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 Hungarian Everest - Lhotse Expedition (2001)

Dispatches >>>

Update 8/23/2001: The cargo has been dispatched!!! Long live Mr. Chatterjee! (our shipping agent) Long live Mr. Banerjee! ( the customs officer who's been nasty until now). We suspect the Millennium Team to arrive tomorrow. We'll let you know about the outcome of the united Maya Party. The expected time of our departure: Saturday or Sunday.

Update: At the moment we are waiting for our last 9 barrels to released from Calcutta custom's office. Hopefully this will happened tomorrow (Aug. 17). In that case it is about 4 day before we can leave for our final destination to Tibet. Otherwise everybody is OK. No medical problems. We have already been twice on an acclimatizing tour above 4000 meters. I actually met Jim Wickwire about two days ago for a short chat, before they departed to their destination. 

Regards, Zoltan ACS

I got the news on the phone yesterday evening that the Mount Guys (the team members lingering around out in the mountains) will soon get back to the capital. The Indian Customs Authorities will dispatch our cargo from Calcutta on Monday. I hope we'll get it by Thursday, we'll be packing on Friday and our jeeps and lorries will roll out from the capital on Saturday - off we go to Tibet. We are having monotonous days with Konyi. We're writing articles, dealing with cargo matters… Konyi's just popped out to the local bazaar to buy a carton of local cigarettes and a bottle of whisky. (Not for himself, of course, we'll use them to bribe our officer.) By the way, the guys out there were swinging their legs on gorgeous lakesides, at the height of 4,200 meters, but they'll tell their stories later. Anyway, the Planet of Monkeys starts within minutes in the Maya Cocktail Bar, I must hurry off! 2001. Aug. 11.
It's a long time since we last signed on. On the other hand we don't have many interesting stories to tell right now. Our sea transit is stuck in Calcutta. Basically, the team is now up above the village of Dunche. So no-one's caught any nasty conditions here in the capital and our acclimatisation isn't going too badly. Up to now only two of us, Konyi and David (that's me) have had any funny turns. The roof of the Star Hotel (that's what it's called because in 1972 it was awarded a star in its majesty) is disfigured by our satellite antenna, while inside is the computers, records, stacks of paper - the cockroaches. By night we are guest of the Maya cocktail bar, the Tom and Jerry and other such neo-hippy establishments. Soon there'll be new pictures! Expected further moving on - the 13th. 2001. Aug. 09. 
Finally the group is together! Mezo, Konyi and Dodo (otherwise known as Dora Berces, Green Point) arrived yesterday into Kathmandu. Members of the bigger group, already acclimatized to the group after their 11-hour bus trip arrived from Shyabru Bensi.  2001. 08. 04. 21:00
The monsoon is persisting, and so are the celebrating crowd and ourselves also. We hiked off to Ganja-La (Ganja otherwise means "grass") where we mingled with nomads. An interesting situation held sway in the main square of Kyanjin Gompa when we arrived back. An English group had set up a tent, still not guessing that with the carnival going on until dawn this was perhaps hardly the ideal place. 2001. 07. 30. 15:30
We hiked to a settlement called Langshisha Kharka (where it naturally was raining) then further all the way into the 4,500-metre (14,000-foot) pass. On the way down we met herd of yak left to itself. Our tentative conclusion: either this is part of the harsh animal husbandry, or the result of the opening day of the monastery celebrations. 2001. 07. 29. 19:00
In view of the events of yesterday, today we rested. This 12,000-foot height alone takes some adjusting to. We donated some money and yak butter to the monastery and the local spirit. 2001. 07. 28. 13:28
Situation update from Kyanjin Gompa: for acclimatisation purposes the Hungarian climbers went up a good 1,200 feet inside two hours, then clambered back down to the celebrating village where for relaxation purposes they put away some mildly alcoholic refreshment. They were celebrating the opening of the renewed monastery, which took the form of a week of cake and ales. In the crowd newly-qualified lamas, yaks from the region, and well squiffy mountaineers rolled around in the general melee. 2001. 07. 27. 20:10
Today the rain knew how to behave at last - it poured before we set off and after we arrived, but while we were walking not a drop. We are in Langtang. A beautiful big sheer wall 11,000 foot high, after which the tropical forest is already yesterday's news. Everyone knows what we ate... 2001. 07. 26. 17:00
Today we went up to the Lama Hotel. The weather did not change much, damp everywhere, beautiful vegetation in all directions. We went through a little village, sadly sodden by the rain. Everyone is OK, our morale is not down because of the monsoon. We ate the dalbat. 2001. 07. 25. 17:00
In the rain we started out from Kathmandu in a rented bus. After a long, rattling journey the road gave out 13 km (8 miles) before Duche, but because of that we took the ferry over. Now we play billiards and eat dalbat in Syabu Bensi. The rain hammered down but the mood is good. Tomorrow we go further. 2001. 07. 24. 16:30
Today was about preparations.... tomorrow early morning we start on the acclimatisation tour, and we expect to turn up there on August 5th. Until then there probably won't be any more diary entries. Bye everyone, AK 2001. 07. 23. 19:14
Today not much happened worthy of mention... Miki, Αkos, and my good self yesterday organized a local guide (Suraj) to show us the two sights of Kathmandu (the Pashupati Nath Hindu temple, the Buddha Nath stupa) in half a day ... at the end the boy asked for his pay in powdered milk! ... he got a big red point in our thoughts. David and Zoli did enough of the administrative necessities in finding Ms. Hawley (a kindly, elderly, authentic British Empire lady) who sees every expedition in Katmandu in the direction of Mount Everest, and collects statistics about them. Oh dear ... in the evening of course the drenching rain arrived on schedule, so much I might have to swim to the Internet Cafe to send this letter ;-). There are photographs in the gallery!!! ... The picture quality is not just up to what we wanted, but far better - like I'll never take (which is why it won't be me :)). Bye everyone, Andras. 2001. 07. 22. 23:15
In a group of five (Dαvid, Miki, Zoli, Αkos, my good self) have already arrived in Nepal, with the rest coming in the next two weeks. After the Budapest Airport photo shoot and farewell (thanks to all those who came) and a little pottering around in the sky towards Vienna, then there for a planned three and a half hour wait, plus another three hours, and by now it's sure that on Friday we start out for Katmandu. After a flight of seven and three quarters of an hour, we arrived in gentle rain at 2.30 in the afternoon according to local time (GMT plus 4:45) ... in fact it is still the monsoon here :(. We spent an hour organising visas (this really is one bureaucratic country - we had to fill in information on three different printed forms), then a little bus journey to our accommodation. This day we haven't done much, everyone was worn out from the trip and drenched from the high humidity too :). A short getting-to-know the local cuisine (ie dinner) then we simply flaked out. Today is taken up with acclimatisation and finishing off of some things still left hanging. We took a little walk around the area ... this city is a little different from Budapest - well actually, from Europe! To tell the truth the air on Rαkσczi ϊt isn't this bad ... here far fewer vehicles produce a lot more pollution ... but nicely mixed with other smells ... and the scents of different smoke. On the other side of the scale, people here are really kind. The weather decided for the evening that it would be appropriate for the season (in other words "rain"). Pictures later, one doggie stayed at home :(. Ciao, Andras. 2001. 07. 21. 21:28
At last, on the road ... Again nothing to highlight, but that's no problem. We will sign in from Vienna. After the airport cavalcade we reached a peaceful, positive camp at the terminal. We thank the trust and support of everyone, Sanyi Nagy in particular we specially thank that he came out to wish us goodbye. Next stop Katmandu! 2001. 07. 19. 20:51
Days of looking back and taking stock... In place of the massive chaos we got used to in earlier years, this year more of a medium-scale madhouse. Our last air transport, the fortune-favoured UPS, starts within days. Final finishing off is all in hand with the go-between. 2001. 07. 15. 00:00
Well... I have to write without accents this time. Even before the "accident" at the palace, there was unrest here. The Maoists (the local Communist party) mounted street fights and strikes. Probably neither conflicts will hinder us directly, at worst our local purchases and transport can suffer some delays. (By the way, the investigations show that the prince who - according to the official news - committed suicide, has shot him in the back with three different kind of bullets... er... strange country.) 2001. 06. 14. 11:00
After the sleepless, maddening hours spent with packing and running around the days before, it was a real relief to see our fully loaded barrels disappearing in the depths of the van to start their long journey. This half-ton of equipment is the first round. The rest, weighing almost another ton will fly with us. The route of the barrels was: Budapest-Bremen on land, to India by sea and then again on land all the way to Kathmandu. 2001. 05. 31. 07:45
We can regard this as the opening of the expedition - David has traveled out to Kathmandu and is personally sorting things out. He meets our partners there, and deals with their tricky and detailed questions about getting to the base camp. This is quite a novelty for the group that we don't have to organize this section all by ourselves. What guarantees safety in this case is that Asian Trekking has for years now been supporting most expeditions. During the two Pakistani climbs we ourselves sorted out the jeeps, porters, books, whatever else, which was not possible in Tibet, which is why I can't say any more on that... If we could call this the opening then the prologue was the April Swiss training and acclimatizing camp, when the whole team struck camp on the Forno glacier and we did some other stuff. 2001. 05. 23. 20:10

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