The Guides

My Arrival: on Loss, on Giving


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ACC GMC 2007

Day 8: Camp Wrap Up - Saturday, July 28, 2007

We are up for breakfast at 7am as usual, but after that we only have to pack our stuff up and then sit and wait for the helicopter. Ben and I strategically get ourselves on the last flight out – the mosquitoes seem much less of a problem up this high than they were down below. So, seeing as earlier flights out have to wait around for their gear to arrive anyway, we figured we’d delay as long as possible and relax in camp.

But our turn finally comes when the helicopter arrives back in camp for the last time, and we board for our ride out. Again, it is a very cool ride, but over far too quickly. Back at the staging area, we load up our gear into the SUV and begin the long drive back to Calgary.

On the way, I think more about why and how I ended up at the camp and my mixed feeling about the situation. I remember Joanne’s emails and how, as the clock ticked ever closer and closer to the camp, she kept repeating how she just did not want the spaces to be wasted. It was clear that they would have gone unused had I not taken one – and found Ben to fill the other. I find some solace in the fact that I was able to satisfy their wish. In their time of hardship I was able to provide some, however miniscule, piece of positivity to them. A small win in a time of great loss.

But that win really still seems so little in my mind. Something so momentary and so brief. I had such a fantastic time and with everything that I learned it’s like I’ve been given that step up to reach a new level of mountaineering heights.

And the mountains are my passion.

My camp experience was something that would indeed be timeless and shape all of my future mountaineering exploits. Yes, timeless… hhhhhmmm…

Conrad takes in some final views as we fly out of camp.


 Back at the staging area, we only have the long drive home left.

As I sit in the SUV thinking things over, I stumble upon the answer of what I could do to give back. I’d create something timeless from the experience. I’d create something that would be available to anyone in the future who was curious, but uncertain like myself, about coming to the ACC GMC. Something that would capture the essence of my experience. Everything from what base camp life is like, to the food, to the people, to the guides, to the trips, so as to give as much life to it as I possibly could to people, without them actually being there. Not only would it help those who were considering going, but it would also give those who could never go a chance to live the experience somewhat.

Yes, this is a good idea. I'll do it. 

I'll create a website for all to enjoy.

And I hope that you have enjoyed it... thanks for coming along on my little adventure!

"The only book I've read in a long time that

made me laugh out loud - and not just once! 

Buy it, enjoy it, and try not to book a flight immediately!"

Brian de Vries

Rice Crust from the Bottom of the Pot: A Journey Across South East Asia

Although in creating this site I have tried to make the information as accurate as possible, it is not meant to be a guide, and I accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the information.

 ACC GMC 2007 Review

 © 2007 Parry Loeffler