Everest 2002 Expedition
The final weeks are ticking by with alarming speed
and planning has gone into advanced stages. Gavin
and Will met in Belfast last weekend and Gavin took
all Wills equipment in his car. Will now leaves for
Australia for a final three weeks with his fiancee,
a leisurely three weeks on the Gold coast in the sun
with just the warm wind to raise the hairs on the
back of his neck, and a couple of stubby's to drink
Gavin struggles with all the bloody work! Late
nights bent over the computer, days packing barrels,
trying to talk to the Russians and the Chinese on a
line shared by half the developing world and
monitoring all the planning. Hey, you try to book
eight yaks from a Tibetan yak driver in a country
where there are no telephones!
grumbling though, Will's doing all the carries on
the hill when we get there... Steve Pinfield
meanwhile nurses an injured knee in Cornwall,
courtesy of a recalcitrant sled in Antarctica that
hit him. In over 5 million square miles of ice, the
sled chose Steve to hit!
the emergency oxygen supplies have been bought after
weeks, no months, of getting the contracts agreed
with the Russians (thanks to my mate Andrey Panin in
Moscow - the Russian equivalent of Del Boy
Trotter..) and they're now on their way to Kathmandu
where the diminutive but efficient Ang Rita Sherpa
will pick them up and put them in my store. I've
played a little game of Russian oxygen roulette and
put helium in one of the bottles!
I spent all of last Monday and Tuesday packing
barrels with all our gear - it's so darned exciting
to see all the gear laid out. Mate, you have to get
the best kit, and the sponsorship of Tiso's and
Berghaus has ensured that. As usual, we're going to
be the best dressed climbers on the hill!
(advertisement break - for the very best in
equipment, from the Munro's to Mount Everest, come
to Tiso's, bespoke outfitters to Everest expeditions
since 1972. Your one-stop shop for all your kit ! ).
Mochrie, who got me the Inmarsat system for the 2000
Expedition, is back! Now, with prodigious energy he
tackles the big companies like Iridium to get us the
toprack M4 system which CNN used in Afghanistan.
With that piece of kit, I'll have ISDN hook-ups from
Base Camp and able to send pictures without the
annoying hassle of the $12,000 phone bill I got last
time I was on Everest!
in deepest Suffolk boffins from Unlimited Power
Supplies are beavering away to supply us with solar
energy so I can keep my laptop going and Will can
charge his Walkman. Graham Robey is linking three
11W flexible solar panels to a smart adaptor which
will give us all the juice we need.
booked to fly out on the 27th March but I'll be in
touch before then with updates on how it's all
EVEREST NORTH RIDGE EXPEDITION 2002
No oxygen, no Sherpas, very little brains