Brig spent November working out and getting stronger. His progress was slow at first, but as he acclimatized and his body healed he became eager to get moving toward Everest Base Camp (EBC). It had been an unusually cold November, and the snow and ice had piled up around the city. James tried to convince Brig that it was too dangerous to travel to Rongbuk, but Brig wasn’t buying it. There was snow on the roads, but it was nothing that the right vehicle with the right tires couldn’t manage. Brig would leave for Everest in two days, with or without him.
James dutifully collected the required government permits, licenses, and approvals they would need. As a local tour guide, he was familiar with the process. He and Brig would leave Lhasa for Rongbuk on December 1st, giving Brig a buffer against potential delays. Brig was secretly determined to reach EBC on a specific and auspicious day. The timing of his arrival (and death) on Everest was an important piece of information that Brig hadn’t revealed to anyone. December 4th. It was the day his mother had passed away.