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


Monday April 21st: An American expedition has lent a computer to the Everest50 team and Jean Michel sent us an e-mail.

Thanks to Doctor Régis and to an American guide of Equatorial origin, Luis, I am able to send, at last, an e-mail on this Easter Monday. The problem is that it’s an American keyboard and that I am writing by -10º at two centimeters of the generating group. It’s awful! To tell what happen today is not easy as well. When ten of us left at 6.00 this morning to Camp I, Philippe, Aude, Laetitia, Guillaume, Brice, Maurice, Gilles, Dom, Basile and Jean Christophe, the Ice Fall struck around 8.00 in the morning. It is hard to say if a scale broke or if the crack opened, but two Sherpas of our expedition fell. One of them made a fall of 20 meters, the other one less, our friends where 50m behind them. A delicate rescue has been done. The 40 Sherpas which where at the Ice Fall made a group, left their material and they went down with Palden who cannot move his legs. At Base Camp, Régis and François have prepared the arrival of the Sherpas. Everyone turned back except Guillaume and Brice who were too high to accompany the Sherpas. At the same time, we called an helicopter for an urgent evacuation. It took two hours to come down with suffering Palden at men’s back to the base camp. Régis diagnostic: two vertebrae fractures but fortunately not of paralysis. On a stretcher Palden has been transported until the DZ, under perfusion and oxygen. He is safe, but we have no news since he arrived at Katmandu’s hospital. Note also that with a margin of half an hour the helicopter could not have taken off, because a snowstorm arrived. As per the remainder of the team, Berhault came down from Camp II around midday with Nicolas, Eric and Hugues. They spent two nights at Camp II, three for Hugues. Only Gabarrou and Mario remain at Camp II. The way of Camp III is still not open, for the moment the Sherpas are using the older ropes of last year. It seems that we are entering into a bad weather period. I am waiting for news from Yann, our router from Chamonix. All of this is hard to live, even if the mood stills all right. Our sirdar sent money to Tengboche monks to pray for us and try to make everything better for us. We need it!

As per the good things, we have celebrated the birth of the girl of our sirdar, he called her Jubile Yangtzi Sherpa, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary. This was the occasion of a nice evening under the standard lamps, at –15º, dancing, drinking beer and tchang. That’s it, I have no more light and my fingers are frozen. Best regards.

Tuesday April 22nd: Computer did not resist and telephone is back to service.

May be it’s already the effect of the Tengboche monk’s prayers?

Today looks like a good day, but for the weather and cold. To the great relief of each one the news from Kathmandu of the wounded sherpa are good : he has a fracture of the spinal column but without lesion of the spinal cord and will thus not be paralyzed. The Ice Fall Doctors have quickly repaired the damaged scales, “it passes” again between base camp and camp I. Yaks arrived at midday with a huge cargo for Everest50: Crispi shoes for Sherpas and Cébé masks highly waited have provoked an outburst of joy from Sherpas. The distribution gave to the camp airs of Christmas mornings. Only Guillaume and Brice remain at the mountain, they have reached Camp II at midday. Patrick Gabarrou and Mario were back to 5300m from Camp II after three days. At Base Camp, activity turns around Scrabble and reading, without forgetting the mountain objective : this afternoon it was oxygen masks distribution. Contrary to the generally accepted ideas, the camp is still very clean : a fine of 5.000 rupees (76 Euros) is envisaged if one does not make his needs in the places settled for this purpose. All is collected in barrels which once full, are conveyed to Namche Bazar to be widespread in the fields. That costs the expedition 275 rupees of the kilo and the money is versed to the National park of Sagarmatha.

Dispatches

 





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