Current Nepal Time
Latest Expedition Status June
1, 2003: Following is a brief summation of the events of the past week. There
are many stores yet to be told, and we will get them out to you as soon as
The summit push was
successful. Four team members reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 26,
2003 before 7:30 a.m. The winds were horrendous. After reaching the summit,
Bob Hoffman experienced an oxygen mask system failure and had to make his way
down from the summit to the balcony (about half way to Camp 4) with no
supplemental oxygen in an epic display of the will to survive.
Late in the afternoon, Apa
Sherpa was able to get up to the balcony with a new oxygen mask for Bob and a
full oxygen tank for Pemba Sherpa, who had remained with Bob at the balcony.
They finally made their way back safely to Camp 4, but not before Bob suffered
severe frostbite to his hands and feet.
Bob refused rescue attempts,
not wanting to put any of our Sherpas in danger, and continued down to base
camp, which caused secondary frostbite to his feet. After initial care by a
doctor in base camp, he was told it was imperative that he be evacuated back
to Kathmandu for immediate treatment.
Thanks to the efforts of our
agency in Kathmandu, Wilderness Experience, and the U.S. Embassy a Nepalese
Army helicopter was secured and brought Bob safely back to Kathmandu where he
is being treated at the CIWEC clinic. This is one of the best hospitals in the
world for treatment of frostbite and we’re hopeful for complete recovery.
In the meantime, Bob Boice
and Mimi Vadasz have arrived in Kathmandu and Tom Burch, Brian O’Connor and
Brett Shepard are expected to arrive tomorrow morning.
Many stores of events of the
past few weeks need to be told – some good, some bad. Some of the dispatches
and photos the team sent out from base camp were never transmitted due to
satellite communications problems, and we will be catching up with all of
these just as soon as possible.
So please stay tuned and
we’ll be telling the final story of this epic climb and extraordinary desire
to survive and succeed.
Bob and the whole team would
like to thank everyone who has sent e-mail messages with wishes and prayers
for safety, success, and congratulations. We will try to answer as many as
possible, but want everyone to now how much your messages are appreciated, and
have been an inspiration to the team.-Sue Hoffman
Bob’s wife Sue and daughter
Alison are in Kathmandu to be with Bob during this difficult time. They all
will be returning to the U.S. together in about a week.
To e-mail Bob