News. For earlier reports:
See the News Index for a list of all the Daily Reports. See the Home Page for Individual Stories. Receiving Reports from over 25 Teams on Everest this Spring 2000.
the first climber from the UK who has reached the Summit of Everest from both the
North and South Sides.
I'll start by saying who I am
and with what knowledge I discuss events on Everest this spring. I've reached
the summit of Everest via the north-ridge in Tibet in 95 and via the
south-east ridge in Nepal in 99. I've been on a total of 5 Everest
Expeditions so I have a pretty good understanding of the way things work
and a behind the scenes insight.
Reading through EverestNews.com
I see there are an estimated record 46 expeditions heading to Everest this
Spring compared to last year's record of 37. Although this should
present no real problems on either the north or south sides at Base Camp or
Advanced Base Camp it could lead to an unspoken competition to get to the
better tent spots at higher camps. This always happens to a certain
extent but as numbers increase so will the competition. It could well
lead to expeditions keeping their agendas close to their chest early on,
something which normally happens when summit attempts get near.
Another factor this year,
especially for those searching for evidence from the 1924 expedition, is the
snow. There were some heavy dumps of snow at the end of last season and
some teams (including ours) were predicting some quite deep snow and as ours
was a expedition to clear up rubbish from the south side we decided to wait
Bob Hoffman and his team
who were on a similar agenda have decided to go this spring and we wish them
luck and will be following their progress with interest. Early reports
from the North side have indicated some quite heavy snow but I have heard no
reports from higher on the South side yet.
The effect of the snow on
the climbing, if there is a reasonable amount, apart from the possible
avalanche risk depending on conditions, is that climbing lower down will be
slightly more strenuous but better higher up. It helps the climbing
higher up, provided it is consolidated, as it covers much of the rocky and
slabby areas which are otherwise more difficult to traverse and can lead to
I smiled as I read about the
concern of the Andalucians over their oxygen cylinders that haven't arrived
yet. This is something that happens every year. Teams find a focal
point to worry about and quite often this ends up being the oxygen. This is
because they convince themselves they have everything they need to climb the
mountain except the oxygen that hasn't arrived yet. The fact that they
have not acclimatized yet and that camp 2, camp 3 and camp 4 have not been
fixed yet seems low priority. Henry Todd who runs the company
Himalayan Guides also supplies nearly all the oxygen and does it very
Every year Henry is pressured
by people who want the oxygen well before it is needed and every year he gets
it to them in plenty of time. Henry takes supplying the oxygen very
seriously and it's safe delivery will be high priority !!
All things considered the
situation seems normal for an Everest season.
A team of eight climbers
and over 20 sherpas will climb to Camp
4 on Everest this spring to attempt to bring down hundreds of discarded
oxygen bottles and tons of trash left by other climbers in the past. The
climbers will also attempt to summit Everest.
Members include Robert
Chang, Expedition leader Robert Hoffman of Belmont, CA, (his fourth expedition
to Everest), Deputy Expedition leader is Robert Boice of San Francisco. The
expedition trek leader is Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of one of the first
Everest summiteers, Tenzing Norgay. In addition, Sherman Bull, 62, of Stamford,
CT, is a physician member.
trail through the Khumbu.
A 45-minute flight Wednesday
aboard 19-seat Twin Otter airplanes took the team to the village of Lukla, at
9,000 feet. The planes touched down on an airstrip that clings to the side of a
mountain, providing a spectacular landing.
Smiling Sherpas greeted us and
served us hot, sweet tea before we set off on the 30-mile trip to base camp.
Today, after two days of
hiking, we are acclimatizing at Namche Bazaar, a village at 11,200 feet.
Namche is the center for the
Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee. Expedition leaders and Jamie Ross, the
expedition's environmental director, are meeting with officials here. Among
other things, they will go over all sorts of gear and supplies - fuel canisters,
batteries, food and the like -- that are being taken up to base camp. On the way
back, the expedition will check in again with the officials to make sure that
nothing was left on the mountain.
Namche Bazaar also is a center
for disposing of trash. It has a trash compacter and an incinerator. Ross
reports it also has a wonderful shower! The climbers are all acclimatizing well
and are in good spirits. Tomorrow, we leave Namche for Tengboche, a Buddhist
monastery, where the lama will conduct a puja ceremony, asking the spirits for
safety on Mount Everest.
feature dispatches from this American Expedition.
Spring 2000: Everest
Sagarmatha Base Camp: Hi
everyone, I arrived at Base Camp of Sagarmatha on April 5th at about 2:30 PM
from Lobuche. The altitude gain was only 1100 feet but the distance was long. I
am enjoying excellent health at 17,650' and trying to maintain it. There are a
few climbers who are sick and trying to recover. BC is clean and not too crowded
as I had thought. I have established my tent which is going to be my base for
the next 50 days. I will be resting 2-3 days and after the BC ceremony with
Sherpas I will head for camp 1 at 19,200'. Everything is moving forward
perfectly and I will be sending updates every few days. I hope everything is
well with all of you. I miss you all... Saeed
dispatches/pictures and more from
Nepal can be found at www.everestdream.com
- Everest Spring 2000:
Byron Smith at C1 !
Current Status: A
lama visited Base camp
and performed a special ceremony called a puja for Byron and the
2000 team. While chanting in a native Tibetan tongue, a puja altar was built and
artifacts and pictures were placed on the altar. The lama blessed the artifacts
and some of the climbing equipment and burned juniper. The lama then asked the
mountain gods to bless the Sherpas and the climbers.
For video updates (which
are very good), and daily
dispatches check Byron's Expedition out today: http://cbc.ca/everest2000/
follow the attempt on Annapurna of the "International Annapurna 2000
Expedition": We think
you will find these daily reports very interesting. Go to their site for the
pictures and dispatches in Spanish. Their
web site: www.interofer.es/annapurna2000
with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more !
Location: Base Camp !