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Everest 2003: Ben Clark
Dispatch


Dispatch 34: May 18 9:30 AM Everest, Tibet: Ben called tonight 8:30 CST, Tennessee. He is fine and is resting at Advanced Base Camp where all the teams [most of them] are holding pending the next weather window.  It is still windy, but the forecast for next week shows improvement.  An extremely low pressure cyclone is in the Bay of Bengal and that is the primary reason the jet stream is being pulled south over Everest.  It should leave the area to the northeast and the strengthening high pressure area will cause the jet stream to move north with improvement all week.  He is planning to leave for the North Col tomorrow (19th), move to Camp 5 on the 20th, Camp 6 on the 21st and leave for the summit at midnight on the 22nd.

He spent the last few days at the North Col and up to 7600 meters at the elevation of Camp 5.  He said the winds were extremely high and just too much energy was used fighting both the mountain and the wind.  His ascent to the North Col only took 3.5 hours.  He said that the yardstick is that if you can get from ABC to the North Col in less than four hours, you should be able to make the summit.  At ABC, he is having a good time mixing with the international team members.  If you happen to see images from TV coverage, his tents are the yellow ones.  I think he is the only expedition with yellow tents.

We will most likely hear very little as he is not able to independently charge the Iridium sat phone and must have assistance from other teams.  The radios don't work due to a mountain being between ABC and Base Camp.  There are two teams with high antenna at Base Camp and many of the other teams are having radio problems like he is.  That condition may improve as he moves into higher altitude, but for the time being radio signals will not work between ABC and Base Camp.  Without radio, he will conserve his Iridium phone for emergency use. 

Dispatches

 





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