Tredway, team acclimatize on Everest

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Steamboat Springs Middle School teacher Matt Tredway was replenishing his reserves at Everest Base Camp on Wednesday after spending two nights above 20,000 feet at Camp II.

Tredway is a member of Team No Limits, which is attempting to climb the world's tallest mountain this season.

"Here we are in May, and the next few months should be incredibly exciting," Tredway wrote in a letter posted on the Internet. "I am looking forward to sharing great stories and slides with my students upon my return."

The return to base camp is part of the plan all would-be Mount Everest climbers follow as they gradually adjust their bodies to extreme elevations by climbing to successively higher camps, then retreating to lower elevations to recover.

"The rotation process of going up and down the mountain to facilitate proper acclimatization is a long one," Tredway wrote. "Since we descended from Camp II, we have been feasting on our fine base camp cuisine. At the higher camps, it is harder to eat, digest or enjoy food, so intake is limited."

Tredway and his teammates already have faced considerable adversity. April 21 brought the deaths of two Sherpas who were supporting Team No Limits and other expeditions. Dawa Temba and Lhakpa Tseri were killed when two blocks of ice fractured and buried them on the Khumbu Icefall.

More recently, Team No Limits member Dr. Larry Rigs--by took himself off the climb and began the long trip home after he suffered severe exhaustion on the way to Camp I. Rigsby's difficulty was foreshadowed in December 2005 when he was diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

Rigsby recalled the loss of the Sherpas as he left the mountain.

"I feel a real brotherhood with the Sherpas," he wrote. "They are a gentle and honorable people. We still mourn their deaths."

Tredway expressed admiration for Rigsby's willingness to test himself under those circumstances.

"We all agree it was the wise and prudent decision for him," Tredway wrote. "In order to take on this enormous task, you just have to put yourself out there and see what happens. Larry gave the mountain his best, and that is all we can do up here."

The next milestone for Team No Limits will be Camp III at 7,500 meters, or about 24,600 feet, above sea level.

"Up here, on top of the world, you just do what you need to do and pray that you get lucky in terms of health, weather and the health of the Sherpas," Tredway wrote. "There are so many variables, and they are all out of our control."

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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