International Mountain Guides ( Everest 2002 Expedition

April 26 High winds, icefall problems: The route remains unfixed above Camp 3, except for a couple hundred meters of rope run out yesterday by Willie Benegas and his Sherpas.  Today a number of Sherpas headed up from ABC to take a crack at the Lhotse Face, but turned back due to rockfall caused by the high winds above on Lhotse. The icefall is now becoming an issue among many of the teams on the mountain, as the quality of the route work is very poor this year.  Dave Hahn reports that it is "the worst he has seen" and our IMG Sherpas report that it is worse than past years.  There are numerous loose anchors, many pickets driven in only part way, loose ladders and ropes, and generally shoddy work.   It all calls into question how the icefall route is currently being managed by the SPCC (Sagamartha Pollution Control Committee).  The SPCC collected $2800 for each 7 person permit issued by the Ministry, plus extra money for extra persons on the permits...somewhere in the $50,000 range for this season, but has only spent a fraction of this getting the work done (they have only hired 3 sherpas to do ALL the icefall work).   I don't want to see any of our team members or Sherpas injured if an anchors pulls out, especially since we have paid thousands of dollars to SPCC for the icefall route.  The SPCC representative was at Base Camp, and our Sirdar told him the route was a problem, but he left without doing anything.  This morning we have filed a complaint with our Liaison Officer.

Eric Simonson

Khumbu Base Camp

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