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Featured Expedition: 2003 American Ski Everest Expedition
Dispatch


Copyright©Jim Gile American Ski Everest 2003

Dispatch 39 American Ski Everest Expedition May 28th

            Doctor Jon, we did not really know Dr. Jon before this trip. Then Tim C., who is a high altitude medic, was a little unsure of whether he was going on the trip because of the war therefore we decided we wanted to get a doctor for the expedition. Dr. Jon came highly recommended because he is both a doctor and a high altitude specialist. But from the get go, he was always on his own program. He is not a high altitude skier and it was a prerequisite for him to have oxygen and a Sherpa. We said that is fine, but he had to provide his own tents and equipment. And that was the agreement we had from the get go. He is a good guy and was on our same schedule and everything. However, considering our pure form of climbing, without Sherpa support and oxygen, it is totally incompatible with his style. We knew there would be a separation at some point. Thinking back on it, after the two weeks of storms and having all the guys get sick and the extreme weather pattern for two weeks, we were two weeks behind. Everyone else was two weeks behind because no one could get high on the mountain, however when the weather did get a little bit better, Dr. Jon’s Sherpa was totally acclimated and while we hauled our gear up to establish our camp two above the North Col his Sherpa was so acclimated and strong and so good he was actually able to establish camps two and three in the same time period for Dr. Jon. So he had Dr. Jon all set up. We were pretty smoked and our ski thing was a goal and we had to carry the skis up. However because Dr. Jon had his personal Sherpa, his camp was set up and we still needed to move either camp two a little bit higher on the mountain or establish a third camp before we were able to go down and rest for a summit bid. And that brings me to a good point, even if we had been able to set up with good weather and establish that higher camp (camp three) we still needed another week at least to rest before a summit bid. So right now the weather has not been conducive to allowing us to get up to the higher camps without oxygen.

            We find ourselves in a totally different situation compared to Dr. Jon who is totally, absolutely ready to go. And while everyone was going for the summit getting frostbite, getting sick and everything, Dr. Jon was down here. He did not get the joy of a ski descent. He was basically working for nothing. That guy saw so many people in a week it was incredible. He enjoyed it, but we just felt, even though he came in our ticket, there was always an understanding so that combined with Dr. Jon being pretty much on his own, the question could be asked why he did not make it in the last two weeks. The response to that question is, the weather has been horrible even according to Charlie, there has been only one reasonable summit day to summit this peak even with oxygen to avoid the problems we have seen. I mean do you really want to loose your fingers and toes? Dr. Jon was just not comfortable with that.

            We finally do have a window and unfortunately for us it is too little too late, but for Dr. Jon it is right on the money and if this thing pans out, and turns out to be a good window, then God speed to help him get up this mountain. He has also made arrangements to get himself out. He did not have a problem with that. He also has a good friend on the Global Extremes Expedition, Ted.

            He agreed with us that he would not make a summit attempt, without friends around. There is no hard feelings, or anything, in fact Dr. Jon had become a super friend on this trip and the last thing we told him is that he is more than welcome on any of the trips we do in the future. He is a top rated doctor. He is a great climber, a super person and we are just hoping he gets to the top.

            We are headed down tomorrow. The weather is still decent, but it is still not good enough for us to be on an oxygenless attempt. I think it is supposed to get better in the next couple of days and that is when these guys are scheduled to make their summit attempt.

            Anyway, that is it from ABC, we will stay in touch to let people know where we are and what is going on. This one is over, until the next time, but I can say there will be a next time. It is always tough to get weathered off a mountain, and that is what happened to us. But we will be back. Thanks. Mike

            Footnote: The commercial teams have base camp ABC, camp three, camp four, camp five and camp six. Dr. Jon's camp two is the same as their camp four and his camp three is the same as their camp five.

 

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