- Feb. 04 2016 - Some interesting turn of events here. we
were told by the UN that it was impossible to land on Nyiragongo
volcano, period, despite the fact that we've met several people
who have done it plus we've seen pictures of helicopters up there.
Our new, local badass friend made some calls to some very high
ranking officials and suddenly, we're booked to go back up today
in a smaller, Oryx helicopter.... Hmmm...
The bulk of the gear is being sent up with porters right now.
Let's see if the fourth attempt is the magic one.
- What else could possibly go wrong?....
This morning we sent the bulk of our equipment up Nyiragongo
with about 35 porters. Meanwhile, we returned to the United Nations
base for the 4th day in a row, hoping to finally get our chopper
The U.N. had sent out an Oryx helicopter recon team earlier in
the day to scout the summit for us, but it was determined that
it was too steep, and that it was impossible to land. By this
point, we've flip-flopped back and forth between possible and
impossible more times than I can remember. I was whisked away
to the command center to meet with the Jordanian duty officer
and the 2 South African pilots who did the recon flight. According
to them, the summit is impossible to fly to. Ugh.
So, what's our next step? Tomorrow morning, we're planning on
going back (5th time is the charm) and we've identified a secondary,
but much less ideal landing zone. It will require a lot of leg
work after we land, but that's OK. We'll arrange even more porters
to meet us at the landing zone to help with the very last of
the gear and by mid-day tomorrow, we should be at the summit,
with everything and everyone we need to pull off the mission.
We've all been shaking our heads.
From a team health point of view, Mark is feeling much better,
but Chris and I have started to get sick. I'm not TOO bad, but
I hope my stomach doesn't get worse.