Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
Banners Ads
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace
   E-mail (Free)
Mailing List

   News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Seven Summits
   Readers Guide
   Visitor Agreement



Everest 2003: Charlie Wittmack
Dispatch Index

Dispatch One: From the Inside Out, A personal account of the Big E... Mount Everest.  It's hard to believe. This first dispatch is a difficult one to write because by its form, "the first dispatch" assumes that this is the beginning.  I am certain that most of you are here because of your love of the mountain and not your love for me.  I will therefore omit the story that brought me here as much as possible and concentrate on our mutual interest, the Big E. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch Two: A new group of Iowa Mountaineers... I'm 25 years old, which means that my "lifelong dream" spans a little more than a decade.  My childhood heroes were Bonnington, Habeler, Messner, Boardman and Tasker.  I memorized Unsworth in high school and his bibliography became my reading list.  When my friends were reading Sports Illustrated I was reading the American Alpine Journal and the only sports stats I know to this day are from the book Accidents in North American Mountaineering. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch Three: Jordan Creek Elementary: Today I have been learning about Everest climbing from 106 fifth graders at Jordan Creek Elementary School in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Only a handful of these students have ever been to the mountains, but they have the facts and figures of the world’s tallest peak on the tips of their tongues.  They knew the mountain’s height (both before and after Steady Ed’s GPS trip), the rate of growth, the speed of descent of the Khumbu Glacier and a variety of historical facts. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch Four: It's hard to believe that after so many years of hard work the departure is just a few hours away.  By the time most of you read this I'll be well on my way across the world, finally making the geographic steps that I've been working towards for so long.  For those interested in just how long it takes to get halfway around the world, here is a look at the itinerary.... Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch Five: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 11:41 AM; Pacific Ocean 31000 Feet; I'm currently skipping across the globe at a comfortable cruising elevation of 31,000 feet. Looking out the window I try to determine what those last 2000 feet beyond Everest's summit are worth. With a mountain like this one we find our perspective in the most peculiar places! Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch Six: 4400 feet, I have made it safely to Kathmandu and have quickly been getting up to speed with the other expeditions in town. My own climbing group does not arrive until tomorrow, so I have been busy taking in the sites and trying to stay out of trouble. In Kathmandu this is much harder than it sounds. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 7: Kathmandu 4400 feet. I met with the guys at Asian Trekking again today. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 8: Yesterday was an exciting day here. I finally had three entire meals! I've been a little nervous with the local cuisine as I am trying to stay as healthy as possible before the expedition. My meals of Pringles and Cokes were just not cutting it in this city that smells very strongly of delicious curry! Now my new policy is to eat up, but stick to foods that are peeled or well cooked. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 9: After a four-hour meeting with the ministry of tourism, we have been officially cleared to attempt the climb of Mount Everest and will be departing Kathmandu tomorrow morning. Our flight leaves at 6am. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 10: Namche Bazar 11200 feet: We had our first real hike today on the way up the mountains into the beautiful town of Namche Bizarre. Chris, our adventure-racing machine, decided to open up the throttle a bit and we found ourselves running along the trail with full packs and having quite a bit of fun. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 11: Everest Base Camp: On Wednesday, April 2 Charlie called the Washington, D.C. communications center by satellite phone from base camp to report he arrived safely. “The trek was gorgeous and the Sherpas have been taking excellent care of the team.” Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 12: After seven days, forty miles and 12,000 feet in elevation gain, we have reached the base camp of Mt. Everest. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 13 & 14: The last several days at base camp have been very exciting.  Yesterday morning we had our Pucha ceremony.  Galejan, the Lama who officiates at the Buddhist services for each expedition, actually doubles as our camp two cook. His son is our Sirdar and has summited Mt. Everest several times.  Because of this strong family connection our Pucha was exceptionally grand.  Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 15: Chris and I arrived safely at Camp One late this morning relieving Shawn who had spent the previous two nights here.  Chris and I negotiated the Ice Fall in around fours hours with heavy packs. A least two major seracs had collapsed on the route since our previous visit, motivating us to climb a little bit faster than we normally would have liked. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 16: Today has been the most enjoyable day on the mountain so far! The sun is shinning with a steady breeze keeping temperatures low enough to be comfortably covered at all times. Chris and I woke up this morning feeling great and within about 15 minutes were packed and on the trail to Camp Two. The climb to Camp Two is technically easy as the route follows along the rolling Khumbu Glacier.  There were two crevasses that poised a challenge but, after yesterday, were easily over come. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 17: A Mother’s Day reflection - “How do we tell our mothers that we are going to climb Mt. Everest?” Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 18: Today Chris and I began what we hope will be our final acclimatization trip up the mountain.  This morning’s climb through the Ice Fall was surprising as the route had changed dramatically in the past three days. Many of the seracs had tumbled into increasingly precarious positions, some ladders were removed while others were added, and the entire route detoured in sections.  Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 19: Camp Two 21000 feet April 16; The climb from Camp One to Camp Two appears to be the most enjoyable leg of the expedition. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 20: When I was in the planning stages of this climb, I told many of you that I had done plenty of climbs more difficult than Everest. “Everest is just the highest, not technically demanding,” I said. After today’s climb up the Lhotse Face, I have the deepest respect and admiration for anyone who can even make it to Camp Four. Wow this is a big mountain! Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 21: Thanks so much for the weather, Dad, and Happy Easter to you!  Ah, I think you can scratch the weather reports as they are not even close to accurate.  Um, let’s discontinue that, and if you have any other messages to leave me you can do it in that way... Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 22: As the last chapter closed, Chris and I had returned to Base Camp after an exhausting week in the high camps.  Rudy returned over lunch and we swapped stories from the valley to the high mountain. The following morning Nathaniel reminded us of the arrival of Shawn’s wife, Gabrielle, that afternoon. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 23: A few days ago our “guardian angels” in the Indo-Nepalese Army informed us that there was a spell of bad weather on the way. Chris and I, both nursing minor illnesses decided to head down to the valley for a little recovery. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 24: Summit attempts, frustration, and time to get real serious.... Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 25: The climb was a complete white-out and we were unable to tell the difference between the sky and the ground. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 26: Home Sweet Home !! Base Camp  17,600 feet May 2, 2003 Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 27: Charlie's call home to Dad: As widely reported, the recent weather at Mt. Everest has been terrible.  Fortunately, Charlie was able to call family members just long enough to say that he was well and that his eyes were recovering nicely from the snow blindness episode. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 28: Once again, please pardon the delay in the posting of this dispatch. There has been such ciaos here that I needed to sort out fact from fiction before making any report. As most of you know, our mountain has come under siege these last several days by hurricane force winds. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 29: The conditions for our climb today were nearly ideal. We departed from Base Camp around 5:30 with extreme emotion hoping that after so many trips up this mountain this one might be our last. We climbed slowly, savoring each step. The first hour we had a chance to admire the landscape, watching in awe as the sun slowly christened the surrounding peaks.  Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 30: Charlie just called and said that the weather indeed was turning bad.. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 31: All we could do was to secure our tents and return to Base Camp … and wait. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 32: I don’t think there could be a more beautiful place in the world to celebrate Mother’s Day. The only problem I can find with the setting is that our mothers are all so far away! It’s too bad, too, because we could really use more mothers around here. Happy days to all of you, just the same; we are all thinking about each of you! Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 33: Just when things start to get a bit slow here, Asian Trekking sent us out a new member. Michael, a Spaniard, arrived at Base Camp today with a permit to attempt Mt. Lhotse. He came from an attempt on Cho Oyu and had to leave because of issues with a visa and SARS epidemic. Rather than return home, he headed to Kathmandu and made an arrangement for Lhotse. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 34: I am starting to become a bit reticent about my entrance into law school this fall. Over these last several weeks I have become an expert at wasting time, and I am very concerned that there may be permanent damage! These last few sentences, for example, have taken literally hours to write; in that same time I have, however, accomplished several other important tasks: I managed to drink a cup of tea, eat five pieces of taffy, and give directions to a lost man from Boulder who was wearing a t-shirt with “CANADA!” in large, plaid letters across the front. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 35: Over the last several days I have become a meteorologist. Through the networking activities of my team members, we have managed to gather together five weather forecasts dispatched from various parts of the world. The quantity is only significant as each outlook casts a slightly different prediction on the next several days. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 36: What’s next?  Only Mother Nature knows! Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 37: Advanced safely to Camp III. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 38: The winds at the summit continue to be problematic causing some members to wonder if there will, indeed, be any window this season. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 39: Charlie called to report they have arrived safely at Camp IV. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 40: He was in a snowstorm that he described as a whiteout. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 41: Charlie and Sean turn around... Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 42: Two reports the second from Charlie himself...

Dispatch 43: After making the summit of Everest I was descending the Lhotse Face with only one crampon.

Dispatch 44: I'm feeling good!  Glad to be on the move from Base Camp.  My eyes are recovered, and fingers are still a bit swollen. Check here for the full dispatch.

Update: It is official : Mr. Charles Wittmack, Student, Woodlawn Dr. Des Moines, USA. Summited Everest at 8:10 AM

Dispatch 45: It has now been confirmed by the Ministry in Nepal: The Following 2 members & 4 Sherpas of "Dream Everest 2003 Expedition" team have been successful to climb the summit of 8848m. High Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) on 22 May 2003 at 8:10 AM to 9:20 AM. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 46: Kathmandu 5000 feet (or thereabouts): Happy Anniversary to Mount Everest! Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 47: Pasang has become mystified with Iowa and our crazy antics. We have applied for a tourist visa with the hope that he will come for a visit in August. He wants to do some climbing while he's there, and I tried to tell him that he might just have to settle for the Field of Dreams. Of course he's never heard of baseball. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 48: The Rum Doodle was another interesting experience.  When I got there they didn't believe that I was a Everest summiteer. Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 49: Charlie is in LA heading home ! And airline food never tasted so good!

Dispatch 50: This morning Charlie was asked to the Iowa Senate chamber by Senate President, Mary Kramer, to be present for discussion and voting on Senate Resolution #45.... Check here for the full dispatch.

Dispatch 51: "Until we meet again" Check here for the full dispatch.



  Altitude pre-
Backcountry Gear
Bags& Luggage
Boot & Fabric Care

Camp Furniture
Camping Accessories
Car Racks
Child Carriers
Climbing Bags
Cooking Supplies
Cycling Components
Cycling Repair
Dry Bags
Dry Boxes
First Aid
Fishing Accessories
Float Tubes
Fly Boxes
Fly Line
Fly Rods
Fly Tying
Fly Vests & Packs
Gifts & Games
Gloves & Mittens
Hydration Packs
Indoor Climbing Gear
Infant Apparel
Kid's Cycling Gear
Kid's Paddling Gear
Knives & Tools
Leaders & Tippets
Lifejackets/ PFDs
Long Underwear
Messenger & Bike
Mountaineering Gear
Paddles & Oars
Pet Gear
Prints & Posters
Reels & Spools
Rescue Gear
Rock Climbing Gear
Rod & Reel Kits
Rod Tubes & Bags
Shell Outerwear
Showers & Toilets
Skates & Scooters
Ski & Board Repair
Skirts & Dresses
Sleds and Tubes
Sleeping Bags
Travel Accessories

Watches & Clocks
Water Bottles
Water Filtration

Send email to everestnews2004@adelphia.net   •   Copyright© 1998-2003 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it.