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Climbers: What Next?

Andrew McLean
Hi Everyone. This is kind of a mess. We are camped in what was originally called "The Beach," as it's a perfectly flat, sandy little oasis at 18,300ish feet right at the base of Shishapangma. We have about six tents set up, but the main one is a large two-meter dome tent that we are all hanging out in.

It's been snowing on and off, so the tent floor is covered with mud, sand and bits of water-soaked paper. There are three days worth of spilled coffee grounds, empty water bottles, dead batteries, plates of half-eaten food, wet socks, spent Gaz canisters, barf-stained sleeping bags and overlapping sleeping pads. Most of the talk is revolving around what to do next, what has happened, and where we are going to do in the next week or so.

The unreal part of it is that two of our friends are locked in the ice within eyesight of us and there is nothing we can do about it. It's a very sad and frustrating experience.

Hans Saari
Today we are heading back to Base Camp. The avalanche which hit 48 hours ago seems like a dream, but there are only seven of us now and that is the cruel reminder.

Last night was somewhat therapeutic. We all stayed in the two-meter dome tent and told stories of our two friends until the wee hours of the morning. We can all feel the pressure from the media and it is making life tough. I can only hope that people are kind and respectful.

Andrew McLean and Hans Saari, Correspondents

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