I'm getting to know some of the other members of my expedition. They are an interesting group of people. There's John, 55, from the Isle of Man, a motorcycle racer who's had his share of near-fatal accidents. This is his third attempt to climb Everest. Then there's a married couple, a rare entity on expeditions like this, Nowell and Lynn, both endurance racing enthusiasts who regularly run eco-challenge races and ultra marathons. They attempted Everest together in 2005, but Nowell experienced retinal bleeding in both eyes, compelling him to abandon the attempt. Nowell and Lynn had made a pact, that if one of them could not continue, the other would go on, but Lynn could not bear to leave Nowell in that condition, so she abandoned her own summit attempt. Nowell came back the next year and successfully reached the summit of Everest. This year the two of them are back to reach the summit together. Another member of the team is Philippe, an IBM executive from France. Today a friend of Nowell and Lynn's arrived, Patrick from Canada. Then of course there are the Russians, starting with our expedition leader Alex Abramov. More on them later.
Arizona is almost exactly on the other side of the planet from Kathmandu, so I've got 12 time zones of jet lag with which to contend. I hardly slept at all last night. Hopefully, I'll fare better tonight.
I'm anxious to begin our trek to Everest base camp. Soon enough.