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Everest South Side Expedition: American Commemorative Expedition


 Current Nepal Time

Dispatch: Expedition News from Camp 2 May 20, 2003: Team members will listen to the radio transmissions from base camp with eager anticipation today, as the first expeditions of the year are within striking distance of Mount Everest's summit. The Everest 2003 Commemorative Expedition continues the waiting game with seven expedition partners at the second of four camps - Camp 2 at 21,000 feet. The team will evaluate climbing conditions based on reports received from other teams higher on the mountain, as well as weather reports received from various sources via satellite phone in Base Camp.

As of this writing, no teams have reached the summit of Mt. Everest from the South Col route this spring due to the fierce winds that have enveloped the upper reaches of the mountain until now. Winds were reported at 80-knots on the summit ridge this week, which are strong enough to blow a climber from the mountain. Winds are expected to abate beginning on Wednesday. Weather forecasts show Friday, or late Thursday in the U.S., as the most favorable for the summit attempt.

Expedition leader Bob Hoffman believes it is vital that the team exercises patience in choosing the best time to go for the summit. Too often he has seen other teams rush for the top, only to be turned back due to bad weather or climbing conditions. Having exhausted their physical strength and supplies, they are unable to make another attempt at the top.

Despite weather delays, team members Bob Hoffman, Bob Boice, Chuck Huss, Brian O'Connor, Dan Smith, Brett Shepard, and Mimi Vadasz remain in strong physical health and good spirits. We send them our hearty wishes and fervent prayers for a safe climb to the top and return to safer environs soon. [As a side note, five years ago today Bob Hoffman stood on the summit of Mt. Everest for the first time, along with his good friends Apa Sherpa and Pemba Norbu Sherpa, who are also part of this year's team.] -Sue Hoffman

Dispatch: Heading from Camp 2 to Camp 3 Today May 21, 2003: The team prepares to move today! Like nomads, they'll pack up their beloved belongings and climb through snow and wind from the snow and cold at Camp 2 to even more snow, cold, and wind at Camp 3. It turns out that the team has made a wise decision to push back their summit date to the 23rd as the teams who went up to Camp 4 for summit attempt on the 20th are now stuck there. Apparently about 200 climbers were stationed at Camp 4 last night, ready for the first summit attempt. After hardly getting out the door they were pummelled by wind and wisely decided to turn back. As of 10 o'clock this morning, they are all still there, sequestered in their tents, eager, no doubt, for the winds to subside, so they can descend to thicker air. Fortunately, our team is healthy and strong, with plenty of oxygen and food in their systems. We all anticipate favorable weather conditions very soon. We here at Base Camp will be in radio contact with the team and will keep everyone posted on their status and summit plans.  -Angie Morey, Base Camp Helper

Dispatches

 





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