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January 16-31st,1999 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News: 1/30/99-1/31/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Enrique Guallart-Furio, will have his good friend Ang Dorje Sherpa on his 99 Expedition. With all the discussion lately, EverestNews.com was forwarded Ang Dorje Sherpa partial list of climbing achievements. His official name is Chuldim although he is popularly known as Ang Dorje.   He has climbed:

    1992 Spring Summit of Mt. Everest via South Col (#1)
    1993 Spring Summit of Mt. Everest via South Col (#2)
    1994 Spring Summit of Mt. Everest via South Col (#3)
    1995 Autumn Summit of Mt. Cho Oyu (Tibet)
    1996 Spring Summit of Mt. Everest with Rob Hall (#4)
    1996 Autumn Summit of Mt. Cho Oyu (Tibet)
    1996 Summer (August) Summit of Broad Peak (Pakistan)
    1996 Autumn Summit of Mt. Ama Dablam (SW Ridge)
    1997 Spring Summit of Mt. Everest via South Col (#5)

    Ang Dorje Sherpa will be climbing on Everest from Nepal in April '99 with
    his very good friend Enrique Guallart-Furio.   We are told he will go to Norway in the Summer to do some guiding work there. Ang Dorje Sherpa has five Summits of Everest which would put him in the up in the elite level of western climbers. However, as most of You know Sherpa climbers get little or no attention outside of Nepal. EverestNews.com reports on all climbers !
  • New Sherpa Restaurant: Himalayan Sherpa Restaurant Grand Opening on 4214 University Way NE Seattle, Washington 98145) person to Contact A. C. Sherpa.   Enjoy !!!
  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover.  Visit the EverestNews.com Sponsors !

Daily News: 1/29/99 Report

Daily News: 1/28/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Mike Trueman will be back on Everest in Spring 1999 ! Mike, is being commercially sponsored, and will be using a slot on Henry Todd's permit. He also told EverestNews.com, " By the way my web-site is being updated and it will be ready in early February. I am leading a team of trekkers in with me when I walk in this year if anyone is interested. If they "book" via EverestNews.com the price for this all inclusive trip from arrival at Kathmandu airport (including hotel, food, and fully serviced trek) will be US$ 1,500 (normal price US$ 1,800) Dates are 30 March to 17 April."  Mike's new web site is The High Adventure at  http://www.prpart.com.hk/highadventure/index.html has been updated to include details of the programme for 1999 and 2000. He tells us "new photographs will be added very shortly, but the essential information is already there for forward planning, if you would like to join us on any of our ventures." Mike's web site is also listed on the EverestNews.com 99 Everest Expedition Links Page.

    Again. " My Everest Base Camp trek is advertised at US$ 1,800 on the site - but I would be prepared on a one off to offer this to those who book saying that they saw the site on EverestNews.com, at US$ 1,500 - almost a 20% reduction. This will be a trek guided by me as far as Base Camp, with another member of the High Adventure team leading the return", Mike Trueman. Mike's earlier interview with Questions from readers of EverestNews.com can be found on the Site Index.

  • EverestNews.com Classified Ads !!! Coming soon EverestNews.com will have Free Classified ads pages for you to list your gear and other items for sale. Individuals listing will be free. Commercial listing on expeditions, treks, and gear will be charged. Submit your add to: everestnews2004@adelphia.net, for commercial ads rates just send an e-mail with details on your listing. EverestNews.com reserves the right to reject any add based on its sole judgment. EverestNews.com also reserves the right to determine what is a commercial add...
  • Amazon UK, we have been asked what our their best sellers from our links:

1.) Chomolungma Sings the Blues 

Ed Douglas / Hardcover / Published 1997  by far the best seller here...

2.) Everest: The Struggle to Reach the Top of the World

Geoff Tibballs / Paperback / Published 1998

Daily News: 1/27/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: In case you missed it ! Several readers has passed on very positive comments on Joao Garcia's pictures that are posted on his pages at Pascal Debrouwer & Joao Garcia page one and the page two. These pictures are from Joao's 1998 Everest North Side climb, we liked them because as one reader said, "they are day-to-day life on an expedition rather than the "fantastic scenery" shots." Pascal Debrouwer & Joao Garcia will be leading an North Side Everest expedition again this year !
  • David Keaton Q&A, the last Part ! : Everest  94 with Rob Hall and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David took questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com, for the first parts of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Q.) I am not aggressively pursuing the  "US 50 highpoints" but thought it would be fun to try to make it to the highpoints of states that I travel to for other reasons.  Of course if I end up in Alaska I will be in trouble because I am a hiker and not a climber.

So.....I will be in California and Washington this summer and am wondering
about Mt. Whitney and Mt. Rainier.

First: Is Mt. Whitney more of a hike or a climb?

A.) There are numerous routes on Whitney beginning with the Whitney Portal trail, the standard route.  The East Face and Buttress are the classic lines (5th class) and the Mountaineer's route is a 3rd class scramble.  Depending on winter snowfall, Whitney could offer early spring conditions into late summer (i.e. snow).   Typically, the Portal trail is clear of snow by mid to late summer. Permits are now required even for day use (May to October) so plan ahead (Inyo National Forest).

Q.)  Secondly: I have spoken to a guide service for Mt. Rainier and they have told me that Mt. Rainier is an "endurance" climb and not a "technical" climb and that as long as I am in really good physical condition I should be able to make the climb even though I don't have any climbing experience.

I would appreciate your thought and opinions on this.  I just want to have some fun and don't want to do anything stupid!

A.) Without substantial mountaineering experience signing up with a guide service is probably the best approach for a peak like Rainier.  Although it is not a ‘technical' climb per se it is a heavily glaciated peak with unpredictable weather and high altitude.

Q.) How would you recommend training for an accent of Everest?

A.) The best preparation is to climb and train at altitude. Some people have moved to the Sierras or the Rockies for several months prior to the climb. More importantly, you want to accumulate the skills and experience necessary to attempt even the "normal" south col/north col routes.  At a minimum, a summit climb of Aconcagua or Denali should give you a feel for your body's response to altitude.   A climb of one of the easier 8000 meter peaks is ideal - Cho Oyu, GII or Shishapangma.  Understand the difficulties you will face long before you walk into Everest base, and be ready physically and mentally to tough it out. Thanks for the questions.  Bye. 

Thank You David !

Daily News: 1/26/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: If appears we might have a Brit race instead of a Sherpa race !!! As reported earlier, Babu Chhiri Sherpa is expected to attempt to break the record ascent time for a Everest climb from the South side. Most Everest climbers we talk to, seems to feel Babu can easily break this record. Other Sherpa climbers would also like to take a shot at it, but the probability is that no other Sherpa climber will have the time and money to attempt the record this spring.
  • But we also have an interesting story developing on the British Climbers. Graham Ratcliffe will be attempting Everest from the South Side as part of Henry Todd's Expedition, and Graham Hoyland (see his interesting post awhile ago on the Discussion Forum) will be attempting the Summit from the North Side as part of the Eric Simonson's multiple purpose 99 Everest Expedition. If either climber reaches the summit they would be the only British climber to climb both the North and South Side of Everest. Yes, no Brit has reached the Summit of Everest form both sides of Everest to date ! Then we also have Jon Tinker (OTT Expeditions), on the South Side. Jon, is known to act first as an Expedition leader, and second as a climber. The probability is one of these three men will be the first Brit to summit Everest from the North and the South sides. It should be stated that EverestNews.com knows of no official competition between these climbers.... Both Graham Ratcliffe and Graham Hoyland will be on high profile expeditions filming movies... !  Jon will be leading, what is expected to be the largest expedition of climbers on Everest on the South Side in 1999.  More on these climbers and expeditions soon !!!
  • The expedition of New Zealander Peter Hillary, son of Everest conqueror Sir Edmund, and Australians Eric Phillips and Jon Muir has reached the south Pole. They sat out across Antarctica on a journey attempted to recreate the ill-fated expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1911. They found the trek rough with many challenges. Please check their web site for all the details: http://www.iridium-icetrek.org/index.htm.
  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover.  For Amazon UK and the rest of EverestNews.com' sponsors see our Sponsor page !

Daily News: 1/25/99 Report

  • If you missed it, several  new.bmp (378 bytes) Stories has been added to our Site Index. The feedback on this new Index has been very positive...so that is the plan ! The hyperlink to the Site Index has also been added to the left border... Thanks, for all your comments ! Keep them coming everestnews2004@adelphia.net .
  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 6: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David took questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com, for the first parts of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Q.) On an experience I had on a roped climb on a glacier (my 1st time with crampons and on a roped team) How close should the person directly behind the lead climber be? The lead climber in this instance was the guide-Should there be a lot of slack (distance) between you and the lead climber or should you try to keep pace with him/her? 

A.)  Generally people are roped up in this manner over glaciated terrain to help arrest a crevasse fall.  Rope teams often put 50 feet of rope between climbers.  It defeats the purpose generally if there's a rope but no distance between climbers. 

Q.) How much did you hydrate during your climbs? Did you drink more fluids the higher you climbed?

A.) Hydration is critical, and the risk of frostbite can be compounded not only by low temperatures but also improper hydration and poor vascular circulation due to altitude.

Q.) Did you have or have you ever had any experiences with HA sickness on your 7 summit attempts or 50 state climbs?

A.) I've had a couple bouts of mild altitude sickness but fortunately no cerebral or pulmonary edema.  Even AMS (which can be a precursor to the edemas) can be debilitating.  There are documented cases of people dying from altitude sickness as low as 8000 feet in the U.S.

Q.) Are you more secure climbing with people you know and trust or do you on occasion like to climb with people just learning the ropes so to speak?? Thanks again for your time!!

A.) It's always more comfortable to climb with people you know but it can be fun with new people as well.  This summer I took part in a commercial expedition to the Eastern Pamir and it worked very well.

Q.) Ok I have to know the Larry story !

A.) After climbing in great weather in the Beartooth mountains of Montana the van we were riding in broke down several hours outside of Bozeman.  We hitchhiked from a gas station into Bozeman.  Larry was a hound dog in the back of the truck with us.  He was better behaved than we were.

Daily News: 1/24/99 Report

  • The Discussion Forum, appears to be much more active since a reader's suggestion we list some of the titles on the Site Index. EverestNews.com encourages your suggestions as we try to improve the site between now and May 1999. Suggestions can be submitted at any time to everestnews2004@adelphia.net. For anyone looking for Jochen he is currently on his Aconcagua Expedition. He has promised a report on his return, assuming time allows...
  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 5: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David took questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com, for the first parts of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Q.) On Everest, What was Hall turn around time in 1994? Did everyone know what it was?

A.) We had a general sense of safety but we were not under any specific turnaround time.  With that said we left at 12:30 am with the understanding that we wanted to get off the summit as early as possible.

Q.) Why do you think Hall did not turn around in 1996?

A.) It's not totally clear, but I've heard a report from a Sherpa that Rob was relegated to two lousy options late in the day. But this is unconfirmed.

Q.) David, I just don't get it. how can people blame a guide form another team (A. Boukreev) for the deaths of two clients and  two guides from another expedition. I just don't get it. Am I stupid or what ???

A.) I'm not sure that Boukreev was blamed for any deaths, but you're right some criticisms appear to be misplaced.  

Q.) How strong and good was Lopsang Sherpa ?

A.) Lopsang summited with Scott Fischer's' team the same day as us in 1994. He was wearing traditional Sherpa clothing on the ascent.  He was a very powerful climber.  He was also  a member of Rob Hall's 1995 Everest expedition.   Rob Hall's climbing sirdar, Ang Dorje does not seek much publicity but he is an outstanding altitude climber with ascents of Makalu, Cho Oyu, Broad Peak and numerous Everest climbs.  He's a member of a small group of people who have smoked cigarettes on the summit of Everest.

Q.) How do you pay the bills? Do you have a Job ? How do you get all the money for these climbs? 

A.) At the time I went to Everest I was single and was coming off a very good salary with a telecommunications company.  More recently, I've been doing some telecom consulting and also work for a NY agency as a professional photographer.   I consider myself a "seriously amateur" climber.  The high mountains are a strong pull but more often I have been choosing moderate routes with good company.

A few more answers to your questions will be posted in the next few days.

Daily News: 1/22/99 Report

  • The Pascal Debrouwer & Joao Garcia page has been become two pages and has been updated... with some pictures from Joao's 1998 Everest North Side climb ! ! ! Nice pictures ! This page will take some time to load if you have a slow computer, but we think you will like them ! The second page lists more information on Joao as he prepares for his attempt on the North Side of Everest in Spring 1999 !
  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 4: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David will be taking questions from You, our readers of EverestNews.com, please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first part of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Q.) Do the climbers at Everest or other high altitude mountains ever use drugs to keep them going (ala Methadrine), or any other stimulants? Its seems it would be dangerous.

A.) Some climbers do you use medical supplements to help counteract the effects of altitude.  Diamox is commonly prescribed and used, but it's no guarantee. There are much more powerful drugs which should be used with extreme discretion.

Q.) Can one were contact lenses were H.A. climbing ?

A.)  Some people do use contacts but I'm not aware of the specific limitations. After Everest 96 there have been some questions about the Radial Keratotomy procedure and altitude.  Ned Gillette reportedly had the procedure and related no problems during his climb.  Case by case.

Q.) The 64,000 dollar question: Do you feel ITA is accurate ?

A.) Honestly, I think the work would have benefited from a more lengthy research period.   ITA is a dramatic read but there are problems.   As an example of an author approaching a tragedy in a different manner I'd point to Sebastian Junger's best-selling work ‘The Perfect Storm'.  Great research and integrity without losing the drama.

Q.) What do you make of many guides and writers these days speaking out against ITA?

A.) I think ITA certainly helped create more controversy, and it will continue to generate a healthy debate. 

Q.) On the other hand David Breashears and Ed Viesturs, we are told over and over says they think ITA is accurate. However, they weren't really there, meaning even above Camp 2 that day. How do you think. I also have not seen anything in print from Ed.

A.) There are a lot of opinions floating around.  I get suspicious when anyone dresses up opinions as the mighty truth.  There is more grey than black and white which goes back to what Ed Douglas was talking about.  

Ed Viesturs did make some interesting comments that were buried in the online reports appearing soon after the tragedy. Specifically, he pointed to key issues of personnel and decision-making.  

I wasn't there, but one approach, if you really care, is to read all the published material and make your own conclusions.  I thought Peter Wilkinson's account in Men's Journal was remarkable.  The best written magazine piece in my opinion. He wasn't there either, and perhaps that's an advantage.

Q.) Do you think Breashears and ITA was co-promoted together?

A.) I have no idea.

Please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first parts of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Daily News: 1/21/99 Report

  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 3: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David will be taking questions from You, our readers of EverestNews.com, please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first part of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Q.) From  the book ITA, Woodall was made out to be opposed to helping Halls Team and Fischer's Team by refusing the use of a radio in crisis situation , and was antagonistic all the way up-- he was from The South African Team right? Or was Krakauer over reacting to this?

A.) I read the various accounts of the South African team but I don't have any further information.  Their actions appear indefensible.

Q.) I would like to know what it was like upon the summit?

A.) It's a bit surreal because of the altitude.  Great views of course, but it's a struggle to process  the information. The weather was favorable and the hour was early so people were celebrating and not too stressed.   There was only one other expedition on the route, a NOLS group, which included Scott Fischer, Lobsang Jangbu, Rob Hess  and Brent Bishop.  We were psyched.  You're always thinking about getting down though.

Q.) Was there any complications if so what were they? 

A.) The terrain of the southeast ridge can be a problem when more than a few climbers are on the route.  The Hillary Step can really jam up.  I waited for nearly an hour above the Step after one climber mistakenly rappelled off the ridge onto the Kangshung Face. Belaying individual climbers up or down the Step can really extend the day.   A fixed line is more efficient.  Most climbers should carry a jumar and figure-eight.

Q.) What was the scariest part of your journey up the mountain and did you ever feel like  going back down and giving up? 

A.) There were several times when doubts surfaced and I wondered if I would be able to finish the climb.  I caught some nasty bugs which most people do, but the climb itself went fairly smooth.  Had a couple of extra events - lost a crampon on the steep rock of the Yellow Band (below the south col), and went hip deep in a crevasse a few meters below the South Summit.  That caught my attention.

Q.) Will there be a second attempt for you?  If so, when will this come?

A.) I would like to go back some day, but there are many other interesting things to climb and see and it may not happen.  Additionally, the economics of Everest remain a big obstacle.

Q.) What were conditions like on the mountain?  Thank you and congratulations.

A.) Rob Hall mentioned that the south col route in the spring of 94 offered the least amount of snow cover he had seen.  Most of the Lhotse face (the route form CII to C4) was hard ice which is a bit more work compared to the snow steps which are typical in the post-monsoon season.  On the other hand, major avalanches on the face were less of a threat.  Several camps were swept away in the fall of 1993.  

At the top of the Khumbu Icefall a large crevasse had opened and nine ladders had to be tied together to climb up and over it.  We called it the ‘Eiffel Ladder'.  Crampons and ladders are not a heavenly match.  

We also had very high winds up on the south col after we summited.   Most of us were in NF Himalayan Hotels which are fairly large and the wind was driving the ceilings into our faces as we lay in our bags. Ed Viesturs later mentioned that he the wind was among the most intense he had experienced. Please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first parts of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Daily News: 1/20/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: EverestNews.com has learned that Goran Kropp, who reached the summit of Everest in 1996 and K2 earlier, will be back on Everest in Spring 1999. We understand however, that Goran will not be attempting the Summit. That he will be at base camp to help clean up the mountain and do more filming. However, we understand that his girlfriend, who will be with him, might make an attempt at the Summit ! Goran's web site is http://www.kroppaventyr.se/english/index.html, which is also on our web site of the week table.
  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 2: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints. David will be taking questions from You, our readers of EverestNews.com, please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first part of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

Daily News: 1/19/99 Report

  • David Keaton Q&A, Part 2: (Everest  94 with Rob Hall) and the youngest person at the time (29 yrs) to complete either version of the Seven Summits. (Rob Hall previously held the record.) The same year he also became the first person to have attained both the 'Seven Summits' and the 50 US state highpoints.  On 1/11/99 News is his article " Everest Misguided ? ",  David will be taking questions from You, our readers of EverestNews.com, please submit your questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net for the first part of his Q&A all the other information see the David Keaton Page.

David Keaton Q&A, Part 2: Questions from readers of EverestNews.com:

Q.)  On Everest, from your experience in '94 and what you've read about '96, do you feel that some clients were over-dependent on Hall? Or, to put the question another way: Do you feel there was a lack of balance between Hall's strong leadership and client self-reliance?

A.)  I think this question leads to the very heart of whether an 8000 meter mountain should be guided.  In a traditional guiding environment on lower mountains this sort of imbalance is typically a given.  Whether or not this is appropriate on the earth's highest peak will continue to attract debate.

Q.) Can Everest be guided?

A.)  Difficult question.  I've thought long and hard about what it means to "guide" Everest.  Having participated in numerous guided and unguided climbs,  I think it  comes down to a rope.  Over crevassed and or steep glaciated terrain in the European Alps would a guide rope-up to his client?   Generally, yes.  To even remotely "guide" in the traditional sense I think the guide and the client must be attached by a rope.  On summit day, this is an all day scenario from camp to camp.  This has been done before but it is not the typical arrangement.  Skip Horner has guided in this fashion as have others.

Q.) How should Everest be guided ?

A.) I'm not totally convinced that Everest can be guided in the traditional sense.  On the highest peaks there are too many variables that can never be fully controlled.

Q.) What do you think Rob Hall would say about Into This Air ?  

A.)  I can't say.

Q.) What do you think Scott Fischer would say about Into this Air ?

A.) As much as I might imagine what they might say it's really not my place.

Q.) Do you agree with Ed Douglas that Boukreev has not due credit for his  physical achievements that day(s)? 

A.) I agreed with much of what Ed discussed, in particular, the argument about different cultural psyches.  Anatoli Boukreev was set to join a very elite group of Himalayan climbers and this rattled more than a few egos and sponsors.   Some people also manipulated a pile of secondary issues in an effort to blur many of  the important primary issues.

Boukreev was not the leader of the expedition and was not ultimately responsible for setting the summit day plan.  But on this day he performed his job as it was previously defined.  And more.  He saved lives.  He was a hero.

It has been disappointing and perplexing to witness the lengths to which some have gone to cast his efforts in a different light.  If the summit plan was poor should he be blamed?   For better or worse, he followed the plan.   Much of this goes back to the entire discussion of whether or not Everest should or can be guided.  I think Anatoli had a very clear picture of his role on the mountain. I was pleased to see him receive the American Alpine Club's highest award for valor.

Daily News: 1/18/99 Report

Daily News: 1/17/99 Report

Daily News: 1/16/99 Report

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