San Francisco City Hall, with architectural restoration work recently contributed by S&L Payton, portrayed in the May 2000 Snips.

SAN FRANCISCO - "Our climb began in earnest on May 9. By then we'd successfully negotiated the Khumbu Icefall, surmounted the Western Cwm, and now were halfway up a moderately steep, four-thousand foot wall of blue ice called the Lhotse Face, which the

prudent climber will traverse very carefully." This excerpt from the book "Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest" by Dr. Beck Weathers reveals little of the trauma and

agonizing journey this climber of Mt. Everest faced in 1996. But there is more to come.

Dr. Weathers will speak at the National Roofing Contractors Association Member Breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 17. Weathers was among more than 30 people attempting to summit Mt. Everest when a sudden, violent spring snowstorm and subzero temperatures struck the mountain and killed eight climbers, including three professional guides. During the snowstorm, Weathers, a surgeon from Dallas, was left for dead on the mountain twice by his teammates but still managed to return to camp.

Continuing with this excerpt, Dr. Weathers writes: "This extreme care is a function of the physics involved. With hard ice such as that found on the Lhotse Face, there is no coefficient of friction; you are traction free. Fall into an uncontrolled slide, and your chances of stopping are nil. You're history. A Taiwanese climber named Chen Yu-Nan would discover the truth of this, to his horror, on the morning of May 9.

"Because the Lhotse Face is a slope, you pitch Camp Three by carving out a little ice platform for your tent, which you crawl into exhausted, desperate for some rest. No matter how tired you are, however, you must remember a couple of fairly simple rules.

"One, don't sleepwalk. Two, when you get up in the morning, the very first thing you've got to do, without fail, is put those twelve knives on each climbing boot, your crampons, because they are what stick you down to that hill.

"Chen Yu-Nan forgot. He got out of his tent wearing his inner boots, took two steps, and went zhoooooooop! down into a crevasse, leading to his death."

Marriott is host hotel

More than 8,700 attendees are expected to travel to San Francisco Feb. 14-17 for NRCA's 114th Annual Convention and Exhibit. The trade show will be held in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Located in downtown San Francisco near the South of Market (or SoMa) and City Front Districts, the 1.2 million-sq.-ft. Moscone Center is near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Sony Metreon entertainment center. The San Francisco Marriott, which is about four blocks from the convention center, will serve as the headquarters hotel.

NFL commentator and analyst John Madden is scheduled to speak during the Opening Luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 15. After suffering a career-ending injury during his rookie year in the NFL, Madden was hired as assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders in 1967. Two years later, he was promoted to head coach, making Madden the youngest NFL coach in history. During his tenure, Madden led the Raiders to seven Western Division titles and a Super Bowl victory. Since leaving the Raiders in 1979, Madden has been an NFL game analyst and won 11 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports personality and analyst.

Educational program topics to be offered during convention include: roofing contractor insurance needs; Technical Operating Committee issues and updates; the fifth edition of The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual, which will be on sale during the convention; customer service; and using NRCA's Web site-among other topics.

To relax, attendees can take part in sports tournaments that benefit ROOFPAC, NRCA's political action committee, on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

ROOFPAC's golf tournament will take place at the Presidio Golf Course, and the tennis tournament will be at the San Francisco Tennis Club.

In addition to NRCA activities planned during the convention, San Francisco is a dynamic city that offers several exciting cultural activities. Famous points of interest include Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, TransAmerica Pyramid and several museums, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.