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Adventures International Everest 2002 Expedition


Everest 2002 Expedition Report April 25th, 2002

We have just returned to Basecamp from Camp 2 this morning. The four members of our group, plus one from Willieís team, came down for a few days of well deserved R&R. It was a long stay up high, 6 days and 5 nights above Basecamp. 
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Staying up high for a long time slowly wears you down, enduring the long nights, a variety of coughs, and the constant cold. Itís good to be here for a few days.

After the two days of light snow we finally got a break yesterday, so Jack and I left Camp 2 early and made it to just below Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Really felt good being up high and closer to our goal. We had just planned to go part way so it was a successful day. The rest of the crew stayed at Camp 2 for more acclimatization. Camp 3 is in a very exposed area in the middle of the vast steep face going up to the South Col. It is so steep that tent platforms have to be chopped into the ice and ropes rigged between tents for safety--anything dropped is gone forever! About half the expeditions have tents at Camp 3 now. Itís an interesting game, as there is a very real risk of anything taken to Camp 3 being lost in an avalanche. As has already happened to another team 2 days ago after the recent snows. So itís important not to put too much stuff there too early in the season. Many groups have stayed off the Lhotse Face the last couple days, but now itís in excellent shape and things can start rolling. Fixed lines are going in today above camp 3 towards the Yellow Band.

Our Sherpa team, lead by Phenden, will be pitching our tents tomorrow into one of the higher areas of camp 3. All our oxygen is being carried to Camp 2 today. So things are moving along. Itís always a challenge to plan the teamís acclimatization schedule to sync with the preparation the sherpas are doing setting up and supplying the camps with food, stoves and oxygen. Everything is looking good right now for us. This season has been just a bit slow getting going for all the teams, so it looks like we will be into the second week of May at the earliest to start looking at the top.

We plan to make another acclimatization trip up high for another 5 days before thinking about the summit. It is getting closer though and the excitement and anxiety is growing. 

Now it's a process of staying healthy, even with doing everything we can here at base camp, the high, dry air and altitude are taking a toll on everyone. It's a careful balance between staying high to acclimatize and not burning yourself out spending too much time at the higher camps.

Right now, the focus is on some well needed rest and recovery from a ragged high altitude cough. Stay tuned for more reports as we get closer to the summitÖ

Scott Woolums
Adventures International Inc.