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Everest South Side Expedition: Everest 50
The fiftieth anniversary expedition. (French)


Friday May 2nd 2003 E-mail from Jean Michel: “I have just finished a Scrabble party with Patrick Bérhault, Frédéric and François. This morning, archeology in the glacial penitents with Fausta di Stefani. Everything is all right, Hugues is back. There is no one more but Mario in the mountain, he must go this evening May 2 to sleep at camp III at 7150m. We wait, that overheats the spirits, but it should go ok, it snows a little. We awaits news of the group of trekkers which has to arrive at Katmandou and we prepare mentally to go to greet the goddess in a few days. I am reading the 20th book. It should be noted that Régis became the most famous doctor of the base camp, which is normal as he looks after free, elsewhere they take 50 dollars the consultation. That’s all for the small news from Everest village”.


“Jean-Michel back from Camp III” ©Everest50

Monday May 5th: E-mail from Jean Michel after breakfast.

“The night has been hard at base camp, considering the jet stream which blew almost permanently. At Camp I there are almost no tents, it seems that only one of our expedition remains. At Camp II, 27 tents collapsed. Fortunately, our Sherpas were up there and our camp suffered less. At camp III, a tent flew away and all the others are covered with snow. In short, the situation is very "stand-by" in this moment. All the expeditions leaders make the round of the different expeditions in order to confront the forecasts weather and the intentions of summit.

 Personally, I await the forecasts of Yann at 14h (local time) to see whether yes or not we can try something in the thin crenel of the 9. There are strong chances to try an ascent around May 12. Will the virtue of patience be good adviser? Yann belongs totally to the team, we await its phone calls with great interest. The Americans of at side who come regularly in spring, are very surprised of the type of weather we have in this moment. An astonishing thing: A Russian disappeared via Lho-la, a mountain pass which leads to Tibet. General opinion and opinion of the liaison officer, he quite simply joined the Tibet and a large expedition of compatriots. It is the best it could arrive to him. His cook has awaited for him in vain at base camp for two days. The fellow, which we saw with the binocular, took risks more than extreme to cross the Lho-la. As for the team, everyone is there except Aude, Brice, Bruno, Nicolas and Eric who are towards Pheriche or Lobuche. Daniel Gueorguievsky and Fred go down today to make a trip at Kala Patthar and to sleep at Gorak Shep with Dominique, Régis, Francois, Basile and Patrick Bérhault. If that continues, I will only find myself at base camp ".

Yann’s weather forecasts are of a disconcerting reliability for those who are on this part of the planet, distant from all. The storm really took place and the Sherpas who remained at camp II showed an incredible self control and reliability: they not only protected themselves in the middle of the whirlwinds, but they also did all that was in their capacity to preserve the maximum of tents at camp II !

They are in good shape, and thanks to them, Camp II of Everest 50 is safe! It is the advanced base camp from which the candidates to the summit await the break announced to start the ascent. A sacked camp II could have delayed the expedition. The damage of camp I is annoying but without direct consequences. According to the last weather forecasts, the lull of wind at the top would have shifted towards the weekend and the crenel of May 9 is too risky to try an ascent. Team A would thus leave to be installed about May 8 on the moraines of camp II to await the fall of wind envisaged the 11 and 12 May, synonymous of summit day.

Dispatches

 





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