Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., leader of Mayo's research expedition to Everest just sent back these thoughts during a break on the trail:
We continue to forge ahead as a group. The young guys are doing well so far. Our Sherpa guide has been outstanding and the porters are quite amazing, carrying loads close to 100 plus pounds, many of them teenagers. Our Sherpa calls himself Ang Temba Sherpa ... and has a long history of climbing with Peter Athans, Conrad and others. He went to the top of Everest years ago. His English is quite good and I was thinking it may be good to have him present at Mayo sometime. We have become good friends on the climb. Thinking through all the media, I hope this has been good for Mayo. I think as long as we do good work, publish quality papers, and continue to push technology forward it will be a success. Also, this is the first time I suppose Mayo Clinic has been on Everest and from a human interest perspective the path of a team like ours doing field work is interesting...not easy. We have already overcome a few challenges with equipment. The athletes at base camp are doing well now…hopefully we’ll connect soon. Had a little altitude incidence with some Russian climbers where we did an evaluation and took advantage of Dr. Summerfield’s expertise and our medical equipment. Will be moving up to 14,000 feet tomorrow...there will be lots of action at base camp. The Benegas Brothers* are there along with a number of my colleagues from UBC and Europe.
*Note – Dr. Johnson worked two years ago with the Benegas Brothers (Willie and Damian) www.benegasbrothers.com along with TNF extreme athlete http://bit.ly/GRgUJS Diane Van Deren on Mt. Aconcagua in South America.