Kari Kobler's Mount Everest 2002 Expedition

Kari Kobler

May 13th: We are at the top with a party of familiar faces on the mountain. Because our sherpas set the ropes up to 8300m 4 days ago, the sherpas from all the other expeditions are trying to rush all of the other expeditions up the mountain in order to get a good tent spot on the steep shelf of camp 3. Innumerable nations camp with anticipation at ABC, who are either still working toward the mountain or are trying to move materials and participants toward the summit. 

At the top we are supposed to have the highest number of participants, since including Kari there are 10, Although there are other strong groups like the Koreans and the Japanese.  What is noteworthy is that we are complete and ready here at ABC and are in the start position.

Interested in today's weather forecast?  Joachim Shugg's transmission causes the pulse to increase, everyone feels the tension reading the important factors:  Down side the high winds starting Monday May 13.  Up side the temperature towards Thursday and Friday.  Weather forecasts are like higher math, we trust the forecast and at the same time have to be ready for sudden changes.

Nevertheless Chomolungma invites us for a visit, we start today Monday May 13. As a distraction and consolation to those that stayed home, a small insight into interesting every day life on the north side of Everest.  For example, Russel Brice, well known leader from New Zealand is the 10 year local matador on this mountain.  Sympathetic with reserved humor and a cunning laugh. He is correct and reliable as he works with Kari. Similarly, Henry Todd is an equally well known leader, a good actor and a character at the same time. An unmistakable Scott, an elegant cloth wrapped around his throat in contrast to his very shabby clothes. He usually laughs when stepping into the tent and enjoys a swallow of fire water.  He is rarely seen on the north side of the mountain.  He's at home on the south route. For a variety of reasons he's been banned from Nepal for a few years (war with administrators).  He is leading two expeditions on the south side via radio (what an idea!) from the north col. 

Then there are Austrian Willy, mountain guide, and his petite wife Silvia  who are setting foot on the North side for the sixth time, and who must hold the record for visits to Everest from the north side for a couple.  Their patience and calm demeanor reflect the experience of the past 5 years.  Willy himself made it once to 8600 m, and descended because his wife was suffering from extreme frost bite. 

We also met Erhard Loretan, well known Swiss high altitude mountaineer, at base camp shortly before the start of a new route on the west ridge of Pumori.  He has numerous experiences with expeditions, and rarely chooses the "normal route" to climb a mountain.  This is just a sample of the interesting people one may meet here at the mountain. We'll check in again as soon as we're back to ABC. Michèle Mérat


Click here for
Daily News
2002 Teams
Facts & History
Gear List
Everest 2001
Past Expeditions
Buy Gear
Buy Books