On top of the world
After answering a cryptic email asking for fieldwork volunteers, Steve Seale managed to swap the sterile surroundings of a laboratory for the stunning scenery of Nepal
In May 1953, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing became the first mountaineers on record to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Celebrations of the 50th anniversary of this event saw a gathering in London of some of the world's best mountaineers and a record number of climbers attempting to reach the summit. Last September, I was lucky enough to visit the Nepalese base camp, spending time on a research project and working in a small aid post a few kilometres down the valley.
In July 2002, I received a cryptic email forwarded to me as a member of the Wilderness Medical Society: “Eight willing volunteers are needed to take part in a fieldwork project in the Khumbu [Everest] region of Nepal. Outdoor equipment and experience are necessary and language skills would be useful. Aloha. Jeff.”
Jeff turned out to be a final year medical student from Hawaii who--when not