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For  Latest 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.

Makalu 2000: Dhaulagiri 2000: Lhotse 2000: Cho Oyu 2000: 

Manaslu 2000Kangchenjunga 2000:Updated  Annapurna 2000 Updated 

NEWSFLASH 4/28/2000 9:27AM EST

  • Juan Oiarzabal, who was laying low, while the others Oscar Cadiach (Mallory), Alberto Zerain (Irvine) and Josu Bereciartua (Odell)  play the roles in the film (Mallory & Irvine), has taken the lead... He was last spotted at 7500 meters and moving up ! 

  • The weather reports from Bracknel (Henry Todd) are not good. However, others seems to have different reports or opinions. This is typical. What is surprising is that most teams do not have Camp 4 stocked. Therefore, it would appear some teams are behind schedule. Other expeditions (as you have read on EverestNews.com) appears to be waiting on mid to late May for Summit attempts once the masses have gone.

Daily News: 4/28/2000 Report

  • Guest Column:

EverestNews.com this year is offering our readers  "Guest Columns" perspectives from climbers who has summitted Everest. In this case a climber who has reached the Summit from both sides. Graham is discussing how things are going so far. This is the climb from his perspective.

Graham Ratcliffe, the first climber from the UK who reached the Summit of Everest from both the North and South Sides.

Having a spell of not so good weather towards the end of April is not unusual. This normally manifests as afternoon snowfalls and strong winds at the South Col and above. 

Teams who have experience and those who have done their homework will have stocked the higher camps and will be using this time to regain their strength at Base Camp.  Although many teams will have all their supplies on the South Col, none (unless they are using it) will have actually put up camp 4 on the South Col.  Exposing tents and equipment to strong winds unnecessarily is a good way to loose them.  It takes a great deal of effort to get them that high so wise teams will be protecting their investment.

There is nothing worse than arriving at a high camp and finding it isn't there any more !!

Some climbers will go even lower than Base Camp to rest at Pheriche, Dingboche, Pangboche or even as far down the valley as Thangboche or Namche.  Time spent at lower altitudes is time well spent, as preparing yourself for very high climbs is a balance between acclimatisation and energy.  If you spend a long time high up, yes you will be acclimatized to altitude but you more than likely have no strength to climb. There is also the added bonus of a change in scenery and diet, all help to prepare you mentally for the attempt to climb to a height of almost 9000 meters. 

Teams will now be getting regular 5 day weather forecasts, usually from Bracknel in the UK, for the temperatures and wind speeds at different altitudes.  The altitudes the teams will be looking at closely are 26000 feet (the South Col) and 30000 feet (the summit). At 30000 feet they will be looking for wind speeds of 35 knots or less, although some teams will consider up to 45 knots or so. This is where patience plays an important factor. There is still plenty of time, over a month, and as we move into May the weather usually gets warmer and the wind speed drops.

As the teams start talking in earnest about their summit attempt it is hard not to get swept up in the moment as the urgency to climb takes over. 

Logic doesn't always come to the fore in such circumstances....and we've all done it  !!

Now the game really starts as the play unfolds. 

Graham Ratcliffe   www.highambitions.com

EverestNews.com will feature full dispatches from Jagged Globe in Spring 2000. Jagged Globe was founded by Steve Bell. Steve has more than 20 years of mountaineering experience including winter ascents of the north faces of the Eiger and Matterhorn. This is another international team, comprising:  Jack Culley (UK), Joe Wolf (USA), Jeff Magee (UK), David Spencer (UK), Curt Peterson (USA), Timothy Gregg (USA) , Paul Giorgio (USA). Joe Wolf hopes to complete his 7 Summits and to be the oldest summiter this season - he's 61 in March!

Dispatch: Back up for acclimatisation at Camp 3

Hi again from Jagged Globe Everest expedition base camp. With three rest days under our belts, the team is ready to venture back up the mountain. It's been a beneficial opportunity to recover from the various minor ailments that can hamper Himalayan expeditions. Sore knees, minor snow blindness, split lips and dry cough; all typical of high altitude expeditioning. 

The rest days have not been wasted. Team members Tim G., Jeff, Paul and Joe have made preparations for the next ascent. Jeff and Paul have sharpened their crampon points for the anticipated hard ice of the Lhotse face whilst Joe took a walk down the glacier to stretch his legs and maintain the fitness. Additionally, endless games of Risk have seen Paul dishing out a few tactical lessons to willing victims. 

Back to the mountain. Whilst we are ready to go, close attention is being paid to the weather, as wind is the major obstacle at the moment. Strong winds (50 knots +) have been blowing about the higher slopes of Lhotse and encroaching down towards camp 3. Thus the clear dawns that present themselves most mornings, are not necessarily the best indicators for safe climbing. 

Weather depending, we plan to ascend directly to Camp 2 tomorrow (Friday) with a view either to ascend to camp 3 on Saturday, or to take a rest day at Camp 2 and ascend on Sunday. It is a climb of nearly 2000 meters from base camp to Camp 3, so a rest day may well be in order. Having already slept at Camp 2 for several nights, we hope to be  sufficiently acclimatized for the night's stay at Camp 3. 

If all goes to plan, this should be our final acclimatisation trip before our summit attempt. Our Sherpas still have plenty of hard work ahead of them, ferrying food, equipment and oxygen to Camp 4, in preparation for the attempt. They will accompany us to Camp 2 tomorrow but remain there after we descend from camp 3, in order to complete the carries. 

The usual afternoon cloud is rolling in over base camp as I type (about 2.30pm local time), and a few centimeters of snow will probably be with us by dinner time. The cloud has generally dispersed by the time we retire and our 4am wake up should see clear skies and chilly temperatures. Brrrr. 

Until we return, best wishes from all at base camp. 

Andrew Lock, Expedition Leader 

Andrew is a former Summitter of that smaller mountain, K2....

  • The Millennium Seven Summits Expedition lead by Gavin Bate and John Barry join the EverestNew.com team. EverestNews.com will feature full dispatches and photos from this expedition. Please see below for information on them and their dispatches from Everest.

    The Millennium Challenge team will be climbing Everest in an attempt to make the first British ascent in the year 2000. The team of seven is made up of John Barry and Gavin Bate, Andy Salter, Polly Murray , Chris Tiso, George Barlow and Michele Santilhano. There will also be a back-up team of communications experts and cooks as well as the complement of high altitude Sherpas. 

    Gavin Bate http://adventurealternative.com

    Dispatch: 4/26/2000

    So we're resting today and there's lots of stuff to do. Principally we're checking all the oxygen bottles (to make sure that they are full), checking that the regulators work and trying out the whole outfit with the masks again and again until we're completely happy with it all. Imagine that the next time we use these things will be at 24,000' in freezing cold weather, fumbling with numb fingers and trying to think about flow rates when your brain is pickled with altitude. This is so important. We'll hopefully be working in pairs on summit day because one of the biggest problems is changing bottles which means taking down mitts off, getting the changeover right and trying to do it all in enough time to avoid frostbite on your digits !

    As we approach what are possibly the final days of this expedition, it is only right that we applaud our Sherpas, since it is their super human efforts that is making all this possible on the mountain. I mean, can you imagine carrying a 30 kilo gas bottle on your back up to Camp 2? Not only are they tremendously strong but they also exhibit consummate patience. Even after a monster day going up to fix ropes on the Lhotse Face, they still come back smiling. They eat mountains of tsampa (barley meal), pasta with milk for breakfast, raw chillies, they drink salt tea and they maintain a politeness and Buddhist calm that is an example to everyone.

    Today I am going down to Gorak Shep to meet my good friend Pat Falvey, the first Irishman to climb all the Seven Summits and the person with whom I summitted Cho Oyu with in 1998. It will be good to see him. The others are coming down tomorrow and we'll all go down to Lobuje for a rest till the weekend.

    Morale is very high at the moment and we are feeling a little better about our tents at Camp 3 - this morning the weather cleared enough for our Camp 2 cook to see the tents still intact high on the Lhotse Face. However we are preparing for the worst and assuming that they will collapse, so we'll take up extra poles.

    So lots of best wishes from our Base Camp and we'll keep in touch when were back from our little sojourn. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy our photo of Base Camp activities, namely football on a frozen lake just at the bottom the Icefall !

    Best regards, Gavin Bate

  • An experienced Danish Expedition: Thrane & Thrane sponsorship of the first all Danish Mount Everest Expedition

The BigE-expedition and its progress can be followed at Thrane & Thrane’s website: http://www.tt.dk/everest/intro.html

You will find several interesting New updates:

April 26 - Late news.
April 26 - Dreaming of Camp 3.
April 25 - Doctors meeting at Base Camp.
April 24 - Snow.
April 23 - Base Camp gossip.
April 22 - Danes on the South Pillar of Everest.
April 21 - Starting on the face.

  • New Book ! For other new books see the end of this news page...

Lust for more Mallory & Irvine info? Get the Book: "The Mystery of Mallory & Irvine," by Tom Holzel & Audrey Salkeld, Pimlico/Random House (UK), The Mountaineers (USA) Available Now

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: EverestNews.com will 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.

Update: 4/26/2000 Alone. Americans and French say "Adios"

Weather:  Small Improvements Predicted

Location of Expedition:  Distributed between Base Camp (4180m) and CI (5000m)

Next Objective: Climb to CII at 6000m.

Dispatch: Today, the members of the Expedition took advantage of a window of good weather. Although there is no way to guarantee that the weather will stay this way. Today, in preparation for a supposed slight improvement of the weather, some of the team ascended to CI (5000 m). When they reached CI, they verified the damages from the intense snow and avalanches of the last days. Luckily, although some of the equipment was damaged and lost, we reestablished CI. With the hope of a stable morning we will initiate the ascent to CII. We hope to evaluate the damages and reestablish that camp. Once we have reconstructed the camp, we will check on the conditions to CIII. The American Expedition, led by Ed Viesturs, left the BC yesterday in the direction of Katmandu. The same for the members of the French Military Expedition. They disassembled their Camp I on Annapurna. We are alone.

Namaste,

Joaquim M. "Jake" Molins Gil from BC at 4180m, Nepal 

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more !

  • Alan Hinkes

VIOLENT WEATHER DELAYS UK MOUNTAINEER ALAN HINKES ON TREK TO HIMALAYAN BASE CAMP

Violent weather has delayed Alan Hinkes on his trek to base camp of Kangchenjunga. Alan is attempting to be the first Britain to climb all fourteen of the world's highest mountains, which are all over 8000 meters in height - Challenge 8000. This spring, he is attempting to climb Kangchenjunga the third highest mountain in the world. 

Alan left Kathmandu in Nepal on Thursday 13 April and flew to Biratnagar, a town on the Indian/Nepalese border which is at about 235 meters above sea level. From there he attempted to fly on a small light aircraft to a dirt airstrip at Tapelejung, at 2000 meters, but his plane had to turn back to Biratnagar because of bad weather. When he finally  arrived at Tapelejung he found that his equipment, which had been traveling by road, had been delayed by a road block. Tapelejung is the road head - the location of the nearest road to Kangchenjunga. From there the route is a twelve day trek on foot across very rough and inhospitable terrain to the mountain. 

Having lost several days waiting for his equipment to join him, Alan set off on the trek with around 25 Nepalese porters carrying his equipment and accompanied by his three base camp staff; Pemba, his cook, Ang Pasang the camp Sirdar or foreman and Pemba Gyalzen the cook's helper. 

By Sunday 23 April they had reached Oktang at 4360 meters, when the weather changed suddenly and dramatically from warm spring sunshine to a violent storm which deposited about sixteen inches of snow in one night. The group was confined to their tents and forced to wait out the storm. "We were struck by a horrendous storm," said Alan via his satellite phone from Oktang. "The weather was really violent with very strong winds, lightning and a very heavy dump of snow. The conditions for the remaining part of the trek will be much worse. I think that it will be about another week before we reach base camp." 

"Although this delay is very frustrating," he continued, "I still have enough time to make my attempt on Kangchenjunga. I shall push on to base camp and assess the impact of the storm on the conditions on the mountain. This area at the eastern end of the Himalayan mountains has a history of very bad weather and unfortunately violent storms are very common." Alan 

For all the April 2000 News

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