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 Gheorghe (aka George) Dijmarescu

Update 5/31/2001: I know is a long gap in my reporting but this is another story in itself. On May 23, at 9:30 AM I reached the top of Mount Everest for the third time. The weather was cruel this year, given only a small window of opportunity for a summit attempt. Because of the special circumstances and other factors including my physical condition, I decided at the last camp (8300 m) to maximize my options for a successful ascent that when I realize only one attempt will be possible due to the late date in the season. I'd secured 2 bottles of Oxygen. [Last year he reached the Summit of Everest without oxygen] I started at 12:30 AM on a cold but calm night, the day progresses into a favorable climbable one and I took advantage of it making good progress on the NE Ridge. The route was familiar to me with minor changes and of course the unmistakable reminder of fallen fellow climbers and their undignified bodies, a sure reminder that safety at that altitude is only a wishful thing.

At the top, there was a light wind and a heavy crowd, for the first time I met climbers from the Nepal side and they kept coming up in large numbers. I sat down hoping for a spot in the highest place so my photos will be of better quality. The minutes went by and I felt cold, since I removed my Oxygen in order to preserve it for the descent, the person next to me was no other than my friend Karsang Sherpa the son of legendary Ang Rita, he agreed to snap a few photos for me, mostly school flags, boys scouts flags, but most important the flag of " Hartford Hospital Transplant Center" the place where my father received a new liver and a new lease on life, I am so glad I was able to be associated with this institution. The photo session was over rather fast since fingers can and do freeze with the same speed.

Reaching the summit is only half the journey and knowing that most accidents occur at return I kept the excitement in check and made relatively fast retreat towards high camp, realizing I made good progress I decided to continue my descent to a lower, safer camp at 7800 meter where I spent a sleepless night. The next day I descended to the safety of Advance Base Camp. The climb left me with a persistent cough which forced me to the lower Base Camp 2 days later. The warm air of BC was not helping to my bronchitis lungs so I decided that my expedition had come to an end. Since I have no injuries.

I feel I achieved what I set out to do so I consider my expedition a SUCCESS. I will like to Thank all of you who supported me in this or previous expedition and I feel blessed for not letting you down. Lets not bore you with future mountaineering projects. Must be a terrific summer Enjoy it.

Best regards, Gheorghe Dijmarescu

Gheorghe (aka George) Dijmarescu climbed Everest again this year as an independent climber buying a slot on a Sherpa Permit without Sherpa support. Few people in the world could Summit Everest this way. [Most would say few people should try to Summit Everest this way. We agree... It is for the VERY strong and experienced only.]

Update 5/27/2001: We have just heard news that George has successfully summitted Mt. Everest from the North Side. He is doing Ok and should be back to Kathmandu by the 30th May.

Regards, Dawa Sherpa Asian Trekking

This is George's third Summit of Everest. We hope to get George's full report when he returns.

NEWSFLASH UPDATE 4/9/01 9:03am US:

Dear EverestNews.com: Today I am still in Kathmandu and wondering if my expedition will ever take place. We (The International Expedition) left Kathmandu on April 7th and drove to Zangmu with only minor glitches. The bus ride was pleasant especially because I shared it with a man I admire very much "Ed Viesturs" who was going to do a climb...[Ed is also supported by Asian Trekking, the same company George Dijmarescu uses...] I met Ed at a one of his slides show in Connecticut with my friend Apa Sherpa but he didn't recognize me to which I'm not surprised.  This man has met so many people in his life. So I was watching a simple man unrecognized by anybody and perfectly blending with the crowd riding in the dusty bus and later in the same truck which broke down halfway between Kodari and Zangmu. I felt he wanted to be Ed, "the one time guy", and I didn't disturb him with any comment or question. However I had the burning desire to tell him how bad actor he was in the "Vertical Limits" but I figure he already knows.

At the border we were told that our visas were not in order. The Chinese Embassy issued the permit from April 20 until June 30. I know people will wonder what we will do at the end of June in Everest other than battle the monsoon. I only hope that this was not done in purpose. Later I learned that a Spanish Expedition was sent back as well [He does not say why.]. This is my forth trip in Tibet and I have learned that the Chinese there are not as nice as my Chinese friends in the US. We were pleaded to speak with a superior officer but the arrogant hand sign made it clear what might happen with our food and personal luggage cause if we persisted. I have no idea where mine are at this time. However I was assured that all will be OK.. RIGHT! 

So then it was Saturday and it was clear that the Chinese Embassy will not be open on Sunday so I decided to return in Kathmandu for ...Simply a better life. Kodari, the border town is not a place that I suggest to anybody that they spend a night out. I grabbed a taxi, which stopped every 200 yards or so, and after an hour of nerves grinding I asked the driver to open the hood and applied my auto mechanic skills. This time I got away with it a simple carburetor adjustment and after a couple of beers the car ran smoothly into Kathmandu and back where I was a day before ...

Today Monday the visa was issued but late enough to make my departure useless because the border will close at 4 PM so I decided to leave tomorrow morning at 5 AM making it possible to cross the border some time in the morning and perhaps push for our first stop in Nyalam. I know this is a long story but I assure you is also an unpleasant one for me, I can only imagine what my Nepali friends are thinking now in Kodari. 

Wishing you good reporting and a pleasant warm spring. Cheers George Dijmarescu

Update 4/6/01: Gheorghe Dijmarescu, who has reached the Summit of Everest via the North side twice, once without oxygen, returns in 2001 for a third Summit of Everest again via the North side.

Dear EverestNews.com: Just to drop a note about my trip, still in Kathmandu waiting my departure. We, I mean the Americans, had some trouble getting Visa for China this due to the trouble: US plane stranded in China and perhaps the tensions between the two countries. 

Anyway today I got the visa but not as a individual only as a group. We are 7 members in the International Expedition: 2 Austrians, 2 Brazilians, 2 Japanese and myself. Our Expedition leaves tomorrow April 7th towards Tibet. Wishing you good reporting this spring. Best regards George Dijmarescu 

Editorial Comments: Items you should know, a little house cleaning and background for You.

1.) Asian trekking is the Chinese recommended Agent. Asian trekking is the Agent for most Everest expeditions to the North (Chinese) side of Everest.

2.) We asked our friend Ang Karma Sherpa, who has reached the Summit of Everest and is owner of  Windhorse Trekking, to look at the snow up high on Everest. Ang Karma Sherpa flew over Everest and is reporting little snow cover again this year. However, there was little snow last year, until the early days of May when the snow began to fall.

3.) On the north, teams are moving up from BC to ABC. The Route is not expected to be fixed to Camp 6 until around May 1st. So we a have a long way to go here !

4.) Most North side expeditions have their visas and are on the way to the mountain. Eric Simonson's expedition arrived early and is busy with a full load of projects and clients this year. Expect they will focus on getting set up and taking care of business, then report this year. So we assume there are few if any more Americans to clear visas at this point. However, China controls the mountain and could send people home at any time. "Some" climbers are concerned at this point.

5.) George Dijmarescu, was born in Romanian, and is now an US Citizen, and one of the best climbers alive today.

Stay Tuned...

Below is Gheorghe Dijmarescu's Q&A on his 2000 Summit of Everest without oxygen on the North Side: 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] We understand you had another successful Everest Summit. Tell us how you did it this time.

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] 2000 Everest expedition was a solo oxygenless attempt without any Sherpa support. I climbed expedition style establishing 3 camps plus BC & ABC and paid for the use of ropes (a few). 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] What drives someone like yourself back to attempt the Summit after you already made it once?

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] Encouraged by last year relatively easy summit and the desire to summit without oxygen or any support, it's just personal ambition.  I don't think it's unusual, many western climbers have done it before and continue to do it.  Easy question. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] How were the conditions up high this year compared to last year?

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] This spring on Everest may go in history as one of the worst climbing season with perhaps record number of climbers.  The weather was merciless with short windows of opportunity for a summit push. Constant high winds and deep snow not necessarily a bad thing. Unreliable weather reports made everyone confused and willing to take risks, always pressured by time.  I chose May 19 and it ended up being a lucky day and I consider myself just luckier than some.  Luck on Everest is something very desirable.  My summit day was colder and windier than last years summit day, however a pleasant climbing day.  With more snow, crampons were more use giving us a better foothold. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] Why do you think so many expedition were unsuccessful this year on the North Side?

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] Mostly because of the weather conditions, while they took time to return and resting days to be able to make another attempt. The depletion of oxygen reserves [lack of more oxygen bottled available] was also a  reason for some to give up and go home, and the moral factor which is so important on every climb regardless of the difficulties of the mountain. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] What do you think was the difference between those that were successful this year and those that were not on the North Side?

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] I think those who stuck to their confidence and hopes were more successful but also those who had time on their side, let's not forget that some climbers came on a strict schedule and must return to their jobs, families and life style.  Physical strength and experience play a lessor role on the percentile outcome. Willingness to take larger risks was also a possible determinable factor.  For instance, the Russians went first to the summit disregarding the fact that there were no ropes for security, their bets were correct. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] How bad was the storm that the Danish climber died in this year?  Are others lucky to be alive?

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] Jeppe Stoltz was on the same permit with me and part of "International Everest Expedition."  We were very good friends and he was a wonderful person. Because I spoke with several people that attempted the summit on the same day and had visual and verbal contact with him, by their stories consistency I strongly believe that I know the truth about what happened, also he died on May 20 and on that night I was in camp 3 at 8300m. It was a cold night and the winds were strong but definitely not a storm, just unclimbable condition.  He fell coming down, probably a slip that could have been resulted from a wrong step or from exhaustion.  I don't think others were lucky, they did turn around just like Jeppe, and I venture to say that he was unlucky and paid with his life for it.  He fell 200-300m and came to a stop, then a Spanish climber reached him and try to help him, but his position and condition did not allow for help, he try to get up then he slipped again down in an uncontrollable manner, on the second fall the Spanish climber lost visual contact with him.  The massive injuries he already suffered to his head, legs and arms plus the second fall made any rescue attempt impossible.  Nobody considered otherwise, not even a body search could be considered given the amount of snow which fell in the same day, which covered everything.  Putting others life in danger just did not make sense. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] Did you use oxygen at any time during the Summit climb ? 

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] I did not use oxygen at any time in the 2000 Everest ascent. 

Q.) [EverestNews.com] How would use determine climbing Everest without oxygen vs climbing with oxygen ? 

A.) [Gheorghe Dijmarescu] It is clearly more comfortable to climb Mt. Everest with oxygen not only  for a faster ascent, but for security after one returns to high camp, exhaustion is something everyone experience more or less, of course. Taking a greater risk is what you have to live with.  Making an earlier start is also what some climbers are "forced to do" and "resting" after the summit make us restless.  In spring 1998 Mark Jennings a member of International Expedition and good friend of mine died in the morning hours after he summited Everest, descending to ABC.  Exhaustion perhaps was the cause, although he was using oxygen.  You are never safe on Everest. 

Thank you for staying in touch. Gheorghe 

Gheorghe 1999 Q&A discussing some Questioned Summits and with a picture of him, Apa Sherpa, Sergio Martini and others is here.

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