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December 1-15th, 1998 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News: 12/14/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: EverestNews.com understands an Everest North Face Expedition is in the works for Spring 98 ! We will let You know when we get more details.

  • Into This Air: Death on Everest: Yes, EverestNews.com agrees that the facts in the movie appears to differ from the Book, in several cases. We would be extremely interested in any public statements that are in print on the movie from those that were on Everest 96. Submit to everestnews2004@adelphia.net.

  • Our web site of the week is: http://www.attack.ru/FOCUS/Educat/Academy/k2/english/ Russian K2 Expedition: 1996, we must tell you this is one of our all time favorites !!!

  • A little help from our readers of EverestNews.com. Numerous readers of EverestNews.com has helped the EverestNews.com site in so many way. You are all incredible !  We have another project in which we could use some assistance. EverestNews.com has obtained a 1944 aeronautical topo map of the Everest area (actually a large part on Nepal). We could use the assistance of someone who is a specialist in this area. Thanks !

  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours ! The bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Mountaineers book page, and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat

Daily News: 12/13/98 Report

  • Into This Air: Death on Everest: Part of the staff of EverestNews.com gathered together last night to watch the movie Into This Air: Death on Everest  in preparation for an upcoming interview. We rented the movie from Blockbuster (released on Home video), which has the movie as a 24 hour rental.  When we inquired, the staff at Blockbuster told us the movie was moving fast, and they needed more copies.

Most of our Readers of EverestNews.com in the United States, we assume have seen this movie. We also assume that most of our Readers of EverestNews.com from outside the United States (which is about an equal number) has not seen the movie.

When renting the movie we had no thought of putting the movie in today's news.

However, there was a couple of things we could not help but notice.

Before the title of the movie is put on the screen to be seen, the following is put on the screen for the public to see and is read to the viewer of the movie.

"The following dramatization is based on published accounts and interviews."

Later during the initial credits and cast. A screen states, Based on the Book. Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer.

For those that perform micro-analysis of this book, and the others books. We wonder, was New information put into this movie, information corrected, or simply information "created" for the movie ? Any help with factual information would be appreciated: everestnews2004@adelphia.net

It could be assumed that millions of Americans will see this movie, and many will view it as factual.

  • Good Causes ! For those that were with us from the beginning, You know the Matthew Randall story. For those that don't, please read it on the News Index below ! Below is the latest Update from Matthew's Mother:

Matthew officially finished chemotherapy treatment for his relapsed cancer (Wilm's tumor) on July 7, 1998 when his oncologist pulled his Hickman line catheter out of his chest. Matthew was such a trooper and barely said more than "ouch". Then we went to the zoo right afterwards to celebrate! About three weeks later we had a party at our house to commemorate the end of treatment and had five children and their families over who have fought cancer and are now in remission. It was very moving and we had a marvelous toast to all the brave kids!

Since then Matthew began preschool which he loves! He still has problems with low energy at times and fighting infection so he is wiped out at the end of the day. But you should see him marching onto the school bus with his backpack...what a big kid! It wasn't too long ago that  we didn't think we would see that day.

In September we went to Washington D.C. with the Seattle Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation to participate in the "March to Conquer Cancer" which was an incredible event. We took two Childhood Cancer Quilts with us (one of which Matthew was on along with lots of his friends) and put them alongside 42 other quilts for kids with cancer. It was very powerful and Matthew wound up with his picture in the Washington Post!

After that we went to Camp Sunshine in Maine which is a wonderful camp for families who have kids with cancer. All three boys had a great time and Mom and Dad got to actually relax a little bit...quite a change!

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been trying to send us to Disney World for Matthew's Wish for a year and a half but every time we would plan to go, Matthew would wind up in the hospital. In November we finally went and we celebrated Matthew's 4th birthday there! We were treated like royalty and we have so many wonderful memories of that week. 

Many people have said how lucky we are to go on these trips but I think that sometimes they forget that the only reason we went is because Matthew had cancer. We would trade all those trips in a second if we could just be reassured that Matthew will be healthy forever. Unfortunately, we do not have that guarantee and we live with the daily fear that the cancer may come back a third time. And if it does, there may not be anything else we can do about it.

The good news is that his six-month post-treatment CT scans looked good and his blood counts were great. He will have his next set of scans in March along with a hearing test to monitor his hearing loss from the chemo. So we ask that you please continue your prayers for his complete recovery and we thank you for all of your support. 

Take care and thanks for your help,

Laura Randall

Daily News: 12/12/98 Report

  • Different types of Everest Expeditions: Part 2 !!!  We expect this will be an ongoing topic for the next few weeks ! Several people have offered opinions. Send them in: everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Below is the comments of David Lim, the leader of the successful Singapore 98 Everest Expedition. The Singapore web site link can be found on our 1998 Spring Everest Expeditions LinksSwee Chiow was a member of this expedition.

    TYPES OF EVEREST EXPEDITIONS

    Eric Simonson sums up different types of expeditions succinctly. (See 12/10 News)

    I would be grateful to add to EverestNews.com's discussion on types of expeditions; especially recent national expeditions.

    In the context of 'national' expeditions which are getting less common these days, such expeditions themselves may be of a hybrid nature and not funded purely by national/commercial organizations.

    The Singapore effort spanned four years ( 94-98 ), in which members with a modest amount of experience gained further experience climbing lesser peaks and shorter, more technical climbs. 60% of such costs were covered by the members themselves owing to tight finances at the early stages. On many, smaller trips during this period, members paid for these out of their own pockets.

    Only on Everest were funds sufficient to cover 90% of members' costs. There was a working budget of US$500,000 for the 4 year span, of which about half was for Everest alone.

    By contrast, the 1997 Malaysian effort had a budget in the region of US$2 million, spanning 2 years of dedicated training. Government employees who were members were given paid leave of up to 6 months in some cases and everything was provided. Most of the funding was from government or government linked organizations. Their expedition could truly be labeled as a 'classic' national expedition in that success was viewed both as a sporting and political aim.

    I look forward to more views and contributions to this topic.

    Regards, David Lim 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition

  • EverestNews.com would like to thank Peter Green for his time in answering what must be a record number of question on-line on HA Climbing over several days ! Peter checks our Discussion Forum regularly, so we encourage you to continue the discussion with him on the Discussion forum ! Check out the Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A Page One and Peter Green Q&A Page Two . Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum.

           Thanks Peter !!!

  • EverestNews.com will soon interview Ed Douglas, on his new book "Chomolungma Sings the Blues". We know some on You have purchased the book. If you have questions for him, submit them to us (everestnews2004@adelphia.net) , and we will try to include them !

    Ed Douglas, new Book "Chomolungma Sings the Blues", is not published in the United States ! However, this was one of the reasons for adding Amazon UK to our sponsor list, along with requests from our UK readers of EverestNews.com !

    Chomolungma Sings the Blues ~ Dispatched in 2-3 days

    Ed Douglas / Hardcover / Published 1997 

    Note: "Dispatched" in 2-3 days ! Don't you just love these guys already !

    The Amazon UK page has been added ! You will find some of the books you have been requesting on this page. They will accept your credit card and will ship just about anywhere !

  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !  

Daily News: 12/11/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: We have received much interest and some questions on Enrique Guallart-Furio. As earlier reported, he will be attempting Everest in Spring 99. This will be the last of his bid for the Seven Summits. His web page can be found on our 99 Everest links page. We have also created an Enrique Guallart-Furio Page.

Now for you questions ! Yes, this is the same climber who was with the 1997 Adventure Consultants Everest Expedition. http://webnz.com/adventure/acl6.htm.   If was Adventure Consultants ninth Mount Everest Expedition which included Australians Peter Weeks and Tashi Tenzing, American David Carter, Enrique Guallart-Furio (Spain) and Veikka Gustafsson (Finland). The expedition leader was Guy Cotter as Expedition Leader; assisted by Ed Viesturs of the USA ; Ang Tshering Sherpa of Nepal as expedition sirdar assisted by five base camp Sherpa staff; Ang Dorje Sherpa was again climbing sirdar assisted by five other high altitude climbing Sherpa. You can read the expedition reports on their link above.

Also, several have asked about Adventure Consultants return to Everest in 2000. Yes, we understand they plan to go back to Everest in 2000. However, they returned to Everest in 1997 !!!

  • Everest 96: We are currently performing some research on Everest 96. We could use Your help. If you could ask Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa questions, what would You ask him. Submit questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net

Daily News: 12/10/98 Report

  • Different types of Everest Expeditions: Part 1 !!! We expect this will be an ongoing topic for the next few weeks ! Several people have offered opinions. Send them in: everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Below is the write-up of famous Everest climber Eric Simonson !

TYPES OF HIMALAYAN EXPEDITIONS

By Eric Simonson 

Himalayan expeditions run the gamut from bare bones to plush.  Depending on the level of support desired by the climber,  money available, and the team's ability at raising sponsorship, there are a number of options.   Keep in mind that these distinctions are not hard and fast (and these are only my opinions).  Some trips may cross-over between categories.  A good way to define the different types of expeditions is to follow the money:  where does it come from and where does it go!

Money comes from Outside Sources:  

1. The Classic Everest Expedition: The team raises the money as a group through sponsors, goes as a team to the mountain, and has a hierarchical leadership structure. This type of Expedition used to be common on Everest, but now it is very difficult to raise this kind of money unless you are a National Expedition (Singapore, Indonesia, etc), have a "hook" that you can sell (environmental, disabled, women, etc), or work very hard and have lots of rich friends and good contacts!  On this type of trip the members usually donate their labor to organize and what they generate by their efforts goes into the "group fund", not into their own account.  Members generally do not get paid (though in some cases there may be other deals involved, like book or film rights, which may generate income for some people).  It is not uncommon for members of this type of expedition to be asked to give up some rights to their photographs for the expedition's use. 

2.  The Professional Expedition  In this case a sponsoring organization hires climbers to do a job, such as filming (IMAX), science (Boston Museum of Science), or research.  It is not uncommon for some people to get paid more and others less on this kind of trip, depending on what they bring to the table.   In this case a sponsoring organization hires climbers to do a job, such as filming (IMAX), science (Boston Museum of Science), or research.  It is not uncommon for some people to get paid more and others less on this kind of trip, depending on what they bring to the table.   In this case a sponsoring organization hires climbers to do a job, such as filming (IMAX), science (Boston Museum of Science), or research.  It is not uncommon for some people to get paid more and others less on this kind of trip, depending on what they bring to the table.

Money Comes from Participants:

3.  Self funded Expedition  There are a lot of non-guided groups that raise their own money as individuals.  The key here is that each person is responsible for a given share of the budget:  either they raise the money or pay from their own pocket.  In addition they may get some equipment donated by sponsors or a modest amount of cash.  Usually the Leader is not in to make a profit, but may benefit in other ways or have some of his or her expenses covered by the expedition.

4.  Consulted Expedition  On this type of commercial expedition  the Leader sells "slots" on the permit and makes a profit.  The Leader has minimal responsibility above BC, but may act as a consultant to climbers above. Climbers are not guided and are usually "on their own" above ABC.  Sherpa support and oxygen may or may not be included (members may have to pay extra).  On Everest these expeditions usually run in the 10-20K range.

5.  Semi-Guided Expedition: On this type of expedition the Leader and guides work more closely with the clients. Sherpas and guides ensure that ropes and camps are installed and put oxygen in place in the higher camps.  There are usually Western guides and some Sherpas acting as guides.  Clients may or may not summit without a guide present.  On Everest these expeditions usually run in the 30-40K range.

6.  Fully Guided Expedition: This is the classic guiding style where the guides are with the clients at all times on the mountain, ready to assist.  This kind of expedition is generally the most expensive because there are more Western guides on the team, and additional Sherpas.  Out of the 900 plus people that have climbed Everest, my guess is that probably far less than 100 people are in this category, despite what the media would like you to believe!  On Everest these expeditions usually run in the 50-65K range.

7. Hybrid Expeditions:  Now a days it is not unusual to see expeditions that combine several of the above styles.  For example, on a permit might be several individuals who are climbing in a fully guided role.  Also on the permit might be other individuals who are climbing "non-guided", just using the BC, ABC, and infrastructure of the guided group.  There might also be individuals on a permit who are fortunate enough to be fully sponsored.

As a side note to this hybrid category, I am offering for the second time (we did it in 1998 as well) the chance for people to go part way on Everest.  I have had a lot of people say they don't have the time, money, or experience to really give the summit of Everest a shot.  We offer a program (International Mountain Guides) to just go to the North Col (or higher), but not the summit.  Not a bad idea for someone who would love to get on Everest, but not risk their neck at 8800 meters! 

What has amazed me the most in my 20 years of Himalayan climbing is to see how accessible these mountains have become to regular folks.  I remember back in the 60's and 70's when I was first starting out in climbing that the dream to go to Everest seemed so hard to imagine. It seemed you had to be a part of some National Expedition team or be a superstar. Now a days anybody can go if you have the right skills and some money.  It really reflects the democratization of the sport!  Its not just a handful of elite climbers anymore.  I remember that when I first went to Everest North Face in 1982 I thought it was the only chance I would ever get to go to Everest. When we were unsuccessful, I was heartbroken.  I thought that I had blown my only chance ever. Now I realize that if you want, you can go back again and again.  This means you don't have to push your luck and do something stupid.  Some times things just don't work out as planned...that's OK. Go home in one piece and come back and try your luck again!

Eric Simonson Ashford, WA

  • Our analysis of Chantal Mauduit  journals http://www.eolienne.com/chantal/recitchantal.html, specifically her K2 expedition, finds that her version seems to play down the extent to which she was assisted by others but factually would appear to match up well against the other accounts published. Who is more correct ? We have no idea ! But, it is interesting to see Her words, wish they were in English for all of You. But she was French ! Thanks to all of those that assisted in this detailed analysis.

  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !  

Daily News: 12/9/98 Report

  • Sales of  Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 are extremely strong. The book is currently ranked 55th in sales on Amazon. To compare that to another book. The excellent book  Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 is ranked 8,453 in sales on Amazon !

  • Everest Spring 99: Enrique Guallart-Furio will be attempting Everest in Spring 99. He will be attempting to complete the Seven Summits. His web page can be found on our 99 Everest links page. We have also created an Enrique Guallart-Furio Page, in that we expect to see much more of him ! 

  • Everest 2000: The All Aboriginal Everest Expedition, that we continue to get so many questions on: EverestNews.com is now in contact with a principal of the Expedition. They tell us the expedition "is very much in the planning stages and some people may have jumped the gun with media interviews etc. Basically the climb is going to be an International Aboriginal climb with climbers representing various countries.  The climb will be called the "Ascent of the Aboriginal Spirit". Currently a solid team is being sought. Once that is established we will have more information for you ... "

Daily News: 12/8/98 Report

  • Coming Soon: Different types of Everest Expeditions: Guided, Unguided, Classic and all the others. EverestNews.com will make an "attempt" at explaining these different types of Expeditions. Caveat Emptor !

  • We have several web sites submitted for "the web site of the week" that are very interesting. Here is a Himalayan expedition in Spring 1999 that we found interesting: http://www.webpanache.com/co1999/

They are an expedition from Colorado going to climb a semi-obscure Himalayan peak (Gangapurna).  We are told this is a totally private expedition, basically a bunch of climbing buddies.  It's not an 8000m peak, but definitely worth climbing as no American has summitted this mountain.

The expedition leader, Mark Scott-Nash, tells us: The expedition is "technically moderate, but it is highly unlikely there will be even one other expedition there, so it's all ours. All the members short-form climbing resumes are on the site and we plan on sending back updates of expedition progress through a mail runner (we can't  afford a satellite phone!)."  The expedition leader has been to both Makalu in '94 and led an expedition Manaslu in '96.

Check them out !

Daily News: 12/7/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Joao Garcia and Pascal Debrouwer (Belgium), will be back on Everest in Spring 99 on the North Side ! Below is their information. Note, EverestNews.com normally does not post anything this detailed. We are posting it because we think You, our readers of EverestNews.com, might like to see some details that a person going on an expedition of this kind might receive from an "organized climbing Expedition" which is looking for others members.

    Montagnes du Monde

    Debrouwer Pascal - Chemin du Parc, 161 B-5377 Hogne

    m.d.m@skynet.be

    RCD 45494 TVA 688428202 GB 250-0107920-44

    En collaboration avec Latitudes Lic A1764

     present

     Dear friend and candidate for the Everest climb,

    We have the pleasure of presenting to you our Everest 99 Expedition.

    We are organizing another expedition this spring to the roof of the world, from the North side. Laurent, Joao and myself are familiar with the area and this climb, having been there already in '97 and '98. The pre-monsoon season was chosen as the weather is more favorable and the route protected by the giant mountain barrier on the Nepal-Tibet border. Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is not a "classic 8000'er" as it is very close to 9000M. Our route, the North North-East ridge does not present any big technical difficulties nor objective dangers and is generally well equipped with fixed ropes. From Chang La (North Col) at 7066m, the view is fantastic; the circus at the foot of the North face, the sunset on Cho-Oyu summit, Pumori and Changste in front of us are daily regals. This is a mythical route; one with a rich history of pioneers including, Norton, Mallory and Irvine in the 20's, the first climbers to reach the second step.

     I will meet with you at our agency "Montagnes du Monde" in Kathmandu (Thamel) no later than the morning of April 3, 1999. If you are not familiar with Kathmandu, I can meet you at the airport. We will spend two days in the capital during which time paperwork will be finalized and all the expedition equipment prepared. Early on the morning of April 5th, we will begin the expedition with a bus trip to the villages of Kodari and then Zangmu, located on the border between Nepal and China. From there we continue by jeep and truck (for the expedition equipment) and spend the night in Nyalam, 3750m. A second day and night here allows us to acclimatize during which time we may also climb a mountain nearby. We then travel to Xegar, 4350m, and spend an additional rest day there. Finally, a torturous road brings us to base camp at 5200m.

    NB: Laurent will accompany the team during these 5 days of approach while the rest of the organization staff, with the expedition equipment, travel directly from Nyalam in one day. We require a minimum of four nights in base camp to establish the camp, recover from the overland journey and mainly acclimatize. Base camp will house a large Chinese tent (for kitchen and equipment), a dining tent, and our personal tents. Many facilities will already be established upon our arrival including : individual tents, electricity (220V) by solar panels and batteries, fresh and imported food, hot shower, complete medical kit, international radio with CD player and cassette player, spare mountain equipment and repair kit, radio communications for altitude camps (base unit and two-way handheld walky-talkies), individual storage drums, etc. I will also install a lock system with unique keys for all the tents and common group equipment; 2 keys for each member.

    On April 10th, the yaks will bring up personal equipment (for altitude and advanced base camp) as well as common group equipment, up to middle camp. Middle camp, located between base camp and advanced base camp (ABC) will consist of a tent with food and a small kitchen. It will remain permanently until the end of the expedition. From middle camp, a second day of easy walking on the moraine brings the pack animals to ABC at 6400m. From base camp, everyone may climb at his/her own speed to ABC and the higher altitude camps. We highly advise you to take your time and not force acclimatization. Around base camp, it is possible to climb many small summits, above 6000m and also to sleep at these altitudes.

    During the expedition, fresh food will be brought regularly to ABC. We will install progressively the first camp on the North Col, camp 2 at the end of the snowy ridge at 7500m and/or (as determined by available space and need) camp 2.5 before the traverse at 7900m. Finally, camp 3 will be placed on the lower northeast ridge in the north face at 8300m. For safety, we'll have rockets/flares, handheld radios and camp 3 will contain a limited supply of oxygen for medical emergencies. This duration of 42 days (from ABC) is sufficient to maximize the chances for a successful summit push and allows for periods of bad weather. On May 27 and 28, we will take down the altitude camps and return to ABC. On May 29, we all return to base camp and the following day (May 30) travel by jeep and bus back down to Kathmandu.

    Itinerary

    Saturday 3rd April 99 : Latest possible time for meeting in Kathmandu

    4 : Last preparation & obtaining of Tibetan visa

    5 : Kathmandu - Nyalam

    6 : Nyalam

    7 : Nyalam - Xegar

    8 : Xegar

    9 : Xegar - Base Camp

    10-11-12 : Installation and acclimatization (minimum 3 days)

    13 : First possibilities to go up to middle camp and advanced base camp

    15 April - 26 May : Up and down between base camp and summit, about 42days for climbing.

    27 - 28 : Descent and breaking of camps.

    29 : ABC - BC

    30 : BC - Zangmu - Kodari - Kathmandu

    31 : Spare day

    This itinerary is only approximate and is subject to change due to weather conditions and unexpected events.

    Cost

    The price of 11800US$ includes:

    Transport Kathmandu - to base camp and back.

    Full accommodations during the trip to BC and back, in base camp and in advanced base camp.

    Infrastructure in base camp and in advanced base camp (personal, kitchen and dining tents, shower and kitchen equipment).

    Equipment transport by yaks; 3 loads of 25Kg (round trip).

    Expedition permit.

    Various and imported altitude food.

    Altitude tents and group equipment (stoves, little kitchen equipment, ropes, snow anchors, etc.).

    Services and equipment of locals workers; cooks, helpers, liaison officer, interpreters, drivers,…

    Medical kits in every camp and limited medical oxygen in camp 3.

    Equipment for radio communications between camps.

    Many services and facilities in BC and ABC.

    Organization and planning by the staff of Montagnes du Monde.

    We will probably have a satellite phone but I prefer not guarantee it. I can provide oxygen bottles (from 250 to 400$US/each).

    This price DOES NOT include:

    Accommodations in Kathmandu (about 20 to 30$/day).

    International flight.

    Visas.

    Personal and compulsory insurance.

    Everything not included in "This price includes."

    The price is calculated based on a minimum of 5 people. I reserve the right to cancel the expedition and refund the account if the number of climbers is insufficient.

    Practical details

    At the time you commit to join the expedition, I will need 2 passport photos and the 3 completed personal data sheets. Travel insurance is required (in case of sickness, accident, evacuation,…). You must provide proof of insurance.

  • Everest Spring 99: We understand Fred Barth, who was a member of the Russian Spring 98 expedition will be back on Everest in Spring 99 on the North Side as Deputy Leader of Asian-Trekking's Spring 1999 Expedition. Fred works (as his job) for Neptune Mountaineering, Gary Nepture's business. However, Fred is participating in this climb as an individual, not as part of Neptune Mountaineering in any way.
  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours ! The bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat

Daily News: 12/6/98 Report

  • "Late" Questions for Peter Green !

Check out the Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A Page One and Peter Green Q&A Page Two to date. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum.

Q. How do you choose a route to climb on a mountain the size of K2?   Why choose the Northeast ridge instead of the southeast spur for example?

A. Some people choose a route for reasons of challenge or potential fame, other considerations might be a route more difficult (longer and/or more technical) but safer in terms of icefall or avalanche.  For K2, the 'easiest' route is also relatively 'safe'.  Since I would say the challenge is adequate for me, and fame not a consideration, the choice is obvious. I have tried two routes in Alaska that were not the easiest on the peak, and made it up one of them.  Otherwise, for big mountains, the easiest is always my choice since I avoid peaks with bad icefalls or high avalanche risk on their 'standard' routes.

Q. Can you see the climbers on other routes while you are climbing?   Do you ever get in each other's way?

A. My trips to 8000m peaks have never involved having climbers on other routes, at least that I know of.  Due to paperwork reasons, other groups had signed up for non-standard routes, but ended up on the regular one.  With fixed ropes, one certainly gets a little bit in each other's way -- sometimes knocking rock and snow on each other, too.  The trouble is when one group goes home and removes fixed ropes (sometimes not even their own)!  I'm all for cleaning up at the end of the season, but not hazard-producing theft.  Worst can be when a camp location is tiny -- then sharing gets very tough. 

Q.  How long does it take to walk around the mountain?  Or at least from >the Godwin Glacier to the Savoia Glacier?  I have never seen a big mountain up close and really have no grasp of the scale.

A. It is several hours walk, much more if crevasses make trouble.   I wish we had not been so delayed in our arrival -- I could have enjoyed ski touring around on the lingering spring  snow-pack ! 

Q. Do you coordinate summit attempts with people on other routes so as not to clog up the summit and create a bottleneck?

A. There wasn't anyone else there our year, though 1986 or 1995 could have been crowded up high.  After all the deaths in 1986, and then the Persian Gulf War, not many folks were visiting Pakistan in the early 1990s.  K2's route isn't so cramped near the summit as Everest's Hillary step.  Nor are there nearly so many people up there.  The total number on top of K2 to date is perhaps 120?  That could be just two Spring's on Everest!  Also, the K2 season is longer, with people eyeing the weather all summer long, rather than a one or two-week burst like Everest.

Q. It seems to me that without some people staying back and manning the lower camps the summiters may not survive, especially if the summiters are trapped in a storm or have other serious problems.  Is there any bitterness in not being able to go for the summit but in staying behind in support?

A. Certainly having support is ideal, though often there is little one can do.  If there are fixed ropes and lots of Sherpas and other strong climbers (as on Everest in 1996) people can be helped down from the high camp.  But, they pretty much need to get themselves that far down promptly, and the weather can't stay severe.  The friends I climb with make their own decisions, with overall strategy by consensus, so bitterness is hopefully impossible. Usually what stops people is their health (me in 1994 on Dhaulagiri), the weather (many people on many mountains every year), or perhaps individual gear failure (one guy's boots on K2 wouldn't take both overboots and crampons, and his feet were too cold even by Camp II).  I enjoy the scenery for the entire climbing season, so don't mind a support role when I can help my friends.  If a dictatorial leader told me what to do when, I am certain I would be bitter !

Reader's Comment: Thank you.  Your kindness and patience in answering the questions, no matter how basic, is greatly appreciated.

My pleasure.  I enjoy chatting about mountains, big and small.

-Peter

  • For those that are New to the site, EverestNews.com reports our News in "Daily Reports". For earlier News, i.e, Spring Everest 98, You need to use the Daily News Links above at the top of the page, go to May and June 98. For stories on Eric Escoffier & Pascale Bessieres see 8/5 -8/17 (in the Aug98 Link)  and yesterday's brief summary. We are beginning to have more individuals pages (see New Index).
  • Our web site of the week is http://www.eolienne.com/chantal/recitchantal.html. This is Chantal Mauduit  journals from many expeditions (in French).  For those that like the K2 Story, this site has "interesting information". "Interesting in that  these are Chantal Mauduit's words (in French). A readers of EverestNews.com point out that this story appears to differ in some ways from what some others have reported !  Need to look at the details again. Any input is always a help: everestnews2004@adelphia.net .
  • Ed Douglas, new Book "Chomolungma Sings the Blues", is not published in the United States ! However, this was one of the reasons for adding Amazon UK to our sponsor list, along with requests from our UK readers of EverestNews.com !

    Chomolungma Sings the Blues ~ Dispatched in 2-3 days

    Ed Douglas / Hardcover / Published 1997 

    Note: "Dispatched" in 2-3 days ! Don't you just love these guys already !

    The Amazon UK page has been added ! You will find some of the books you have been requesting on this page. They will accept your credit card and will ship just about anywhere !

  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !  The bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat

Daily News: 12/5/98 Report

  • Eric Escoffier & Pascale Bessieres

If you followed EverestNews.com this summer, You know one the world best climbers,  Eric Escoffier and his friend Pascale Bessieres, disappeared on Broad Peak this summer. EverestNews.com was covering K2, when we received word that climbers were lost on Broad Peak, thinking first to contact to the Polish team (who we knew), we discovered after some time it was Eric Escoffier and another climber who was caught up high in a bad storm. There was no sat. phone so EverestNews.com was communicating with some of the teams on K2 (all that we could get to help, which was the Irish expedition and Waldemar Niclevicz/Italian team) to figure out what was going on. Once it was discovered who, EverestNews.com contacted every source in France we knew (and all we did not know) in the climbing community. A young climber, Michel Fauquet, stepped to the plate and organized a rescue effort to fly in a Helicopter for a search mission in search of his lost friends. Because of horrible weather the search was delayed several times. EverestNews.com was put in the position of communicating with the teams on K2, who did not speak French and relaying information to Michel. Finally on August 14th two lama Helicopters specially chartered for this purpose under supervision of Qshraf Aman (the first Pakistani to climb K2) and Shah Jehan (a well know climber) searched for the lost climbers. During 6 hours of flying searching the entire north-west and south-west face of this mountain no clue about the missing French climbers should be found.

Michel Fauquet, did everything humanly possible to try and save his friends. The lack of a sat. phone, which Eric owned but let an another friend use, hurt the rescue attempt by several days. You see the Polish also did not have a sat. phone ! No one could call for help ! The Polish expedition had an injured climber and decided to leave Broad Peak with the injured climber. Therefore, no one was there to climb up the mountain ! So initially (and throughout the rescue attempt) all the information we had was the information the climbers on K2 were passing on. Which actually was excellent information. Some days the climbers would climb higher on K2, just so they could report to us, if they could see the lost climbers on Broad Peak. They reported detailed information on location of tents and other items.

Two Spanish mountaineers who climbed Broad Peak are of the opinion that the winds below took them up the mountain ridge towards Chinese side i.e. the east Face..... meaning they speculate the climbers were literally blew off the mountain. So a sat. phone probably would not have made a difference, but one never knows.

Eric Escoffier once reached the summit of Gasherbrum 1 (8068m), Gasherbrum 2 (8035m), and K2 all within the same 3-4 week period !!! He was also one of the best technical climbers in the world. There are no easy 8000 meter peaks ! Don't let some writer tell You there is !

Life works in strange ways.

EverestNews.com was forever changed.

We understand Eric's girlfriend will give birth very soon to his child. We have asked if a fund has been set up for the child yet. We hope to update You later on this.

See the August daily reports for the coverage of these events.

As the saying goes, "Now You know the rest of the story".

Daily News: 12/4/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Byron Smith tells us his father passed away on August 31st suddenly at a young age of 64. He is not going to Everest in Spring 99 as he wants to spend time with his family during this rough time. However, he will have all his plans in line for Everest 2000 in the spring.

    Byron also tells us, that " I am going to have an Educational component, Science Alberta is creating an education curriculum for every school in Alberta to use and to also follow me on an interactive web site. This is very exciting as there will be 20,000 kids involved. The Sun Media Group ( they own large daily newspapers across Canada ) is also heavily committed plus the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation has just come on board. " He says he is still working out six days a week as well as running his business. "so time just doesn't seem to be my own. I also am doing a lot of presentations to schools and business's.", Byron

    If you missed it see, EverestNews.com interview with Byron Smith.

    If anyone wanted to sent Byron a good will message his web site is linked on our 98 & 99 Everest Links Pages. (see News Index below)

  • Everest Climb December 3rd at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Coop store !

Here’s the latest from our Everest Indoors: Big Mountain, Small Wall Expedition.

We are still ahead of schedule to reach our Saturday afternoon summit bid. At 9:00am Friday morning we had reached 12,064 ft  (464 times up the wall), so up to this point we are averaging 22.1 laps per hour . If we can keep up this pace we should finish in 50.5hrs. The climbers seem to be none the worse for wear at this point other than a few blisters.  The team is sleeping in shifts and to make it more interesting, they are using a porta-ledge hung from the stores ceiling rafters. 

The climbers will be doing the entire climb without supplemental oxygen (coffee only) and we will leave our base camp in pristine condition when we finish the climb (we have a shop-vac to suck up the Dorito crumbs).

Weather conditions for the climb have been ideal, 70 degrees from the time we started. However, every once in a while the environmental system in the store kicks in and creates a slight  breeze so with the wind-chill it can get down to 68 degrees if you are standing under one of the air vents. 

We are still trying to figure out how to simulate ice and rock falls without injuring anyone who happens to be shopping beneath the wall and my idea of climbing the last 6,000 feet with plastic bags over the heads to simulate the thin air at altitude has been nixed. I may however randomly whack a climber in the head with a small rubber mallet to mimic (temporarily) the effects of acute mountain sickness.

As for some trivial statistics:
• It took 70 laps (3.5 hrs) to reach the height  of Toronto’s CN Tower.
• At 115.4 laps we topped El Cap.
• We should reach the height of the Eiger by 11:00am (we debated showing The Eiger Sanction non stop at base camp but decided to watch James Bond movies instead).
• So far the climbers have used over 200’ of medical tape to slow the
painful skin loss problem the hands must endure.
• The monotony of climbing the same 26’ over and over again has yet to take its toll but the climbers are being belayed from a collapsible camp couch. 
We are up to $3500 in donations for our 6 causes and today and tomorrow are the busiest days of the week here at Mountain Equipment Co-op, so we hope to have a real run at our goal of $29,028.00.

If any readers are interested in contributing to any of these worthy causes, you may mail  your donation, in the name of one of the following organizations, to:

Mountain Equipment Co-op
400 King Street West
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5V 1K2

The groups we are raising money for are :

Friends of Killarney Park
Alpine Club of Canada
World Wildlife Fund
Project Canoe
Bring Back the Don
MEC Environment Fund  

Thanks for the support Paul Casey

For more News on this nice event for a good cause, see the 12/2 & 12/2, Daily News Reports !

Daily News: 12/3/98 Report

  • K2 99 News ! EverestNews.com will be covering K2 again in 1999 ! We received some news from our friend guta nascimento yesterday.

    Waldemar Niclevicz has announced plans that he, Italian climber Abele Blanc and Spanish climber Pepe Garces will be leaving for Pakistan in June 1999. Their plan is to climb Gasherbrum & Hidden Peak and then K2 next summer beginning around June.  The three of them in the same 99 season !  Source: guta nascimento

    If You missed it, check out the EverestNews.com Interview with Waldemar Niclevicz and his web site.

  • Brigitte Muir: We understand that Brigitte Muir's book "THE WIND IN MY HAIR" is on its way to us. The book includes Brigitte adventures on Everest in 96 when she was part of Henry Todd's Expedition, and spent the night of 5/10/96 at Camp 4. We hope Amazon UK soon lists this title ! She has not sold the US publishing right yet.

Brigitte Muir is currently on a Everest BC trek this month (Nov 19th to Dec 11 to be precise).

This will be the first time she looks at the mountain since she became the first Australian woman to climb it. Becoming in the process the first Australian to climb the highest mountain on each continent.

She will return in early January. We hope to interview her at that time !

For her husband, Jon check out http://www.iridium-icetrek.org/index.htm. This is the expedition of New Zealander Peter Hillary, son of Everest conqueror Sir Edmund, and Australians Eric Phillips and Jon Muir. They have set out across Antarctica on a journey that recreates the ill-fated expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1911.

  • Several pages of the bookstore has been cleaned up and additional titles added.
  • Everest Climb December 3rd at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Coop store !

Well it has begun. At 12:10pm Toronto time our team of 6 climbers started their non-stop, no holds barred attempt to climb the height of Everest on a 26' indoor climbing wall. Our goal is to raise $29,028.00 for 6 different environmental causes. The first hour has been good and fast (hopefully not to fast, we have to maintain this for 1116.5 times up the wall) and by 1:00pm we had climbed 35 laps (910 ft.) raising close to $2500!!

These climbers will take 1116.5 "laps" on a 26' indoor climbing wall to reach the Summit and since the wall has an 88 inch overhang, they will have climbed an overhang of 8187.6 feet. We encourage our Canada and other visitors to support this "expedition" for good causes !

They are: Project Canoe, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of Killarny, Alpine Club of Canada, Save the Don, MEC Endowment Fund 

If you need more information you can call  416-340-2667 (that's the Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto). (also see 12/2/98 Daily Report !)

I will keep you updated for the duration of the climb.

Thanks again for your interest

Source: Paul Casey

Daily News: 12/2/98 Report

  • Good Causes ! For those that were with us from the beginning, You know the Matthew Randall story. For those that don't, please read it on the News Index below !

We have received the following update today from Matthew's Mom:

Today we received the best possible Christmas present ever...Matthew is still in remission after being off treatment for six months !!! 

He had CT scans today and they were beautifully clear ! His blood counts were absolutely phenomena l!!  Hct 43%, Plts 246K, WBC 12.0, ANC 10,000

(Andrew asked, "Is this the same Matthew whose ANC was always 0?")

We are hoping that this trend will continue and that he has finally been cured this time ! His next check up will be the beginning of March and if he is still in remission he will officially be cancer-free for one full year! Hooray !!

We also heard some great news about some other cancer kids we dearly love so overall it has been a long but wonderful day !

Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for Matthew, it means so much to us ! 

Laura Randall

  • Good Cause Number Two : As we understand it, there is an Everest Climb beginning on Thursday December 3rd at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Coop store ! The climbers will take 1116.5 "laps" on a 26' indoor climbing wall to reach the Summit and since the wall has an 88 inch overhang, they will have climbed an overhang of 8187.6 feet. We encourage our Canada and other visitors to support this "expedition" for good causes ! Here is more information from the organizers:

Thank you ever so much for your interest in our "expedition".

The climb will start tomorrow (Thursday Dec 3) and we should summit sometime Saturday afternoon. All six climbers will be staying at our interactive Basecamp for the duration of the climb and will be climbing the wall in 1-2 hour shifts straight through until we reach 29,028 ft. This will all be done on a 26' indoor climbing wall at the Toronto Mountain Equipment Coop store. It will take 1116.5 "laps" to reach the summit and since the wall has an 88 inch overhang, we will have climbed an overhang of 8187.6 feet. Each climber will climb the wall an average of 186 times over the course of the event and the average lap time must be maintained at a blistering 2.7 minutes per 26' of climbing. 

As far as the fundraising goes, we are attempting to raise $1 per foot of Everest's height. All money will go to 6 environmental groups.

They are: Project Canoe, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of Killarny, Alpine Club of Canada, Save the Don, MEC Endowment Fund 

I will keep you updated for the duration of the climb.

Thanks again for your interest

Paul Casey

  • Everest Spring 99 ! News from Bernard Voyer, Everest Expedition

Details: Normal Route, Nepalese side, South Col, with oxygen. It will be a light expedition.  My wife Nathalie will be at base camp for communications, same as last attempt and we do not know yet if we will do direct communications via satellite phone or via Internet because: budget! We will be two climbers for the summit, my friend Dorjee Sherpa and myself.

Source: Bernard Voyer, Everest Expedition

Bernard can be found on our 99 Everest Expedition Links Page

Daily News: 12/1/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 98: Swee Chiow, who reached the summit of Everest in Spring 98, as part of the successful Singapore Everest team, is busy planning the fund raising for his Antarctica project !!! He is also planning the details for a training trip to Greenland in May. EverestNews.com hope to follow this young Everest climber as he treks around the world. Swee Chiow, is in need of sponsors (like all young Everest climbers), if any of you have any interest please let us know at everestnews2004@adelphia.net
  • Check out http://www.iridium-icetrek.org/index.htm. This is the expedition of New Zealander Peter Hillary, son of Everest conqueror Sir Edmund, and Australians Eric Phillips and Jon Muir. They have set out across Antarctica on a journey that recreates the ill-fated expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1911.

    Brigitte Muir, Jon Muir's wife, is on a Everest BC trek this month (Nov 19th to Dec 11 to be precise).

    This will be the first time she looks at the mountain since she became the first Australian woman to climb it. Becoming in the process the first Australian to climb the highest mountain on each continent.

    She will return in early January. We hope to interview her at that time !

  • Become an EverestNews.com Sponsor Today ! ! You can help EverestNews.com in many ways, including making your purchases of Books, Music, Art, GPS, Software and Toys through the links on EverestNews.com ! 
  • Ed Douglas, new Book "Chomolungma Sings the Blues", is not available or published in the United States ! However, this was one of the reasons for adding Amazon UK to our sponsor list, along with requests from our UK readers of EverestNews.com !

    Chomolungma Sings the Blues ~ Dispatched in 2-3 days

    Ed Douglas / Hardcover / Published 1997 

    Note: "Dispatched" in 2-3 days ! Don't you just love these guys already ! Look for an Amazon UK page in the coming days featuring UK best sellers and Everest related books not available in the US.

  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !

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