Oct. 22 was a very special day for Craig Tourangeau. Not only did the team finally make it to Island Peak base camp, but it was his 46th birthday! I asked Craig to share how he felt about celebrating his birthday at the 'top of the world.'
Wow, 5,000 metres! I was very surprised. When I arrived for breakfast yesterday at the teahouse in Chukung, the whole team cheered and I got a couple of birthday cards, all signed. One of my team members actually managed to find a picture of me when I was 22 and part of the airborne regiment in Petawawa. That got passed around and everyone had a good laugh about the difference in my hair and the grey versus no-grey. They also gave me an old regimental cap badge lapel pin from the airborne regiment. So that was nice, because I don't have one of those.
As for Island Peak base camp, well, I wasn't expecting a birthday cake here. It was fantastic that Babu Ram, our cook, managed to bake a cake at 5,000 metres.
In the birthday cards were written typical military 'joking around' type comments. It was great, as, like I said, I wasn't expecting anything.
Because some of us have been fighting head colds, I didn't think it was good to blow out the candles actually on the cake, so I took them off and blew them out off to one side. I think everyone appreciated that.
I guess we all have milestone birthdays, but this will definitely remain as probably the 'top' birthday that I've ever had, in more ways than one. It's certainly a birthday that I won't ever forget!
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