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Gavin Bate Everest 2002 Expedition

19:30 GMT THURS MAY 09 2002 Report from Base Camp: Hi everyone, Well the big news today is that Gavin and Willie have decided to join forces with Alexsei from Russia who they have become firm friends with over the last month. He too will try for the summit without oxygen. According to Gavin, who I spoke to today, Alexsei has been on the North Ridge route before so his experience will be invaluable. Don't ask me how the rest of the Russian team feel!

They are still at Base Camp at the moment and are preparing for the trek back to ABC via interim camp in the next couple of days. Gavin told me that they hope to be in the first wave of summit attempts - which he predicts will be in the middle of next week. This all depends on the weather of course. Their main thinking behind this is that they don't won't to be left alone on the route as they are climbing without oxygen and will consequently be slower.

As regards weather - Gavin says it has been beautifully sunny for the last couple of days. lets hope the good conditions hold. Gavin says both he and Will have rested well at Base Camp and are mentally preparing themselves for the task in hand. He said they are both feeling nervous, but that is only to be expected.

The overall view on the north side is that everyone is beginning to move up the mountain now... The Swiss team, the Spanish team and Russel Brice's team to name but a few. The rough plan is that once they get to ABC they will then go for the summit without returning lower again. i.e. it will be Camp 1 - Camp 2 - Camp 3 etc! Not Camp 1 - Camp 2 - Camp 1 - Camp 2 - Camp 3 - Camp 2 etc! As such they have finished their acclimatisation plan ("climb high, sleep low" was their mantra if you remember). I hope that was understandable!

That's all for know, Take care, Richard

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The Summit of Everest just visible in the mist from Camp 2: 5/5/2002