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


 Current Nepal Time

May 12, 2003 Jean Michael sends us an e-mail: After we had gone up to camp 2 and have joined a lot of people of the first group but Nicolas, Eric and Bruno who did not believe in the crenel [weather forecast?], it was necessary to take the decision to give up for the moment the summit. That was not without difficulty and without discussion but all other expeditions confirmed that the crenel [weather forecast?] of the 12 and the 13 was hardly valid. Difficult to say today if we were right or not, we cannot realize the force of the wind since the base camp. Only the clouds blocked on Pumori enable us to believe that up there it is not such terrible. Spanish made a success of Lhotse after the Japanese, the mountain is more protected. Still a rise to camp 2 for nothing, we are all gone down again including the Sherpas to the base camp. The good news is to have accommodated yesterday the trekkers at the base camp and to have passed a good evening with them. The more so as Jacques Glénat had brought a nice bottle of Guigal... the trekkers takes the way of the return this afternoon and could go to make a small trip to the Ice fall.

This evening the "Telephone rings" with France Inter. Guy Chaumereuil settled to follow all the expedition, he is dazzled by the landscape from camp II, sight seeing slopes of Lhotsé in which camp III is installed.

This round trip with Berhault costs me the skin of my face; I forgot to put cream and am burnt. The trekkers brought us mail, it is brilliant because the mood is seriously down, the round trips on the mountain tired us. The Ice cascade is from now on dangerous, it is degraded, blown in everywhere, Ice Fall doctors have much work to maintain it in good health. Dominique lost his snowboard in a crack but while cutting a fixed rope, Serap our sirdar, could recover it. Dom and Daniel Gueorguievsky offered themselves a descent from camp 2 to camp 1 in snowboard.

At the base camp, all the expeditions have the eyes rivetted on us. They await our next departure and especially the strength of our sherpas to equip above the Southern col, because for the moment there is not a centimeter of rope above camp IV. We envisaged, according to councils' weather of Yann, to try the top on the 19th  for the first group and the 21st  for the second one. We thus have to wait, which is despairing and bad for nerves. It will be our last chance, as we have to leave base camp on the 24th. Some climbers are thus gone down to remake a health and motivation, to Dingboche or Lobuche. Descent from camp II to base camp to await a new window weather.

The others try to control their nerves at the base camp, reading the reviews Vertical special Everest, the last Alpinism & Randonnée and the special one "Explorers of the Himalayas", the very new Forest Magazine, and the Equipe or the Express brought by the trekkers. By the way, cheers to Vertical, Alpinism & Excursion, Forest Mag, the numbers are superb, extraordinary, texts and models delighted us. What a nice job done! To honor the trekkers, the Sherpas had cooked a splendid cake on which "base camp" became "gamba". I recovered mayonnaise, thing which for me is more radical than the vitamin C. I say collectively to all those who wrote to us or sent mails, a very large thank you. You cannot imagine what this means to us. I know perfectly that there are billion things more important than to climb the Everest, but I also know that those which support us know the non quoted value of the beauty of useless.

Ice Fall doctors make a long-term job to maintain an access way to the Western Cwm through particularly capricious seracs these last days.

It seems to to me more than ever that through this ascent which tramples and which ruins us the body and destabilizes our heart, we however come very close to the man’s essence. It is like love and that’s why full of evidences points out it to us, like the one of the parents of a girl attacked by a cancer and who feel close to us.

I write this not to fall into a crying pattern, but because I believe it and perceive it. Well, still ten days and the adventure will be closed, with or without summit. I simply know that per now it nourishes our dreams, and perhaps yours.

More than ever, the mountain is beautiful, immense, difficult, near to the men’s heart teaching the respect of the life, theirs and the one of the nature of which we are the eternal and transitory wire. Thanks for reading this sermon entirely, so long in front of a fresh beer for the intense pleasure of the first mouthful.

Dispatches

 





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