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Everest 2003: Himalayan Guides 2003 Everest Expedition
Featuring reports from Ian Mackay


Dispatch #8 & 9 Himalayan Guides 2003 Expedition Everest

Everest Base Camp 9th May 2003:

We have all returned to Base Camp following 5 nights at Pangboche (3900 M.) to rest and build up our strength.

While we were at Pangboche we received a blessing from Lama Geshie which boosted our morale while the oxygen rich air boosted our physical strength.

In our absence the weather was playing havoc on Everest. Severe storms battered the mountain creating mayhem with the plans and equipment of most of the expeditions. The most severe damage was to camp 3 on the Lhotse face. The Indian/Nepalese Army Expedition had all their  tents shredded: many others lost tents there. We had one tent badly damaged at camp 3 and camp 1 was blown away altogether.

The storms are over now and many of the bigger expeditions have started their summit attempts despite the storm damage. Most hope to summit around the 12th.

We expect to leave Base Camp for our summit bid on 13th with a view to reaching the summit on 16th/17th. This is of course very much dependant on the weather: Our long term weather forecast predicts a ridge round about these dates which coincides with a full moon. We are hopeful that this combination will give us ideal conditions above the South Col. However the weather forecast may change as we get nearer the time and we might have to go for later dates. 

We intend to post brief daily dispatches detailing our progress camp 2 upward.

 We all miss our friends, relatives and loved ones and send our love and best wishes to them all.

Ian Mackay QC. Everest Base Camp 9th May 2003

Everest Base Camp 11th May 2003

We received tragic news today: Patrick Kenny's brother was killed in a fighter aircraft accident in USA. On receipt of the sad news Patrick left camp immediately to be with his family in Salt Lake City, USA. Patrick was a valuable and well liked member of our team. We shall miss his company and climbing skills. We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Kenny family.

So far as Everest summit attempts are concerned, we understand that none have been successful so far. The Indian/ Nepalese Army Expedition combined with the British Expedition to break the trail and fix the ropes above the South Col, unfortunately, due to misunderstandings the arrangement broke down and both teams have now returned to Base Camp. 

Regarding our own summit attempt, we have required to delay our plans. We received a weather report yesterday and it indicated unacceptably high winds around our proposed summit date of 16th/17th. We are now looking at 18th/19th, but we can't even formulate tentative plans until we see a 5 day weather forecast detailing temperatures wind speeds etc. If we go for 18th/19th it is possible that we will be among the leading teams above the South Col because weather conditions between now and 18th/ 19th are not favourable (as predicted by present weather forecasts). 

We will advise as we develop our summit plans.

Once again, we miss and send our love and best wishes to our friends, family and loved ones.

Ian Mackay QC. Everest Base Camp 11th May 2003

Dispatches

 





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