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Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 14 - Summit Day! (for 7, Rest Day for 1)

Yes, you guessed it, your intrepid adventurer, yours truly, had to sit this one out. The reason: I've been battling a stomach virus for the past three days and it hasn't got much better. I'm on a regiment of Cipro, Promethazine, and Diamox. Check out my post "Drugs" far below for the symptoms that these drugs address as I have all of them in spades.

It's the way the world goes and likely explains why I've been slowing down over the past few days. That said I honestly feel that I am conditioned, strong enough and acclimatized well enough (perhaps with the help of the Diamox) to have made the summit. No regrets, spending two nights camp at an altitude of 20,500 ft. and higher than the summit of Denali has me welling with pride.

Plus, the concept of trying to use a Wag Bag at each rest break in 35-45 MPH winds with a gurgly stomach was not at all appealing and certainly not realistic (again see symptoms addressed by Cipro).

The rest of the team headed on their way up at 8:15am along with throngs of other climbing teams. They look good. And if the winds stay down, I bet they have a great shot of making it.

I'll spend the the day solo in camp in the tent and out of the very gusty wind. Last night was likely the windiest night of the expedition with gusts, I would guess, up to 60 to 70 MPH. Part of our tent got slightly mangled and my tent mate, Steve's backpack got blown down a little ravine, but was retrieved by one of the guides this morning. Overnnight low was 14 degrees.

When I crew returns, I'll post the happy news.

(photo: our team in the foreground, right to left: Garrett, James, Mike, Jason, Gosia, Steve, Kajsa).


Leslie said...

We are so proud of you! 20,500 feets is so HIGH! You are truly an inspiration to so many people and especially to your family. I remember when you were 100 pounds heavier and had a hard time doing things. Now look at you---thinner, athletic guy who climbs mountains for fun!! Truly unbelievable. The Pro Sports Club and their entire staff have helped you reach your goals and I need to thank them for giving my husband a New Life!! Kurt has definitely Come Alive through the 20/20 program and I am forever grateful.
I am so proud of him and I am smiling with the biggest grin!
I love you Tootz,

Adam Berns said...


I'm in awe - 20,500!

I hope you kick that bug and can't wait to see you safe and sound back in Redmond. It has been incredible to follow you on this journey.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully you get better soon, all i can say is I'm very happy not to be your tent mate. A new personal height record is awesome. I know you were having the time of your life until the sickness overtook you. Love you, see you soon.


Sandy Harms said...

Kurt, we are so proud of you! I've seen you in all different physical conditions over the years and I have also seen your vibrant positive personality and 'can do' attitude at all times since Jr. High. Steve & I can't wait to see a slide show or video of your fantastic adventure. (Now, time to get the Blues Brothers back together! haha)

Congratulations on reaching 20K+! You are a true inspiration, my friend!!

tracy said...

You are my hero. I am so amazed at how far you went. If not for that bug....... I couldn't even imagine being in a tent in that weather,never mind being 20,500 feet up in the clouds. I have followed your blog like a stalker- and now what will I do with my time?! Impressive feat no doubt.

Cris said...

Bummer, so close. Must be a bunch of mixed emotions. It has been fun following you daily -- around 3-4pm I start constantly checking my RSS feeds to see if there is an update from Kurt.

The view from twenty thousand feet must be amazing. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

Was there just one day to reach the summit? I thought you guys had budgeted 2 or 3 days for the summit.

Have a safe return trip.

Can't wait to see what mountain you will climb next.



Mike (mtn conditioning) said...

A little duct tape, a little ingenuity, and you don't have to wait for rest breaks to use the wag bag, and you don't have to worry about wind!

Summit or no summit, sounds like an awesome adventure.