over for the next few hours. I have a nice propane heater going, a lantern, my book, and a thermos of dudh chia (milk tea), so I'm set to go.

That's all for now, Ellie"

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