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Adventures International Everest 2002 Expedition


Everest 2002 Expedition Report May 2nd, 2002

Were all tucked in here at Camp 2, getting ready to go up to Camp 3 at over 23,500 ft. tomorrow for a couple nights. This is our final acclimatization trip before the summit attempt. After this well go back down for a good long rest after spending over 12 nights above base camp.

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Yesterday we came up through the Khumbu icefall; everything has changed again. Near the top of the icefall, a difficult vertical ladder and ice wall have completely collapsed and looks like a bomb went off. Its been very important to start early and move quickly, as later in the afternoon, everything starts melting and falling. Our 4th trip through now, each one a bit scarier as it gets later in the spring. As the monsoon draws closer everything warms up creating an increased risk from both the weather and avalanche in the icefall.

Everything is coming together for our summit attempt. Our team is acclimatizing well and ready to go. All the camps are being established; the route to the South Col is in now, so Camp 4 will be set up very soon. Staying at Camp 2 and higher demands some mental toughness as any simple task can put you out of breath. Even putting boots on in the morning is a challenge. We have a good camp near the top of the Camp 3 area, protected from most larger avalanches and spindrift slides. Still its very steep ice right outside the door. We have set safety ropes up around the tents in case anyone takes a slide. Our camp is set in about the safest place around, although all of Camp 3 is very exposed to avalanches coming down off Lhotse. This simply is not a place to be during any kind of a storm like we had all last week.

Look for us to call in another update in the next day or so from Camp 3. This is where things get a bit more exciting. We hope to spend 2 nights there, although in any bad weather we will come down as soon as possible. Its interesting how all the teams are slowly lining up their summit days. Lots of different strategies forming, and really it just comes down to having some luck with the weather when were all ready to go. Forecasts are great, but far from accurate enough, especially as a summit attempt has to be planned almost 8 to 10 days ahead.

So let's hope the mountain will allow us higher as we take each next step up.

Scott Woolums
Adventures International Inc.