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


 Current Nepal Time

May 23, 2003 - 17h30: It is the descent. One by one the summiteers join the lower camps. Eric and Nicolas are still at camp IV for the night with Nowang Karsang A, Pemba Dorje and Lakpa Nuru, the three Sherpas of Everest 50 also victorious of the summit. They seem to have difficulties of battery with their telephones and are awaited at camp II tomorrow.

The two Patrick and Hugues are at camp II for the night. Patrick Berhault stopped there to look after an ophthalmic problem. Hugues explains his second attempt: all went all right but for his feet which have to be satisfied with a pair of wet socks in the absence of the pair of replacement that he never found. Except that at these altitudes he was cold very quickly at his feet and the return became saving. Basile is at the base camp and he has received the silver medal of the mess tin spring 2003 of the Everest, the gold medal is for Dom. Philippe, Brice, Marcel and Aude arrived at the base camp. Brice tells his ascent: Sangay his rope companion progressed less quickly than him. To await him, Brice climbed slower  than envisaged and consumed his oxygen; at the Hillary step, he had no other choice than to turn back.

As per his return to the South col, he remembers it by fragments: he remembers to have almost choked at the Balcony level and to have awaked lengthened, without gloves. He does not know where he found energy to join camp IV. After a well deserved rest at the South col, he took this morning his skis for a two hours crossing in direction of the Southern pillar of the Everest, on the left of the spur. The descent of 8.000m to 6.500m lasted 26 minutes in a very poor snow, frozen. He is exhausted but happy.

The objective for all the team now is to lose altitude. Eric, Nicolas, the both Patrick, Hugues and Jean (Blanchard) are awaited with impatience to be celebrated and to prepare the departure from the camp forecasted for Sunday morning. It is the end of the afternoon at the base camp. Everyone left the mountain. Eric Loizeau is crossing Ice Fall to join the remainder of the troops. He is well, but he was very cold to the hands and must be examined by the medical team. The both Patrick, Jean and Hugues joined the base camp. Nicolas is still at camp II with a team of Sherpas. Exhausted by the ascent, he wishes to rest to recover before the last stage downwards. It is possible that he goes down only tomorrow.

The calls doesn’t stop at the base camp, Patrick Berhault has appointments for at least 6 interviews. He even received a call of congratulation from Jean-François Lamour, Ministre for Youth and Sports for all the expedition of Everest 50. The camps of altitude were dismounted. Each one works to gather its effects to leave as of tomorrow morning, in a hurry to find civilization after 45 days of base camp. Only Jean-Michel and Régis will remain to greet Nicolas.

Dispatches

 





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