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 July 98 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: 7/31/98 Report

  • As Autumn Everest 98 begins in about 14 days ! It is time to summarize Spring Everest 98.

Everest 98 South Side Summary.

42 climbers reached the summit of Everest from the South Side in the Spring of 1998. Two climbers, Jeff Rhoads and Tashi Tshering Sherpa reached the Summit two times each. Jeff was the first non-Nepalese climber to summit two times in a season. Both climbers were on the Everest Challenge team, which included Tom Whittaker. Tom Whittaker became the first disabled climber to summit Everest. Tom, who lost a foot and was climbing with a special prostheses, previously failed to reach the summit in 89 & 95. There were no deaths on the South Side in 98, which contributed to Everest having one of the safest years in recent history.

Teams from Iran and Singapore reached the summit for the first time ever in 1998.

Bernardo Guarachi (43) from Bolivia not only became the first Native South American Indian to reach the summit of Everest but emerged also as a world class climber !

44 summits from the South Side is a low number in recent history and partly resulted from over 50 climbers being turned around on the first night of the season. It also resulted in no deaths in 98 ! Many have told EverestNews.com several climbers would have probably failed and deaths were almost a certainly that night if all the climbers would have continued.

Appa Sherpa reached the summit for his ninth time ! Appa also fixed the ropes on Hillary step and the summit ridge in what seems to becoming an very important factor in climbers reaching the summit. Very few climbers, except Sherpa, this year had ever reached the Summit of Everest before. Appa Sherpa was a member of the Everest Environmental Expedition that put 12 climbers on the Summit out of the 44 summits. The EEE team was by far the most successful team this year of the South Side.

23 out of the 44 Summits were by Sherpa. Most of the Sherpa were experienced Everest climbers which had reached the summit previously.

A very successful year, with no deaths and 44 Summits of Everest from the South Side !

For more facts of previous years, please see the EverestNews.com Summits and Deaths page.

  • K2 Update: Today (Thursday 30th) four climbers finally reached Camp 3 (7,450m). Abele, Arnaud and Adriano from Italian team and Waldemar from brazil left Camp 2 at 7 a.m. Spanish and Turkish climbers accompanied them till half of the way bringing the ropes. Italians & Waldemar were fixing the ropes. Climbers at Camp 3 intend to build a cave in the ice tomorrow so they won't be so exposed to wind and cold. Source: guta nascimento

Daily News: 7/30/98 Report

  • Autumn Everest 98 begins in about 14 days !
  • K2 Update: Tuesday 28th, some climbers woke up at 4 a.m. and climbed to camp 1, facing a little bit of wind. They intend to spend this night at camp 1 and tomorrow night at Camp 2. The climbers are: Pepe Garces, Josι Antonio Pujante and Luis Miguel from Spain, Waldemar from Brazil, Ugur Uluocak, Serhan Poηan and Erdem Tuη from Turkey, Abele, Adriano and Arnaud from Italy. Their hope (Waldemar & Italians) is to fix ropes till the 7.450m of Camp 3, so they will have time to come down to bc, rest and try the attempt to summit at next full moon. Source: guta nascimento
  • K2 Update: Wednesday 29th climbers arrived at 11 a.m. at Camp 2 (6.700m). They got some rest on their tents before starting fixing ropes on the way to Camp 3. They fixed more 300m of ropes but wind and some clouds made them turn back and descend till Camp 2. Source: guta nascimento
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Daily News: 7/29/98 Report

  • Jochen Hemmleb's Research Papers

    Jochen Hemmleb's complete research papers have now been posted at this site: Born in 1971, Jochen is at present a student of geology at the J.W. Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Germany. His interest in Everest started at the age of 17, after reading the book "The Mystery of Mallory & Irvine" (London: Jonathan Cape, 1986) by American researcher Tom Holzel and British historian Audrey Salkeld. Calling Salkeld his mentor and main source of inspiration, Jochen has since then collected data about the Tibetan Side of Everest from all over the world in a steadily growing private "Everest Archive".

    Over the past four years, Jochen has compiled - but not published - a number of research papers. His original article, "Second Step - Unraveling the Mystery" deals with a crucial section of the North-east Ridge and investigates its possible role in Mallory and Irvine's disappearance in the light of current knowledge. "Appendix 1 - How to get up Second Step", describes the topographical details and technical difficulties of this section. "Appendix 2 - Chinese Mysteries, Part I" evaluates evidence for the long disputed first ascent of the North-east Ridge by the Chinese in 1960, while "Appendix 3 - Chinese Mysteries, Part II" covers the alleged discovery of an 'English dead' high on the mountain in 1975, which could only have been the body of either Irvine or Mallory. A "Postscript" is added to this paper. "Appendix 4 - The oxygen factor" summarizes calculations of how the usage of oxygen has possibly influenced the outcome of Mallory and Irvine's final climb. This compendium of research papers, issued in 1994, has received two updates: "Second Step - Update, Spring 1995" and "Second Step - Update, Spring 1998: Revising the Mystery". Those updates are not to be seen as finished results, but as statements on the current stage of research.

    Another mystery of Everest's North Side, the disappearance of Peter Boardman & Joe Tasker on the North-east Ridge intigrale in 1982, is dealt with in "Where are you now, Pete & Joe". Research for this took on a very personal note and showed that the mountaineering history is as much about mountains as it is about the mountaineers. Boardman and Tasker were one of the most vivid characters among those, and anyone who has read their books (and that of Joe's girlfriend, Maria Coffey) can't help but miss them.

    Further updates are expected to be issued as new data emerges. At present (Summer 1998), Jochen is seeking support for a new research expedition to the northern slopes of Mount Everest. Details about this project will be posted on EverestNews.com later this year.

    Cheers, Jochen Hemmleb

    Index: Jochen Hemmleb's Research Papers

    Second Step Unraveling the Mystery (Original paper)

    Appendices 1-4, including Postscript to 3

    Update Spring 1995

    Update Spring 1998

    Where are you now, Pete & Joe?

  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/28/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com 98 South Side Summary should be completed this week along with the posting of updates to Jochen's research papers !
  • David Lim: Allison Lim has been out of Singapore, but she has now returned and hopefully you will soon receive a update on David for all that are interested.
  • K2 Update Important News (It appears things are moving along): Waldemar on Sunday 26th made a big reunion with all the chiefs from all expeditions who are in K2 right now. The reunion took place at Italian team's dining-hall tent. Americans, Spanish, Canadians, Irish, Turkish and Italians. Everybody was there. The main objective was to trace a common strategy to finish the task of fixing ropes till camp 3 and then, make possible the attempts of summiting. It has been agreed that Waldemar and Italian team are going to end the task of fixing ropes till camp 3, but others teams climbers will help carrying the ropes that are necessary. Italian team will carry their personal equipment to establish camp 3, the other teams will bring the ropes and come down to sleep at camp 2 (all ropes are already in camp 2). Until now Waldemar and Italian team have fixed more than 2000m of ropes, until 7.200m of altitude.  As the others teams arrived later than Waldemar and Italians at k2, they are not so acclimatized as them and don't have yet condition enough of working at high altitudes. Source: guta nascimento
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/27/98 Report

  • Asian Trekking has been added to the Everest 99 links page. They have announced plans for both Spring and Autumn attempts from the North and South sides of Everest in 1999. Asian Trekking had 13 of their Sherpa reached the summit from the North Side this year, while supporting teams that had 25 climbers reach the Summit from the North Side in 98. 38 Total summits this year from teams Asian supported in 98 from the North side alone ! A Great Year ! Very few years has 38 climbers total reached the Summit from the North side of Everest. Check their web site for expeditions they are supporting and planning. We believe they were supporting about 32 expeditions this spring alone. EverestNews.com also understands Asian trekking is the official trekking agent for Everest in Tibet.
  • If you have other questions for Everest climbers this year send us those questions and we will see what we can do .... EverestNews.com has added an new e-mail : web@everestnews2004.com for questions and comments.
  • You can support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books, CDs, calendars, audio cassettes, VHS Tapes and now Music through the Amazon links we provide here for your use. You must go through one of our links for EverestNews.com to get credit for the sale from Amazon. Thank you for your support of EverestNews.com.     

Daily News: 7/26/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com Update on "Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War" should come next week.
  • The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition (See earlier reports in July 98 News) including American climbers Tom McMillan & Charlotte Fox (Everest 96 summit) support treks can be found on their web site. The support treks offer options to  attempt summits of Hiunchuli 6331m , Singu Chuli (Fluted Peak) 6390m, Tharpu and Chuli (Tent Peak) 5580m. The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition web page can be found on EverestNews.com climbers links page.
  • Jochen has answered your question about the "South Pillar". To add to his post on the discussion forum, EverestNews.com believes the Polish climbers were Ansrzei Czok and the legend Jerzy Kukuczka. Several sources have told EverestNews.com that fewer climbers have actually climbed this route than "officially reported".
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/25/98 Report

  • Special Report on the Everest climber, Guy Cotter as he leads an expedition for Adventure Consultants to attempt the summit of Muztagh Ata in western China. Updates from this expedition will be posted to the EverestNews.com site. The first update has been posted. We will put a note in the news section whenever an update appears on his page.
  • K2 Update: Today (Friday 24th) base camp woke up with a huge layer of snow all over it (Waldemar reports 30 centimeters). During the day climbers at base camp could hear lots of avalanches as there were big amounts of snow on K2 slopes. Today it completes exactly one month Waldemar and Italian team arrived at K2, during all this time they had only 4 days of good weather. As it was during July's full moon, climbers intend to try to summit at the next full moon, which will be August 7th. If the weather repeats to improve at this window again, of course. Source: guta nascimento
  • Woodall Update: EverestNews.com received an unconfirmed report today, from a good source, that Woodall & the South African K2 team has cancelled his K2 plans. No reason was given.
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/24/98 Report

  • Cho Oyu is coming up soon. It appears everyone is going to be there this year.  Everest guides by the dozen ! Do you want EverestNews.com to cover this climb? Let us know: web@everestnews2004.com . Also if you have other questions for Everest climbers this year, we have more interviews in progress, to finish and some to start... So send us those questions and we will see what we can do ....
  • American Climber Tom McMillan is leading the 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition (See earlier report in July 98 News). This expedition is to attempt the South Face of 8091 meter high Annapurna I during the autumn of 1998. Rising to a summit elevation of 26,545feet, this face is approximately 3,000 feet higher in vertical relief than the famous Southwest Face of Mt. Everest. They hope to establish a direct finish to the Bonington Route. During the last stages of the monsoon, in September and early October, they will work from an advanced base camp on the Annapurna South Glacier to place camps at 6100, 7000, and 7600 meters.

    Everest Climbers has described this climb as: This is a heck of a hard climb. The team that first did it in the early 70s were exceptionally good. & The original climb was in 1970 - it included the legends of British climbing - Bonnington led, Dougal Haston, Mick Burke, Whillans, Estcourt (who was killed) and the great American climber Tom Frost.

    The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition web page can be found on EverestNews.com climbers links page. You will also find support treks information on their site. Apparently they have rooms for more climbers. More on this Expedition soon !

  • K2 Update: Night on camp 1 was very hard for all climbers. The wind was very strong and they couldn't sleep. Today (Thursday 23th) sky was totally clouded and a high layer of snow covered camp 1. Climbers waited till 2 p.m. expecting weather could improve and they could be up to camp 2, but the sky was even more clouded and as the wind and snow started to increase again they went down to base camp. Source: guta nascimento

Daily News: 7/23/98 Report

  • Byron Smith : We have received several questions for Byron. We will request a follow up interview. However, Byron is a very busy man.... Also, what Mike Trueman did in taking questions for several days was extraordinary ... This should not be viewed as the norm (We wish it was).
  • Swee Chiow: We have received several positive comments which we will past on to him.
  • K2 Update: Wednesday 22nd, 2 Italian climbers (Adriano & Arnaud), Brazilian Waldemar Niclevicz, and Spanish Pepe Garces went up to Camp 1. The weather improved a little bit. The wind was a little less strong and snow hasn't fallen down in the mountain although there are still clouds. Source: guta nascimento
  • The site should be faster again. The web designers are finished.
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/22/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Swee Chiow, a member of the Singapore 98 Everest Expedition, who climbed Everest from the South Side in Spring 1998. Swee Chiow on 5/19/98 reached the South Summit before turning around along with the 50 plus other climbers that were the first group to attempt the summit from the South Side in 1998. Six days later he made a second successful attempt and reached the Summit on 5/25/98 with 11 other climbers including five others from his team. This year 42 climbers reached the summit from the South Side of Everest. Two climbers reached the summit two times each for a total of 44 summits from the South Side so far in 1998. Six of the 42 climbers to reach the Summit of Everest from the South Side this year were on the Singapore Team. This was the Singapore's team first attempt at Everest ! A very good job guys !

    EverestNews.com Interview with Everest Swee Chiow

     

    Q. First can you give us some background on yourself...

    A. I am a systems (software) analyst in Singapore Airlines. I was never a climber during school days. It was only when I started working in 1988, I started to trek and then slowly progressed to mountaineering. By the way, my hometown is Port Dickson - the place where Joe Simpson spent some of his childhood. Perhaps he'll contact me if he reads this. I would be so honored to hear from a legend.

    Other climbs I did - Stok Kangri (Ladakh), Putha Hiunchuli, Cho Oyu, Grand Combin & Mont Blanc. Other treks I did - Kilimanjaro, Longs Peak, Mt Elbert, Mt Massif, Kerinci (Sumatra), Rinjani (Lombok), YuSan (Taiwan), ShiehSan (Taiwan) & Kinabalu (Sabah).

    Q. Why did you go to Everest?

    A. My first "encounter" with Everest was during my first trip to Nepal in 1989. Since then, its become my dream to climb it. It was just a dream until 1994, when our team leader David made a nation wide call for climbers to join the team, I knew my dream could be coming true.

    Q.  Describe summit day for us?

    A. It was the hardest endurance test I ever put myself through. The summit ridge from South Summit onwards was the most dangerous. The wind was howling, my hands were painful and going numb. Thanks to my Sherpa Nawang who gave me a hand warmer. That helped a lot. But I was very dehydrated and my movement was becoming very slow. The Hillary Step took a lot of energy out of me. Beyond that, the false summits seemed to go on forever - one cornice after another. When I finally saw my partner Edwin & the Sherpas on the summit, it didn't register to me that I was nearing the highest summit in the world. But when I stepped on the summit, tears rolled down my face. It was 6.30am. I have never expected to be there so fast.

    Q. Describe the descent from the summit ?

    A. It was a nightmare. My vision was blurred due to the cold wind and the sun. I didn't wear my goggles on the way up after sunrise on South Summit. I was even slower descending to the South Summit. My crampons got entangled in the old ropes on Hillary Step. On the 1st summit attempt, we went down the steep face from Balcony down to C4 without any rope. But this time, we were just too tired and again, thanks to our 4 Sherpas, they used their ice axes as temporary anchors to pay out the rope and we used it to guide our descent on some tricky sections. On reaching C4, the Sherpas were eager to go further down. So, they broke camp. By the time we got into C2, it was past 6pm and I have never been so exhausted in my life. We had been on the move for more than 20 hours. I felt as if I was going to drop dead anytime.

    Q. Other climbers are telling us that Bernardo Guarachi was one of the strongest climbers on Everest. Who do you think were the strongest climbers (including Sherpa) this year on the South side?

    A. Bernardo is a superman. He moves like the Sherpas. He's the most courteous guy I've ever met. I saw him sitting outside his tent alone everyday, looking at the mountains. That's how he sat out the bad weather. His inner strength and patience shows. His Makalu experience and this time, his camera failed him on the summit, made me feel very sympathetic towards him.

    Q. Will you be back next year?

    A. Wow, I like the way you put it - so simple ! None of us in Singapore (at least not me) can afford the money. The team fund-raised, trained and planned for 4 years for this project. That's how hard it is for us. But then, if someone is willing to sponsor, why not ?

    Q. Will you consider the North side of Everest in the future?

    A. I think the North side holds more magic and mystery for me - being the original route for the pioneers. Their struggle and drama high up never fail to strike a cord in me every time I read it again and again. I saw Everest from afar at Old Tingri last year on the Cho Oyu trip. It was simply awesome. My only regret on that trip is that we didn't go to Rungbuk.

    Q. The question every armchair climber wants to know. Why risk it all?

    A. I don't consider myself a very technical or skilful climber. My motivation comes from my curiosity that always asks: "Can I do it ? Can I do it faster ? Can I go higher ?" I am kind of a fanatic. Once I am hooked on an idea, it's hard to put it down. In addition, mountains are beautiful, they've got so many moods and faces.

    Q. What's Next ?

    A. The next step after Everest - I slept at C3 (7300m) on Everest without oxygen & I felt ok. It would be exciting to find out if I can do a "low & easy" 8000er without oxygen. That would be the next logical test of my climbing limit. Perhaps Xixabangma or G2. Pushing my limit a little further each time and self-discovery is very exciting for me. It keeps me going I guess.

    Q. David ...

    A. On David - He's the mastermind behind this 4-year project. Without him, this whole Everest business would not have been possible. So, we all owe our success to him.

    Thanks much.

    Swee Chiow

    EverestNews.com has a feeling you will hear about Swee Chiow back on 8000 meter peaks in the future.

  • K2 Update: Weather continues to be bad at K2. Yesterday (Monday 20th) it improved a little bit and climbers were anxious at base camp, but when they woke up at 3 a.m. they realized clouds coming from the west. They stayed observing the sky till 6 a.m. when they finally gave up going up during the day haziness increased, which means they did the right choice. Source: guta nascimento
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/21/98 Report

  • American Climber Tom McMillan is leading the 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition. This expedition is to attempt the South Face of 8091 meter high Annapurna I during the autumn of 1998. Rising to a summit elevation of 26,545feet, this face is approximately 3,000 feet higher in vertical relief than the famous Southwest Face of Mt. Everest. They hope to establish a direct finish to the Bonington Route. During the last stages of the monsoon, in September and early October, they will work from an advanced base camp on the Annapurna South Glacier to place camps at 6100, 7000, and 7600 meters.

    Tom tells us that approximately 4000 meters of 6 to 8 mm diameter rope will be fixed up to an altitude of 7700 meters. This will put the team in a position to reach the summit and return safely to base camp when the jet stream lifts during mid to late October. Weather permitting, the team will attempt a direct line through the rock band, up the large corner that meets the ridge at 7700 meters. 

    Annapurna is significant in that it was the first 8000-meter peak ever climbed. The 1950 first ascent via the North Face was immortalized in Maurice Herzog's book Annapurna,  the sine qua non of mountaineering literature. It took 20 years for another team to succeed on the mountain. The 1970 ascent of the South Face of Annapurna by Chris Bonington's team was a landmark in the history of mountaineering. This is a mountain that is among the most familiar of mountains, yet one that is very rarely climbed.

    Only three Americans have climbed Annapurna. Two American women, Irene Miller and Vira Komarkova, reached the summit via the North Face in October of 1978, making the first ascent by Americans, and the first female ascent of an 8000 meter peak. In May of 1988, Steve Boyer reached the summit, repeating the Bonington route on the South Face with a large French expedition. Since then, no other Americans have reached the summit by any route. The South Face has never been successfully climbed by an American or a Canadian team, and no Canadian has reached the summit.

    The South Face of Annapurna is one of the largest and steepest faces in the world. The face is awesome in size and difficulty. The South Face is 3000 feet higher than the southwest face of Mt. Everest. Due to appalling avalanche hazards, fatality rates on Annapurna are nearly three times greater than for expeditions to other 8000-meter peaks, including Mt. Everest and K2. Annapurna claimed the lives of two women during the 1978 American Women's Annapurna Expedition. Anatoli Boukreev, whose participation in the heroic rescues on Mt. Everest in May of 1996, was documented in the popular books The Climb and Into Thin Air, was tragically killed by an avalanche on a satellite peak of Annapurna last Christmas day. The South Face is relatively free of the terrible avalanche hazards that plague the standard routes on the North Face of the mountain, despite the great difficulty, the South Face is a logical route to the summit. The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition are an American-Canadian team of non-professional, but skilled climbers who have the goal of climbing this 12,000-foot face by a new route. This new route is a direct finish to the Bonington route, through a 700 meter-high sheer rock face situated at an altitude of more than 7,000-meters. Charlotte Fox who reached the summit of Everest in 1996 is a member of this expedition.

    The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition web page can be found on EverestNews.com climbers links page. More on this Expedition soon !

  • K2 Update: On Sunday they got very bad weather and had to came down to base camp...  Source: guta nascimento

Daily News: 7/20/98 Report

  • IGO-8000: EverestNews.com followed up to Eric Simonson with several more questions about the IGO-8000 as promised. Here it is:

    Eric, a few follow-up questions...

    Let's start at the beginning...

    1.) What is the IGO 8000?

    2.) What does (or will) IGO-8000 do?     

    3.) How is the IGO-8000 financed?

    4.) What benefits are there in joining the IGO 8000?

    5.) Is the IGO 8000 open for other guides to join or by invitation only?

    6.) Will there be a staff at IGO 8000?

    7.) The UIAA recommended Code of Practice is listed below. Many could argue and we are sure you agree, that many climbers and guides do not comply FULLY with this UIAA code. Why should the public believe guides and expeditions will comply with the IGO-8000 code?  And why does the IGO 8000 feel there is a need for more than the UIAA code below?

    THE INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING FEDERATION

    Recommended Code of Practice for High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions

    1. Definition. This Code applies to commercial expeditions attempting 8000m peaks which offer to guide or accompany climbers above Base Camp. It is not concerned with the many expeditions which employ trekking agencies to supply transport etc. to Base Camp, and may also supply Base Camp services and H.A. porters.

    2. Rationale. A variety of organizations offer to take clients on 8000m peaks. They vary from those which provide a full service to the summit or nearly to the summit, to those where there is minimal support for clients above Base Camp. However at the present moment it is difficult for clients to deduce from brochures exactly what is offered in terms of guiding and support, and whether it corresponds to their needs. This Code supplies clients with pointers to assist them to make an informed choice.

    3. High Altitude Warning. Mountaineers climbing at very high altitude, especially above 8000m are at the limit of their mental and physical powers and may not be capable of assisting others as has always been traditional in mountaineering. This fact is of particular importance to mountaineers of limited experience who rely on professional guides to bring them safely up and down 8000m peaks.

    THE CODE

     

    The leader or chief guide and as many as possible of the guides should have experience at least to the altitude of the peak to be climbed. [There is no qualification appropriate to high altitude guiding, so the term "guide" does not imply that the person holds a professional qualification. Clients can only judge from the previous experience of the guides, who may be westerners or Sherpas or other local mountaineers].

     

    1. The staff on the mountain must be adequate for the aims of the party and the services offered.
    2. A doctor in the party is very desirable but at the very least advance arrangements must be made for medical help. Advance arrangements must also be made for evacuation assistance in case of emergency.
    3. The minimum safety equipment available must be walkie-talkie radios, a satellite phone, medical oxygen, and recommended First Aid supplies.
    4. Advertising must give a true picture of all the difficulties and dangers involved, and avoid promising the impossible. Biographical information about the team should be included.
    5. Clients should not usually be accepted for 8000m peaks unless they have previous altitude experience to 6-7000m.
    6. Information supplied in advance should include a clear statement of the guiding and support offered.
    7. The expedition must take account of the UIAA Environmental Objectives and Guidelines and follow the UIAA Expeditions Code of Ethics.

    This Code was approved by the General Assembly of the UIAA at its meeting at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia on 4th October 1997.

    Press Release issued by UIAA Expeditions Commission, 7 Sorbonne, Ardilea Estate, Dublin 14, Ireland

    8.) The press release states :The Code of Practice deals with the following important areas;

    1. The members will produce marketing literature that accurately reflects the seriousness of high altitude mountaineering, and includes details of staff to be employed. 2. The operation will be self sufficient in terms of food, fuel, safety ropes, medical equipment and radio communications. 3. The members will provide the proper level of supervision of the whole operation with guides and trained local staff. 4. The members will contribute to the well being and continuing training of the local staff. 5. The members will operate a clean mountain policy, and will adhere to the UIAA Environmental Objectives And Guidelines. The formation of IGO-8000 will allow the public to choose a commercial expedition in the confidence that they have selected an organization of the highest standard.

    Is the IGO -8000 code of practice published somewhere or how can interested parties get a copy?

    9.) Will their be enforcement of  these standards on the IGO 8000 members or are these voluntary standards? If so who will be performing the enforcement?

    10.) What about "non-guided" expeditions.  Is this a conflict of interest?

    Eric, thank you for your time in advance for discussing this important development in high altitude guiding.  We are sure your answers will help resolve some concerns and answer many questions. We know some of these questions are partly answered in the press release but there seems to be an interest from guides, climbers and armchair climbers to know more ...

    Thanks again

    EverestNews.com

     

  • Eric Simonson e-mail reply to EverestNews.com:

    EverestNews.com

    Let me take a stab at this.

    1.) What is the IGO 8000?

    A voluntary association of guide services that organize climbs to 8000 meter peaks.  I see this whole thing as a "trade organization".  On that basis, I think it is good.  The moment it starts to smell like a "trade union", I'm out.

    2.) What does (or will) the IGO-8000 do?     

    Provide some very basic standards for guided and commercial expeditions.  I think it is KEY to note that all the guide services in IGO 8000 are very different, and they each offer very different types of trips at very different price ranges.  Hopefully IGO 8000 will encourage disclosure of what a trip does and does not include, so that the public can make informed choices.

    3.) How is the IGO-8000 financed?

    Unclear at this time.

    4.) What benefits are there in joining the IGO 8000?

    For a guide service, there might be some benefit being associated with other guide services.  Maybe some marketing advantage, though, as I said, most of the "players" are in now, and we all compete anyway.  Otherwise, I doubt if there is all that much advantage to it.

    5.) Is the IGO 8000 open for other guides to join or by invitation only?

    Right now, most all of the "players" are members. I don't know anybody that has been left out.  If someone wanted to join, I think it would be up to them to contact the organization and introduce themselves. They would have to agree to follow the recommendations of the organization.

    6.)  Will there be a staff at IGO 8000?

    Unclear

    7.) The UIAA recommended Code of Practice is listed below. Many could argue and we are sure you agree, that many climbers and guides do not comply FULLY with this UIAA code. Why should the public believe guides and expeditions will comply with the IGO-8000 code?  And why does the IGO 8000 feel there is a need for more than the UIAA code below?

    They shouldn't !!!  Caveat Emptor.  They should take it upon themselves to do research, talk to past trip participants, and educate themselves about what they are going to do.  Otherwise, they are suckers!

    I can tell you right now that just about every ________ (expletive deleted) expedition that I have seen in the Himalayas has had UIAGM / IFMGA guides associated with it.  There is certainly NO correlation between credentials and final product.

    If nothing else, IGO 8000 will be a benefit to the public because it will make everyone aware that every guide service is different. If people are better educated, they ask better questions.  This is to the advantage of guide services that have nothing to hide. I want people to ask me questions. That was the one good thing about "Into Thin Air"...now my clients are asking better questions!!

    8.) Is the IGO -8000 code of practice published somewhere or how can interested parties get a copy?

    I'm not sure how this is going to be distributed.

    9.) Will their be enforcement of  these standards on the IGO 8000 members or are these voluntary standards? If so who will be performing the enforcement?

    As  far as I know, these will be voluntary. It is possible that the governmental organizations (China/Tibet Mountaineering Association; the Nepal Ministry of Tourism, etc.) might get behind some of the recommendations eventually.

    10.) What about "non-guided" expeditions.  Is this a conflict of interest?

    I think that if the "clients" on a "non-guided" expedition are competent, it is perfectly fine to offer them a logistics package only, with them being on their own for the climbing. The trouble is when incompetent people are allowed to sign up for a "non-guided" climb. This is a big problem, and this is something that concerns me a lot. Several of the IGO 8000 guide services have historically let some very inexperienced people buy onto their permits in the past, climbing "non-guided". These people have been pretty dangerous on the mountain, and in some cases, have died. Personally I think it is ethically dubious to take someone's money and turn them loose on a climb that they are unprepared for, if you are not providing any kind of backup.

    Eric

     

  • K2 Update: I hadn't news today (Sunday 19th) because Waldemar is up to camp 2, but I know that since Friday (17th) they were expecting good weather and started preparing themselves to climb till camp 3 (they will have to fix 800m of ropes to get there).

    On Saturday (18th) good weather has been confirmed and all climbers of the team left base camp at around 4 a.m. , temperature at minus 15 Celsius degrees.

    Adriano, Arnaud and Alessandro stayed at camp 1 at 6000m. Waldemar, Abele, Marco and Edmond went straight till camp 2 (6700m) where they arrived at 2 p.m. They started digging a platform to put up the tent. a strenuous work which took them 3 hours perforating hard ice. 

    Source: guta nascimento

  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/19/98 Report

  • To review EverestNews.com earlier report:

    News on the Czech Everest 98 North Face Expedition. You will notice we added the names of Radek Jaros (34) and Vladimir Nosek (35), one of the team's doctors, to the summit page. Both climbers reached the summit on 5/19/98. Both of these climbers reached the summit without oxygen ! Other team members and their status (all without oxygen): Zdenek Hruby (42) the leader of the expedition reached 8600meters solo, Vladislav Drda (44) reached 8100 meters, Tomas Kozak (35) the other team doctor reached 8100 meters, Petr Skalka (46) reached 8300meters, Bohuslav Blazek (38) was a non-climbing member and Jaroslav Hlava (39) was also a non-climbing member. Great Job by the Czech team ! Two summits without oxygen ! Once again another great Everest 98 success !

    EverestNews.com interview with Zdenek Hruby, the Czech climber, who lead the Czech Everest 98 North Face Expedition who had two climbers, Radek Jaros and Vladimir Nosek, reach the summit of Everest in Spring 1998 on the North Side of Everest. The team climbed without the use of bottled oxygen ! Zdenek Hruby reached 8600 meters  solo before turning around on May 19, 1998.

    EverestNews.com Interview with Everest Climber Zdenek Hruby :

    Q. Which route did you climb? We noticed the Expedition name. Were you planning (or did you) on climbing the North Face?

    A. The route was North Buttress via North Col and North East Ridge.

    Q. Time of day did your climbers reach the summit?

    A. 2:30 p.m.

    Q. Had any of your climbers previously reached the summit of Everest?

    A. No

    Q. Give on us background on you team (sorry we don't know much about your climbers).

    A. Zdenek Hruby - climbed in Europe, Asia, North America. Reached summits of several seven-thousands peaks, e. g. Pik Pobeda in Tien - Sian. Reached 3 eight-thousands peaks, including double on Gasherbrums I and II. Deputy leader of Czech expeditions Everest 96 and Karakorum 97.

    Vladislav Drda - climbed in Europe and Asia, reached summits of 2 eight-thousands peaks, member of expeditions Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Gasherbrum.

    Radek Jaros - climbed in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa. Member of Everest 94 expedition, reached 7700 in Norton Couloir.

    Tomas Kozak - climbed in Europe, Asia, North America, reached summits of several seven-thousands peaks, including Pik Komunisma.

    Vladimir Nosek - climbed in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa. Reached several summits of seven-thousands peaks including Pik Komunisma.

    Petr Skalka - climbed in Europe, Asia, North America. Besides several big walls climbs reached summits of several seven-thousands peaks including Pik Komunisma. Member of Everest 96 expedition, reached 8050m on North Buttress.

    Q. How did it feel to be on Everest?

    A. Very good feeling because of style of the expedition, team spirit and very friendly cooperation, psychical and physical condition of the members as well as return without any injuries.

    Q. Can you tell us if your team worked as a team or an individuals climbing separately?

    A. This was a 100% team work, each of six members had chance to reach summit (depend on weather).

    Q. Did you use a Sherpa support team at all?

    A. We use one Sherpa - not for climbing in fact. He supported us mostly for carrying equipment and assisting during transport Kathmandu - ABC - Kathmandu as well as for taking equipment down from camps after finishing of climbing.

    Q. What next?

    A. Depends on money and time - K2, Broad Peak, Mt. Vinson (Antarctica).

    Q. Why do you climb Everest?

    A. One answer is that from Mallory. A challenge for us to climb the highest peak without artificial oxygen. Moreover, Everest is not only the highest but nice and fascinating peak from the North. The route via North East Ridge provides an unique possibility to climb a long traverse above 8300m, resp. 8500m, without any chance to escape down in short time. It is also very challenging to spend weeks in the remote ABC, 6400m and above, without return to the lower country. No helicopters etc.

     

    Best regards

    Zdenek

    Editorial comment: These Czechs climbers on Everest this year were pretty amazing . Six climbers, only two support people, one Sherpa, No oxygen and Two summits !!!  This team by all reports contained very strong men that performed a great achievement. Two men to summit from the North side of Everest without the use of bottled oxygen is a great achievement in climbing, and with no deaths on the team !!!

     

  • Please check out the homepage for an offer from Expedition News to visitors to our site. If you take them up on the offer, tell them you saw the offer on EverestNews.com.
  • The web designers are going to be working on the site again for the next week. Daily Updates should continue as normal. If the site is not updated just check back.
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/18/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Byron Smith, the Canadian, who climbed Everest in Spring 1998 with the HKE team. Byron Smith reached the South Summit before turning around along with the 50 plus other climbers that were the first group to attempt the summit from the south side in 1998. 42 climbers reached the summit this year from the south side. Two climbers reached the summit two times each for a total of 44 summits from the south side so far in 1998.

    EverestNews.com Interview with Everest Climber Byron Smith:

    Thanks for the opportunity to talk to EverestNews.com. My experience prior to going this year to Everest ( first time to Nepal ) and the high altitude climbing had been with a climb to the top of Aconcagua (the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere at close to 23,000 ft.) in Argentina in 1996, Mount Rainier in Washington and hundreds of mountains in my own back yard, the Canadian Rockies. I am 38 years old ( April 14  at camp 1 ) and am married for 11 years to my wife Jamie and we have a wonderful son named Zachary. We live in a town called Vulcan, one hour south of Calgary Alberta where I own a Ford Mercury Car Dealership for the last 9 years. I could go on for hours, so maybe you could let me know what information about myself you would like.

    Q. Why did you go to Everest?

    A. To climb the highest mountain in the world, Everest is the ultimate symbol of challenge and achievement, and as I am a highly motivated individual who believes I can do anything I want to do, coupled with the fact I am in world class physical condition and I have the resources and time to pursue my goals.

    Q. Can you tell us if your team worked as a team or an individuals climbing separately?

    A. I don't for a minute believe you can have a commercial expedition with individuals who have never met before and call it a TEAM. I myself climbed as an individual as my skill, strength and focus was miles away from the others. I would climb from base camp to camp 1 in 2 1/2 hours where it would take the other members up to 8 hours, it was like that for all camps. I came to the mountain to perform a task and I found far to many people there who should not have come.

    Q. How would you rate your Sherpa support ?

    A. Our Sherpa support was excellent, I emmersed myself with them and because I climbed as fast or faster they respected me as one of them.

    Q. Some have been critical of Steve Goodwin for not reporting the successful summits by members of your team on his site, how do you feel about this?

    A. I don't know. Maybe the independent told him not too. they call the shots. I feel Steve is a very good person and he must have his reasons for doing what he or the Independent did.

    Q. Did you sign up as a non -guided client? Tell us more... 

    A. I signed up on a commercial trip but I climbed 99% by myself with no radio. I depended on my skill and strength. I went with this group ( HKE ) because of the Logistical support they provided ( tents, food , Sherpa's etc )

    Q. Why didn't you make a second attempt?

    A. Steve Goodwin and myself were told point blank that we had our only chance. We had a jr guide named Jim Williams who raised a big stink ( so called guide who was as slow as mollasses) and it was made quite clear we would not have a second chance. I certainly had the strength to go back up but we did not have any resources left.

    Q. You probably know two climbers reached the summit this year, not once but twice after turning around. How does this make you feel?

    A. I won't nor should I  let this bother me, ( you mean Jeff Rhoads and the Sherpa ) Tom Whittaker  feel made a foolish choice to go back up as he was in really bad shape physically and could easily have died, Jeff had the resources to make the second trip which was good for him. I know what I accomplished on the mountain this year and so does anyone else who was their, I don't need to feel bad or apologize for or to anyone ... or for that matter feel bad about the outcome.

    Q. Did you carry a radio? if not why not?

    A. No I did not carry a radio as our group only had 5 to begin with and 3 crapped out shortly after we started. I never once had a radio.

    Q. Some feel many would have died if the Sherpa did not turn around that night. What is your opinion on this?

    A. First of all no Sherpa turned anyone around. I was their when everything unfolded at the South Summit, I know what was said by whom to whom as I heard it with my own ears, plain and simple the amount of rope had been miscalculated. Now would some people have died?, possibly but shit happens at high altitude and people must expect problems on extreme adventures.

    Q. We understand you are going back next year, tell us more...

    A. I am putting together my own expedition with a small group of people and I'll tell you that there will be lot's of rope. I am going back this March on the South Col Route. My big sponsor will be the Calgary Sun Newspaper and I will be doing a documentary of the climb. I am going to have a scholastic component as well, a lock step resource guide  ( teachers will use in place of standard ) is being made by Science Alberta to give all schools the opportunity to use in their class room, it will be interactive on a web site as well.

    Q. How do you feel about the rope issue? 

    A. I feel terribly cheated, when I went to Everest this year I thought only two things might keep me from summiting, weather or an injury. I never thought that rope would be an issue.

    Q. Who were the strongest climbers (including Sherpa)  on the mountain this year in your opinion?

    A. With out a doubt it was me from a non Sherpa stand point, no one was climbing up to the camps as fast as I was, I was constantly passing people Sherpa and westerners alike. I have received calls from climbers  around the world, who  I don't even know that had heard how strong I was up their . Steve Goodwin writes in his last article and say's " Byron was in a class by himself " As far as the Sherpa I don't know who was the strongest.

    Q. You say the Sherpa left late for the summit that night, do you know why?

    A. No, they were to have left at 10 o'clock, they left at 11:30.

    Q. How does it feel to be back without the summit?

    A. To know me is to know that I hate to lose, I don't get any enjoyment about being second. I guarantee you this... I will summit in 1999

    Q. Why risk it all?

    A. It isn't risk if you are well prepared and working within your comfort level, I felt completely at home , I have had harder climbs in the Rockies. If you have read my diary www.vulcanford.ca you will find that climbing Mount Everest for me was very easy, I did not experience any hardship at all, none.

    Q. Was it worth it?

    A. Was what worth it? I didn't finish what I went out to accomplish so I get no fulfillment what so ever.

    Q. You know the Canadian Seven Summits expedition has a permit for 1999.

    A. Yes but he is not Canadian... The  Leader is from Czechoslovakia ( George Tumpach ) and he was not born in Canada

    Q. How long did it take you to get back down from where you turned around?

    A. I did it in 1 hour and 18 minutes.

    Q. Tell us more about it you think people would have died that night.

    A. Let's face it. you get 50 people in a knife edge ridge that high up and someone ids going to die. You should know coming to Everest that there is a risk. People can die. But I don't think that was on one person's mind. What was on everyone mind was reaching the summit.

    Q. What about the Singapore Team. Were they not a TEAM.

    A. Yes, they were a Team, they trained together for three years. They were a Team, but that is totally different.

    Q. What else would you like to tell our visitors to the site?

    A. I really enjoyed the Sherpa climbers. I enjoyed interacting with them, having tea with them, and talking with them.

    Look For Byron Back in 1999 on the South Side of Everest !!!

     

  • Please check out the homepage for an offer from Expedition News to visitors to our site. If you take them up on the offer, tell them you saw the offer on EverestNews.com.
  • The web designers are going to be working on the site again for the next week. Daily Updates should continue as normal. If the site is not updated just check back.
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/17/98 Report

  • IGO -8000: Several persons has asked EverestNews.com who are the members. As we understand it, the members are listed on the IGO-8000 press release. (Daily report 7/11/98).
  • K2 Update: (We are a little behind) On Saturday (11th) Waldemar couldn't reach the place where camp 3 is going to be done. He and Marco - Abele had to go down before with a strong throat ache - were short on ropes as they used all they had to reach 6.900m. It was a pity because until that day the weather was very good, without one single cloud and the wind wasn't that hard. Camp 2 is already done at 6.700m.

    By the way, Waldemar listened to the final game against France by BBC station, although it was midnight and the wind was strongly shaking his tent ...   even in K2 the guy couldn't stay away from a radio to listen it .

    About the big avalanche Waldemar and Marco were very lucky. They were arriving at camp 2 when the hanging front of a serac "exploded".  Waldemar projected himself against a rock and waited but fortunately all the snow mass was deviated into another corridor. But it passed just 50m from him ...

    Today (Tuesday 14th) the climbers remained at base camp waiting for better weather. there were a lot of dark clouds today. Waldemar is spending his days making yoga, playing flute and writing his journal which will probably become a book. He has 3 books already published. One about his first attempt to Everest (when he turned back), the second one when he summited in 95 and one with pictures from Everest north and south side.

    Remember you asked if any of the Italians had been in k2 before. Waldemar told me that none of them has been there before. just Abele, but it wasn't K2. He went to Broad Peak which is very near (one hour of trekking from K2 bc).

    From K2 Waldemar told me that unfortunately today (Thursday 16th) the weather hasn't improved as they were expecting. All climbers were prepared to wake very early and go up. Three would stay at camp 1 and 4 would go up straight to camp 2. but at 3:00 am when they woke up  the sky (which was previously clear) was completely clouded. Also it  wasn't too much cold (which is not a good signal) . Atmosphere pressure also dropped ...

    Today it snowed all day but down at bc... snow hasn't  accumulated because temperature was high (eight Celsius degrees ...), so the snow melt as soon as it touched the ground. But up in the mountain is a whole different story ... 

    Another thing is that Waldemar and Abele must be the firsts of their team to attempt the summit - as they are better acclimatized (from Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma) than the others who will need more time. 

    Just to remember:  They arrived at K2 twenty two days ago and their permits go until August 25th. Source: guta nascimento

  • Erhard Loretan's web site has been added on the EverestNews.com 8000 meter peaks page. Erhard is the great climber from Switzerland who has reached the summit of all 14 of the 8000 meter peaks. He is a legend that is still climbing, loves to chat, and have written a book or two... He also has a very nice web site...
  • Coming very soon ... Byron Smith, Swee Chiow, Zdenek Hruby (the leader of Czech expedition to Everest this year), Tom McMillan & Charlotte Fox along with others...
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

 

Daily News: 7/16/98 Report

  • IGO -8000:  EverestNews.com has asked Eric Simonson a several follow up questions on IGO-8000 based on questions from various climbers and YOU, our visitors...

    Here is the first part...

    Eric, to add a little to the last message...some climbers have expressed the concern that IGO 8000 - is a marketing strategy to limit competition. They question whether or not climbers can be guided above 8000m, 96 as an example. They also point out that if you need a guide then you shouldn't be on the mountain in the first place. They argue a legitimate place for well organized guideless (but not leaderless) expeditions who cater at a more reasonable cost for experienced climbers. What are your views - is there a place for both types of commercial expeditions?

    Eric Simonson e-mail reply...

    EverestNews.com:

    Good questions!!  Let me take a shot at them:

    Is IGO 8000 - is a marketing strategy to limit competition?

    I don't think so.  Even within the IGO 8000 community there is a wide difference in price, what we provide our groups, the way we climb the mountain.  We are all very different companies.  And we DO compete!  The idea is just to make a base line of accountability that indicates that an operator has their act together. 

    Can climbers be guided above 8000m, '96 as an example? 

    Yes!  There is always risk, however, and things can and do go wrong sometimes.  If you want a guarantee, take up a different sport. First off, I think there is a big difference between Cho Oyu and Everest!!  We can and do guide very successfully on Cho Oyu.  On Everest, I have not had such good luck.  It is not that the clients haven't been good enough.  We have had several who were more than ready to go to the top (including Jim Findley this spring...he made it to the First Step...28,000', but was turned back by marginal weather). High on Everest you do need to be able to function on your own...but it sure doesn't hurt having someone with you to help.  You also have to be lucky with everything...your condition, your partners condition, the route, the weather...it all has to click.  There is no justice. Just because you are the strongest or most experienced climber on your team doesn't guarantee anything. History shows that it is possible for people with limited experience to get lucky, but I really recommend that people interested in Everest should consider a smaller 8000 meter peak first.  As they say, "it all gets used"  (the cumulative experiences).

    They also point out that if you need a guide then you shouldn't be on the mountain in the first place.

    I think this is very elitist. Last year I had a terrific client named Leslie Buckland, who was 68 years old. Though he had summitted McKinley and Vinson, and climbed for 40 years, Leslie knew he needed to be very lucky to get to the top of Everest. He had been thinking about Everest for 50 years and wanted to try. Life is short, and this was a dream of his. There was no way he would be able to climb by himself, but with me and Greg Wilson as partners, he was able to make it to 24,000 feet safely. At that point, he decided he had gone as far as he could, and decided to go down. He did a great job and was really happy. I was so proud to be able to guide him on this climb, even though we didn't make the top.  Right on, Leslie! 

    They argue a legitimate place for well organized guideless (but not leaderless) expeditions who cater at a more reasonable cost for experienced climbers. What are your views - is there a place for both types of commercial expeditions?

    Absolutely!  My only complaint is that a lot of these climbs are misrepresented to would be climbers who don't realize the level of support that they need. They WANT TO THINK that they are better than they really are (everyone wants to be Reinhold Messner).  It is easy to sell them on a program that strokes their egos, but doesn't provide the support and backup they need. Then they get into trouble and have nobody to help them. 

    Eric Simonson

    International Mountain Guides

    Ashford, WA 

     

  • David Lim: EverestNews.com received the following e-mail today from Allison Lim- "David is still the same as far as I know. His recovery could take weeks or months depending on how fast he recovers. Will keep you posted. Allison"
  • Risk hopefully will post their update on Thursday (or Friday). You will need to read the update very carefully and compare the information to the risk posting supplied DURING the climb. EverestNews.com has shared all of its information on these deaths with Risk.
  • K2 Update: No one has reported the South African team on the mountain. EverestNews.com has learned the sherpas that were with Woodall on Everest are not going to be with him on K2, assuming he makes it...

Daily News: 7/15/98 Report

  • Guy Cotter (ADVENTURE CONSULTANTS) is climbing Muztagh Ata in western China. We asked Guy for a comment on Everest 96 and Mike Trueman assistance on Everest 96. Guy e-mail response in its entirely is below:
    Dear EverestNews.com,
    Thanks for email re the piece you are doing for EverestNews.com. I'm happy to put some words forward for you. I'll summarize the details and if you want more, just get in touch. I'm in Islamabad about to depart for Muztagh Ata. You may well need to cut it down but that's cool.
    Anyway, here it is.
    In the spring of 1996 I was running an expedition on Pumori arriving with my group in late April to the BC. As Everest BC was so close I visited Rob Hall, Andy Harris, et all just before they departed for their summit bid. Rob gave me one of his radios and suggested I stay in touch. On May 10 we could see them on the summit ridge moving past the sth summit to the top. I radioed my congratulations to the group and proceeded to have a nap only to be surprised that at about 3pm there were still people up high. A very dark front was blasting up the valley from the south, the likes of which I hadn't seen before here, and shortly it began snowing at our BC. I warned Rob of this but he was totally consumed trying to get Doug Hansen down the Hillary step. Around 5pm I was surprised to find he was still up so high. At this stage I knew things were getting serious so I climbed up the ridge on Pumori with fellow guides David Hiddleston and Chris Jillet. We managed to secure decent comms with sth col from here, where, due to atmospherics, Everest BC couldn't get contact, so we relayed messages. As the night progressed so did the severity of the situation up on Everest. Eventually there was little we could do and in the morning we moved to Everest BC to assist Caroline Mackenzie who was the doctor for Rob Hall and Helen Wilton who was BC manager.
    The situation was very grave at BC as so many people were not accounted for on the mountain and initially every expedition affected was attempting to deal with the situation in isolation. I assumed the role of rescue coordinator for Adventure Consultants as I had guided extensively with AC for several years and knew the operation and the mountain intimately. Both Caroline and Helen had been holding it all together well and already the media were going ballistic. Having to contact relatives of the dead and dying was a really unenviable task and I think we all wished that everything would come right. But it didn't, it got worse.
    Communications was the biggest problem. Most of the AC radios had been lost and the wind was still very strong on the col. It became very clear that we really needed to formalize and coordinate the rescue so I arranged a meeting of all the group leaders in BC to work out options.
    All the while people on the mountain were mobilizing to assist on the col. I was very fortunate to be offered assistance in BC by Mike Trueman who was on Mal Duffs team. He had a military background and did a great job in formalizing the rescue by looking at the overall picture. Numbers missing, status of survivors, supplies available, rescuers movements etc. Mike facilitated the meeting we had and everybody contributed. I was amazed at how willing and supportive everybody was even though that assistance potentially spelt the failure of their own expeditions through exhausting all of their resources.
    Initially we estimated that at least 20 people were missing above the col. I couldn't help but think of K2 in '86 and the impact of that disaster. This was beginning to look even worse. Rob Hall was still on the sth summit and people were scattered everywhere with little organization or communication to coordinate a rescue. We kept getting amazing reports of Anatoli having been out time and again to assist, bringing in people in the most appalling conditions. Stuart Hutchinson from Rob Halls team did a fantastic job keeping it all together for his team. From our point of view in BC, he did more than could possibly be expected under the conditions. Other team members were understandably spent and could offer no help but Stuart kept soldiering on. He had to face the awful triage situation with Beck Weathers and Yasuko Namba. He was distraught that these people were still alive and he just didn't have the manpower to get them back to shelter, let alone look after them once back there.
    There were so few able bodies in BC that I felt that we needed some aircraft assistance to evacuate people from the top of the icefall. Even though I was told that there was no way it could be done I realized that with so many casualties (it was early days yet and we still had so many unaccounted for) we could not possibly bring people through the icefall. I had assisted in a couple of evacuations through the icefall and knew that it was a totally exhausting job for about 10 people for each victim. All of the available (acclimatized) climbers were at camp 2 and above, already moving up to assist.
    I used the sat phone to call Lisa Choegyal who worked with Tiger Topps in KTM. She was a good friend of Rob Hall and (the late) Gary Ball as well as agent for David Breashears team. I felt that for a rescue to be initiated we needed some real clout and Lisa had the connections. Lisa was incredibly helpful. We communicated regularly over the phone and she really was instrumental in achieving the results which transpired. At Lisa's' insistence the American embassy in Kathmandu really pushed for a rescue and on the morning that Beck Weathers and Makalu Gau were brought down to the top of the icefall the wind had come up very strong at BC. I had to call Lisa to cancel the flight. Scott Darnsley, Chris Jillet and David Hiddleston left BC early for the top of the icefall to assist in case the casualties had to be carried down. The wind started to drop at about 6am so I called KTM and reinitiated the rescue. Cool Madan KC, the pilot chosen for the task, had stood down after my initial call and was just about to exercise his golf clubs when I called the second time. The rest is history but for all of us at BC this was the first really positive occasion since this nightmare began.
    The climbers began filtering into BC looking like the walking dead. I felt like we had all been a part of the same tragic event, but our experiences at BC were very far removed from those who were on the hill. It became a time of mourning and reflection. Neil Beidleman arranged a farewell ceremony to the dead at BC. It is a reflection of Neil's' capacity for compassion, that he could guide his clients to the summit, then totally take control of the descent under the most disgusting conditions, and finally proceed to arrange a ceremony for us all to mourn the loss of our friends. It was a powerful ceremony. Sherpas were chanting beneath a chorten whilst juniper smoke billowed through the prayer flags into the sky. We all took turns to speak, ostensibly of our lost friends, but in reality we talked about us. It was we who had survived, had been a part of this shocking adventure, we who would have to go back and face the world to tell the grizzly tale.
    Everybody has feelings about what happened on Everest in '96. Some are judgmental and have clearly put the whole event into some sort of easy-to-read, black-and-white, sequence of events. I have heard, viewed and read some very blatant distortion of facts with the obvious intention of self-engrandisement.  It seems that in order to gain media attention people have somehow managed to associate themselves with the events of spring '96 either by criticisms or comments on the happenings.  Others have written about it to help clarify their own feelings and sort out their own view of what transpired whilst a few have used the event as a self promotional tool and an opportunity to axe grind their own viewpoint and ethics.
    What I gained from the experience was a real appreciation of what a lot of people did to help those in dire need. The fall-out from the tragedy and consequent media tornado does not reflect the intense pain we at BC felt at the time and the feeling of desperation not being able to assist. Knowing that Rob was still up there waiting and realizing that Andy was in a totally different place to the initial misguided reports added a bizarre twist to the event. At the end of it all, when we gathered around on the moraine watching the smoke drift up into the sky, reflecting on lost souls and trying to make sense of the last days - I glimpsed some understanding of why I climb mountains. These people around me had given so much to preserve the lives of themselves and their fellow humans that we all really appreciated the value of being alive. Everyone had done the best they could at the time. There is no more one can ask.
    Guy Cotter
  • EverestNews.com have asked for more from Guy. This might help with above: Comms = communications,  sth = south, and whilst = while. You might need to read this e-mail several times. Powerful ...
  • "Hall and Ball - Kiwi Mountaineers, from Mt Cook to Everest" This book is an excellent commemoration of the lives of these two well-known mountaineers, the original founders of Adventure Consultants Limited. Many excerpts from their personal diaries are included,  along with pictures from their expeditions around the world and intuitive writing by Colin Monteath who was a personal friend and climbing companion on occasions of both men. Between them they organized  and participated in 47 expeditions, and in 1990 climbed the Seven  Summits in only seven months ! The book is a treasure and delight to read, a legacy to two of the most enduring characters in the world of  climbing this century.        Suz Kelly, Adventure Consultants, EverestNews.com understand from Suz that the proceeds (net, you would assume) from the book go to Rob and Gary's daughters.

 

Daily News: 7/14/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    Here are the rest of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates (7/7/98 & 7/8/98) and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

    More answers to YOUR questions:

    For all of Mike Trueman answers go here: The Q&A also has been added to the News index below.

    36.) Could you define the difference between a guided expedition and a commercial expedition more finely?  Can an expedition be both guided and commercial which is what I would call Rob Hall's and Scott Fischer's.  Both men made a living guiding  people up mountains. Correct? ML Houston

    Basically all commercial climbing expeditions offer the same up to and including base camp. The options change from thereon.

    a) Guided

    b) Supported - in terms of supplying everything needed above Base Camp. The same as the for the guided groups (less guides) but still with an expedition leader ensuring that things go to plan.

    c) Unsupported - often in two ways (1) where the climber(s) provide their own Sherpas or (2) where climbers do their own carrying and sometimes route fixing. The guided and supported options can be under the umbrella of one expedition who organize the permit, but will often be completely independent - you could have two or three small guided or supported groups on the same permit - this is done to reduce costs, particularly on the Nepalese side of Everest.

    37.) I would like to know what mike thinks about the money the Sherpas receive ... why does he think western climbers are better paid than them.

    I haven't compared what western climbers are paid to what Sherpas are paid - that would be a very complex discussion. There is an official scale of basic payments to Sherpas. They can increase their pay during expeditions by for example bringing down old oxygen cylinders.

    38.) Do you believed in a fixed turn around time for the South Side of Everest?

    No - climbers should fix their own according to their overall plan. But once a time is fixed then it is obviously foolhardy to ignore it.

    39.) I sense you don't really believe climbers should be guided on Everest. That climbers should be able to climb on their own. Is this your belief?

    I think the basic requirement is for all climbers on Everest to have the required level of experience. I don't agree with a climber paying someone to provide the experience that he or she doesn't have. If a climber has the required level of experience there is nothing wrong with using a guide if that is how he or she wants to climb the mountain.

    EverestNews.com wishes to thank Mike Trueman for his time in answering these questions from the visitors to EverestNews.com.

    Thank YOU Mike !

     

  • Risk has interviewed numerous climbers that were above 8,200 meters on Everest  during the time Sergei Arsentiev and Francis Arsentiev-Distefano was also above 8,000 meters. EverestNews.com has also interviewed a few, many of which will stay off the record. Numerous details has resulted from these interviews which has not been released publicly. Risk is still working on the final reconstruction. These details are only known to Risk, EverestNews.com and the climbers at this point. You can view on the summit page which climbers reached the summit on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th on May 1998. We will wait as long as it takes for Risk to post before EverestNews.com posts... that is the way it is going to be... Comments from or resulting from Climbers that were not above 8,200 meters during this time should be viewed as hearsay in our opinion... Much hearsay in this case has proved false so far...
  • More on the IGO-8000 on Wednesday...

Daily News: 7/13/98 Report

  • Guy Cotter (ADVENTURE CONSULTANTS) is climbing Muztagh Ata in western China. EverestNews.com hope to carry e-mail updates from his expedition.  We asked Guy for a comment of Mike Trueman assistance on Everest 96. Guy e-mailed us a response which we will post in its entirely in a few days. However, here is what Guy said about Mike.

          "All the while people on the mountain were mobilizing to assist on the col. I was very fortunate to be offered assistance in BC by Mike Trueman who was on Mal Duffs team. He had a military background and did a great job in formalizing the rescue by looking at the overall picture. Numbers missing, status of survivors, supplies available, rescuers movements etc. Mike facilitated the meeting we had and everybody contributed. I was amazed at how willing and supportive everybody was even though that assistance potentially spelt the failure of their own expeditions through exhausting all of their resources. Guy Cotter

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    Here are a few more of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates (7/7/98 & 7/8/98) and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

    More answers to YOUR questions:

    For earlier answers just keep going back to the earlier dates...(7/9-7/12)

            30.) How does this work that climbers on someone permit but climbing on ones self?

    Permits are often shared to reduce costs. Individual climbers can then use their own Sherpas. It is not uncommon on Everest

             31.) When people die on Everest, who fills out the death certificates and where are they filed?

    The death has to officially reported to the Chinese or Nepalese authorities. It is normally a matter of taking documentation from the authorities to the embassy of the deceased climber. From then on it depends on the procedures for whatever country is involved.

    32.) Are many climbers unprepared for Everest ?

    No not many - but a few are unprepared. Quite often climbers arrive at Base Camp take one look at the mountain and depart shortly afterwards. This happened in 1996. I arrived a few days after most of the team, and one guy had already left.

              33.) How does this satellite phones, radios, e-mail communication work? I have never been on a mountain... so if you can start with the basic.

    In mid-April 1996 one of our climbers had a heart attack in the Ice Fall. He was in a serious condition and we couldn't get through to Kathmandu to arrange to get him flown out. It was however possible for me to use the satellite phone to contact my ex-wife in Hong Kong where she was a doctor working with the Gurkhas. She relayed the message through military channels to Kathmandu and a helicopter arrived promptly next morning. This story made the front pages of the British press, and in most newspapers the story was based on me using a hand held portable phone - like a normal Nokia or Ericsson. In fact what I used was a large satellite phone that was powered by a "car battery" and charged from solar panels or from the generator.

    The satellite communications systems in use a year later are about the size of a small briefcase and include a hand  phone and a portable computer. Faxed messages or e-mail can be typed and sent just as you would on a computer at home or work. If you want to phone it is just a case of picking up the phone and dialing as you would at home - but it costs a lot more!

            34.) Should clients be guided on Everest?

    Yes - provided that they have the necessary level of experience and choose to climb the mountain with a guide. However should clients without the necessary experience, and who need to be guided, be on Everest?

            35.) Did Everest 96 change you?

    Everest '96 changed a lot of people - particularly the lives of the families of those who died or were injured.

    I learned a lot - although when I took over when Mal Duff died a year later it rather seemed as if things had gone a full circle.

    THE LAST SET OF ANSWERS ON TUESDAY !!!

  • Look for more information on the IGO 8000 soon and answers to some of your questions.
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. (See note on 7/10/98 News) The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/12/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    Here are a few more of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates (7/7/98 & 7/8/98) and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

    More answers to YOUR questions:

    For earlier answers just keep going back to the earlier dates...(7/9-7/11)

            25.) To Mike Trueman- I'd like your comments on the way Adventure Consultant's headed by Rob Hall and Mountain Madness headed by Scott Fischer acted during their ascent that year- It seems that this friendly competition among rival Guiding Services created an unfavorable atmosphere of trying to get as many clients up as possible in order to be a success for future climbs- Shouldn't Guiding Services, especially on such peak as Everest work more together to reach their common objective the summit of Everest- It seems that since each group had a person of the media and of high profile, the leaders may have possibly took more risks than they otherwise might have in order secure clients for upcoming climbs- Thanks again for your time.. Jay Leppanen

    Jay thank you for the question but please forgive me for not joining in the debate about what decisions Rob and Scott made, and why they did what they did. They were two great climbers.

            26.) My understanding was the Imax team made the first attempt on the mountain the day before Hall & Fisher. However, you say you were at Camp 2 awaiting your second attempt. When did you make your first attempt? How high up did you reach and what was the weather like ? It sounds like you were the first to make an attempt in 96 or there is some incorrect information out there. Thanks You

     No we were not the first attempt - and when I say first attempt, in our case we were waiting at Camp 2 for the weather to clear before we went for the higher camps en route to the summit.

    In 1996 we moved up to Camp 2 on 3 May. I don’t know the exact dates involved but the large Yugoslavian team, two Spanish climbers, and Goran Kropp had already tried and had not succeeded because of high winds and deep snow. My diary tells me I met the Spaniards at Camp 2 on 3 May, and Goran arrived down to Camp 2 on 5 May. The IMAX team arrived at Camp 2 on 5 May, and I went down to get medicine on 7 May and I arrived back up there on 10 May.

            27.) How does Henry Todd maintain the ice fall? Do the Sherpa do all the work? Please explain this to someone who has never seen it.

    I have great respect for the 2 x Ice Fall Sherpas. They maintain the route through the Ice Fall and into the Western Cwm where there are also bridges across crevasses. They start work first thing in the morning, and often go to Camp 2 to have lunch if they are working in the Cwm. The Sherpas go in early ahead of the teams arriving at Base Camp to set up the ladders and ropes. It is however a never ending job as the ice moves, cliffs collapse and crevasses widen. There is also the effect of the sun on the anchor points to which the fixed ropes are attached. Some times the change of route as a result of ice movement is enormous. The Ice Fall Sherpas are often the last off the mountain after they finish work each day.

            28.) What do you think about this nationalities issue that seems to follow Everest?

    The nationality issue is a pointless debate. It seems to have got out of hand more recently. I sense it is something the media has fueled.

             29.) Since it sound like performance is so much better with Oxygen and, in particular, when oxygen flow is high (up to 4 liters per minute, I think), why don't climbers take more than three bottles with them on summit day, and stash one or two on the way up, to be retrieved on the way down?

    Oxygen bottles are not light. It is a balance between what you need and what you can carry. Normally the plan calls for a bottle from the South Col to the South Summit. Then one for the South Summit - Summit - South Summit, and the third to get back to the South Col. Some expeditions have the "clients" carrying two bottles with the Sherpas carrying their third bottle which is dumped at the South Summit for the "client" to use on the descent.

    MORE ANSWERS ON MONDAY !!!

  • Success on Gasherbrum 1 !!! : The Danish team of Bo Belvedere Christensen, Henrik Jessen Hansen, Jan Mathorne, and Mads Granlien are attempting the first ascent of Gasherbrum 6 (7003 meters) and has reached the summit of Gasherbrum 1 (Hidden Peak), 8068 meters !!!. If you have not been following their expedition, you might want to start. You can find their link below with almost daily updates and some significant news about their teams and others on Gasherbrum. This is a good chance to learn about Gasherbrum and follow some excellent climbers. Note recent reports...
  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. (See note on 7/10/98 News) The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/11/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    EverestNews.com has received several hundreds questions to Mike Trueman, Everest 96 climber, but many are very similar. Please submit your questions to web@everestnews2004.com. NOTE: WE ARE GOING TO CUT THIS OFF IN A COUPLE OF DAYS, so if you have more questions the sooner the better ! Here are a few of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates (7/7/98 & 7/8/98) and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

    More answers to YOUR questions:

       10.) Are these Sherpa climbers really a lot stronger than other climbers on the whole? Like this year would anyone have reached the summit if Appa Sherpa had not fixed the line. I know you were not there this year. But in general what is your opinion of this?

    In general Sherpas are very strong - stronger than most other climbers. They are a vital and integral part of any team, but some people place too much reliance on their Sherpas, and they too readily blame them when things go wrong. There is often hype when non-Nepalese climbers reach the summit, but if those same non-Nepalese fail for whatever reason, the Sherpas often become scapegoats. Failure to carry enough rope, or the failure to break trail being just two of the types of excuses which are used.

            11.) What was the explanation of why no one picked up the Japanese woman who was alive. I can't believe that left her there.

    I can only report on the facts as I saw them from my position on the mountain. We double checked with a climber on the South Col who told us that she was dead, and we passed this news on to Kathmandu. 

            12.)Did the Sherpas play a big part in the rescue?

    Yes - but the their exact roles would have to be described by someone who was at Camp 2 or above.

            13.) What would have happened if this 'rescue committee" would not have occurred?

    I have to emphasize that the term "rescue committee" is my way of describing those at Camp 2 who organized the rescue. It naturally formed from the expedition leaders who were at Camp 2 at the time. If they had not been there then others would have done the same. It is fortunate that so much expertise was in place at that particular camp.

            14.) Should Krakauer and other reporters that make millions off others' deaths be required to share the profits with the families of the dead?

    That is a very deep question which I am not sure I have the right to answer openly on a public forum. It is the sort of issue for people far cleverer than me need to address.

    Personally there are hundreds of mountaineering stories where people have died. It is a sad but obvious element of the sport. Jon went to Everest tasked to write later about his experiences. If no one had died I suppose whatever he wrote would have just become yet another mountaineering tale. But the hype generated by the media raised interest, and many obviously have sought more details by reading the book.

    I have to confess that I have never read it! (But I do have a copy which I may read in my old age). There are too many conflicting stories about what went on high on the mountain, and I made a personal decision not to get involved.

            15.) Any opinion why all the deaths except Fischer himself were in Hall's team?

    No

            16.) Ian Woodall claimed to have been in the British army. There have been claims that Woodall lied about his background and in particular his army experience. Can you verify the claims made by Woodall?

    In the late 80's Woodall was a member of the British Territorial Army. I was working at the Ministry of Defense in London when a proposal was received from Woodall who wanted to lead an expedition to Everest composed of members of the Territorial Army. I was asked to meet Woodall and assess his suitability to lead this expedition.

    I met Woodall in London and it quickly became apparent that the man was a bluffer who was totally unsuitable to lead such an expedition. Before submitting a report however I checked Woodall's background which confirmed my views. I was shocked when I found out in 1996 that Woodall had been sponsored by a South African newspaper to lead an Everest expedition. It did seem rather odd that the newspaper had handed over money without making similar checks on his claims.

    I recently saw a tape of Woodall in heated debate with the journalist Ken Vernon. In it Woodall avoids telling the truth on several occasions. Some of the claims which Woodall has made can still be found on:

    http://www.web.co.za/everest/woodall.htm

    Let me state that there is no such unit in the British Army as the Long Range Reconnaissance Unit, and therefore it would have been very difficult for Woodall to have risen to command it. And as for being a guide registered with the Nepal Mountain Club.   

            17.) OK: So even if it would have been problematic for everyone on Everest to have radios, do you have any feelings about the fact that all guides didn't  have them?

    Not enough radios or too many radios can cause equal chaos. It would be normal for those taking a supervisory role to carry radios.

    18.)Do you see any reasonable way to avoid log jams at the South Summit when there are so many guided expeditions given permits each year?

    This is a difficult one - which can only be resolved by expedition leaders organizing the order and days when teams go for the summit. But this is easier said than done. Teams will often be ready for a summit bid days before the weather gives them the opportunity to achieve their ambitions - so they will all be sitting around waiting to go. The weather forecast becomes known by everyone at Base Camp so expeditions will generally start to get ready to move up at the same time.

    This problem only occurs among teams climbing via the South Col. However teams climbing the mountain by any other route is becoming scarcer these days.

    Waiting until after the rush is I feel a prudent a safe approach - and just as likely to be successful.

            19.) I am interested in Makalu Gau's reaction to having to be rescued after having ignored his fellow team mate in favor of his own summit bid? Are you aware of any reaction on his part or thanks given by him to those who helped him?

    I can only say that we were thanked by the Taiwanese support team. I remember distinctly having my hand pumped by a Taiwanese team member who had lost all of his fingers on McKinley during one of their practice climbs, (when other Taiwanese climbers died). Makalu was brought down first while the helicopter went back up to get Beck. I couldn't speak to Makalu because he had an oxygen mask on.

    20.) With respect to the hype over Everest 96, do you see any good coming out of the focus on the climbing world as a result? If so, what? and if so, do you think it overshadows the negative consequences.

    I think a great number of questions were raised as a result of 1996 - I am not sure however that many have been answered. We are still seeing climbers on the big mountains who are there because of spare cash and a whim. There is no substitute for experience - most certainly it can't be bought.

    21.) I would like to ask Mike about the death of Bruce Herrod.  His death  reminds me of the death of Mick Burke in 1975.  Both were photographers  who insisted on heading to the summit alone after the rest of their teams had turned back.  Without the benefit of hindsight was Woodall remiss in not forcing Herrod to turn back (even after all the other deaths on the mountain) and can you really turn someone around that high on the mountain especially of that someone has caught summit fever?

    If I had been in Bruce Herrod's position I would have gone on. And although I am not a fan of Woodall's, I don't blame him on this one. The weather that day was very good, and Bruce had been performing well throughout the expedition. I hadn't realized before I read this question that except for Mick Burke - I know all those involved (although I only met Bruce briefly). Peter Boardman was a good friend of mine, and I still see meet Pertemba Sherpa on occasions. He came out of "retirement" and was the sirdar for the wealthy Japanese businessman's aborted attempt in 1997

    22.) Do you feel the continued and increasing commercialization of Everest and the attraction to so many to climb it, will lead to more future disasters than ever?

    I don't blame commercialization (it gives climbers who have the necessary experience the chance to achieve their ambitions - otherwise it would have continued as a sport for the elite). The problem is purely one of numbers. If we continue to see the numbers of climbers who we saw going for the summit on one day this year then it is only a matter of time.

            23.) You mention that "some" of the expeditions offered help to the rescuers - oxygen, communications support. However, from accounts I have read, the South African team was most notable in their lack of cooperation in not only the rescue attempts (I.e. not allowing the use of their radios) but in general summit cooperation. Is this true? If so, how is this team, which apparently continues to climb together, regarded in the mountaineering world? Thank you!

    I can say that Woodall and Rob Hall had a significant disagreement at Base Camp over a Sherpa issue. Personally I have little time for Woodall. I met him 10 years ago when he was in the UK. We wanted Woodall off of the South Col as quickly as possible during the rescue, because we didn’t want extra problems.

                24.) When you say that Everest is not hard technically, should you still have rock climbing experience before you tackle it?

    You need all round climbing experience which includes climbing on rock, snow and ice. The experience to handle extremes of weather will take time. I believe that there are no short cuts.

    MORE ANSWERS ON SUNDAY !!!

     

  • BIG NEWS !!!! EverestNews.com received this press release from:

    IGO-8000 International Guiding Operators - 8000

    C/- B.P.12 74400 Les Praz Chamonix FRANCE

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

    In recent months there has been considerable attention focused on high altitude guiding and the various companies that offer such services. Even before the disaster that took place in May 1996, several of the more prominent operators have been in discussion on how to inform prospective clients of the differences in various operations that can be found advertising in the media. Since 1996 the UIAA has also become involved with discussions with the same objective. In the last few weeks several operators have agreed to form an association which will represent operators of the highest standards. These operators have endeavored to produce a constitution that will ensure that members will have the highest standards of equipment, staff and safety during the course of commercial expeditions to extreme altitudes.

    The UIAA in conjunction with IGO-8000 has formulated a "Recommended Code of Practice For High Altitude Commercial Expeditions" which we fully endorse. Although there are many commercial operators in the world, few in fact fit into the stringent acceptance levels for membership to IGO-8000. We are a self-regulating body which is spread through out the world, but all with the common goal to try and make altitude guiding safer for clients, local staff and guides alike.

    The following organizations are the founding members of "International Guiding Operators - 8000"  Adventure Consultants Ltd, Himalayan Experience Ltd,  Himalayan Guides, Himalayan Kingdoms Expeditions, International Mountain Guides, Mountain Works, and OTT Expeditions.

    IGO-8000 represents high altitude guides and operators of commercial expeditions to 8000 meter peaks, and will act as a common body world wide. IGO-8000 aims to establish the highest standards of current practice within the membership and encourages others to achieve those high standards. These standards are set out in the UIAA Recommended Code Of Practice For High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions. High altitude guiding needs considerable previous experience; membership of IGO-8000 is limited to those who have regularly guided above 8000m and observe the necessary high standards of practice. The Code of Practice deals with the following important areas;

    1. The members will produce marketing literature that accurately reflects the seriousness of high altitude mountaineering, and includes details of staff to be employed. 2. The operation will be self sufficient in terms of food, fuel, safety ropes, medical equipment and radio communications. 3. The members will provide the proper level of supervision of the whole operation with guides and trained local staff. 4. The members will contribute to the well being and continuing training of the local staff. 5. The members will operate a clean mountain policy, and will adhere to the UIAA Environmental Objectives And Guidelines. The formation of IGO-8000 will allow the public to choose a commercial expedition in the confidence that they have selected an organization of the highest standard.

     

  • EverestNews.com asked highly respected Everest Climber Eric Simonson to tell us more about what all this means: His reply...to EverestNews.com...

    IGO 8000 is a group of guide services who do 8000 meter expeditions that are trying to educate the public and work with the governments of Himalayan countries to set basic standards for high altitude guiding.   The IFMGA (International Guide Organization, of which the American AMGA is now a member) has also set up a committee to make recommendations for high altitude guiding.

    Even though we are competitors, most of these IGO 8000 guide services have respect for each other.  We work together when we are on the mountain, just like the guide services on Mt. McKinley have worked together on that mountain, even though they are also competitors.

    The rational is that there are some guide services (in particular European) who take people on these high altitude climbs and just turn them loose on the mountain with little or no backup.  The same is also true for a number of Nepalese trekking agencies, who are now getting into the act.  The reputable companies are trying to protect their reputations from these cut rate companies.

    The big problem is that people don't understand the difference between a guided expedition and a commercial expedition.

    I've organized a dozen guided  8000 meter expeditions now.  For example, when I do a trip to Cho Oyu (I've had four expeditions, all successful, nearly 40 persons to the summit) I charge $15,000 per person.  For that money the team gets expert guides, great Sherpas, oxygen, fixed rope, all the camps (I keep a Base Camp in place, in case people need to go down),  radios, sat coms, their own jeep at Base Camp in case of emergency, a realistic time table with sufficient acclimatization and time for a second summit shot...it goes on and on.

    Compare this to some of the guide services that offer the same trip for half the price.  These generally fall into the category "commercial expedition".

    I've seen it every time we've been there.  They basically turn everybody loose on the hill with little or no organization, logistics, or leadership.  Often they are trying to do the climb on a very short timetable.  I had a German guy die in my Gamow Bag in '96 when I was there.  All his "team mates" were up climbing and couldn't be bothered to come down to help him.  We had a Spanish guy last year on another one of these trips whose hands were terribly frost bit and whose team members had abandoned him.  Our guys got him.  On another trip we did there was another German guide service who didn't even know that one of their members didn't make it back to high camp.  He spent the night in a crevasse a hundred yards from the tents and nobody even bothered to look for him.  On another trip an Austrian was near death at Base Camp.  His team had no oxygen, no jeep, no Gamow bag.  We saved his life.   I could go on and on.  It happens constantly now on the more popular climbs.  Every time we go over there we see groups that are just out of control. 

    It seems to me that many of the people on the "commercial expedition" should really be on a "guided expedition", but they aren't because of their egos.

    Personally, I say caveat emptor...let the buyer beware.  People should be able to do anything they want, and that includes killing themselves in the high mountains.  I am anti regulation, and that includes most of what's going on here.  People should be responsible for themselves.  Yet, it does make sense to try to educate people...

    People are such suckers. Just because they read "Into Thin Air", everybody thinks they are an expert now!

    Its sexy to climb alpine style and everybody wants to make a name for themselves.  People don't want to be told that they need a guide and oxygen and Sherpas to be able to climb safely up high.  So they sign up for the cut rate program because they want to think that they can climb an 8000 meter peak alpine style with no support. 

    I really liked Mark Twight's article in the recent Climbing Magazine (#178) where he was talking about the polarization between sport ice / mixed climbers and real alpinism.  To survive in the high altitude game you need to be smart and you got to take small steps to gain experience.   People are impatient to get the high altitude experience they need to be safe.  They do McKinley, and then they want to do Cho Oyu alpine style.  Cho Oyu may not be too tough, but it is nearly 27,000 feet high, and that is pretty darn high.  It is easy to get screwed up and if that happens you need to be willing and able to get down fast.  Otherwise you are toast!

    How do you gain a good mountain sense?  It takes spending time in the mountains, in good and bad weather, summer and winter.  Climb on snow and glaciers, rock and ice.  Learn how to place pro and use a map and compass.  Ski.  Climb, hike, get your butt kicked.  Turn around and go down.  Do it again.  Learn how to function without all the crap in your pack.  Study the terrain and the weather.  Be a student again and again.  Be strong enough inside to listen to your inner voice talking.  If your climbing partners aren't safe, get different partners.  Set your sights on the long haul.  Have fun and be careful!

    Eric Simonson

    International Mountain Guides

    Ashford, WA

     

  • EverestNews.com book review is: Hall & Ball, Kiwi Mountaineers: from Mount Cook to Mount Everest ~ Colin Monteath / Calendar / Published 1997. (See note on 7/10/98 News) The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/10/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    EverestNews.com has received several hundreds questions to Mike Trueman, Everest 96 climber, but many are very similar. Please submit your questions to web@everestnews2004.com. Here are a few of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates (7/7/98 & 7/8/98) and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

    More answers to YOUR questions:

            5.) Mike:  First, let me thank you for taking the time to respond to the many questions that still remain concerning Everest '96. As a result of Everest '96. What sort of general consensus do you see evolving concerning  access to the  mountain?  Specifically, is it time for an International Climbing Commission to restrict qualification by proxy, or guided climbs? -RFK

    Mountaineering is all about freedom, and I think any move to restrict this freedom by governments or international bodies would be a retrograde step - and if this happens why just Everest - accidents happen all around the world. The next stage would be restrictions in the Alps or in Scotland in winter - where there are many accidents and deaths every season.  I think this essentially a moral issue. Assuming that there is open access to the mountains, firstly the climber needs to decide whether or not he or she has the required experience to attempt whatever route they plan to climb. Then the leader or guide needs to assess the same.

    On Everest, on the South Col route for example, the technical expertise required is relatively low - however there is a need for climbers to have significant bad weather experience. In the worst case climbers need to look after themselves in extreme weather, and it is this level of expertise that needs to be established before climbers go on the mountain. 

    Whatever happens the qualification to climb mountains should be more than spare cash and a whim - and I think it is this aspect, which may be giving commercial expeditions a bad name. 

            6.)  Did you give up your summit to help?

    I had had one summit attempt and had gone back up for a second when the storm struck. Having gone back to Base Camp, it was a worsening chest infection that put an end to my summit ambitions in 1996.

    7.) Which came first?  Adventure Tourism or Krakauer?  Or, did  Krakauer crack open an egg over an already heated pan?

    Adventure tourism has been around for centuries, and so has commercial climbing. In the last century wealthy Englishman paid local guides to accompany them up mountains in the Alps. Expeditions to Everest since the '20s have always cost vast sums of money. The large expeditions of the 50s - 70s required significant funding and were only open to the international elite. In the 80's the development of modern commercial adventure tourism, and in particular commercial climbing, has allowed those with the necessary experience to achieve their ambitions. (I emphasize the importance of having the necessary experience).

    Everest remains for many prohibitively expensive, and I have a dilemma with this. On one hand I firmly believe that we should all have the freedom to climb mountains, but on the other hand the mountain is in grave danger of becoming overcrowded.

    8.) What is your approach to taking clients to Everest?

    I simply will not take anyone with spare cash and a whim. I don't guide and I want a team where everyone knows that each other climber is there on merit. My measurement is does the climber have the necessary bad weather experience - rather than what he or she can climb in good weather.

                9.) Is it fair that climbers give up their summit attempt when in many cases the climbers that fail should not be there in the first place?  

    The first priority when something goes wrong is to save lives and/or prevent further injury or loss of life. Experienced as well as inexperienced climbers get in to difficulties in the mountains, and for the rescuers whether or not those being rescued should be there or not is an issue to be resolved after, and not during the rescue.

    The IMAX team in 1996 were very much involved in the rescue and subsequently made it to the top. In my case a worsening chest complaint prevented me having another go. Several climbers from other teams involved in the rescue did make further summit attempts. I am not sure that there were many who had to give up because they were involved in the rescue in 1996.

    Climbers who should not be there in the first place should however feel some moral guilt, when rescuers have to put themselves in danger to get those climbers to safety.

    More answers in the next few days...

  • "Hall and Ball - Kiwi Mountaineers, from Mt Cook to Everest" This book is an excellent commemoration of the lives of these two well-known mountaineers, the original founders of Adventure Consultants Limited. Many excerpts from their personal diaries are included,  along with pictures from their expeditions around the world and intuitive writing by Colin Monteath who was a personal friend and climbing companion on occasions of both men. Between them they organized  and participated in 47 expeditions, and in 1990 climbed the Seven  Summits in only seven months ! The book is a treasure and delight to read, a legacy to two of the most enduring characters in the world of  climbing this century.        Suz Kelly, Adventure Consultants , EverestNews.com understand from Suz that the proceeds (net, we would assume) from the book go to Rob and Gary's daughters.

Daily News: 7/9/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    EverestNews.com has received several hundreds questions to Mike Trueman, Everest 96 climber, but many are very similar. Please submit your questions to web@everestnews2004.com while there is still time. Here are four of the answers Mike Trueman has given EverestNews.com on questions that came from visitors to EverestNews.com. If you are not familiar with Mike Trueman, see the recent news updates and visit his web site Mountain High Adventure on our 98 Autumn 99 Everest expeditions page.

            1.) Why didn't all the climbers have radios?

    If all climbers had radios it would cause chaos. On Everest there can be over one hundred climbers on the mountain at any time and if each one had a radio the situation would become impossible. In the police or military where multiple user radio nets are common - radio discipline is required which only comes after considerable training.

    The normal distribution of radios is to have one at each camp. During a summit bid the radios can be redistributed within a team so that as the team develops during the climb into smaller groups, each group's progress can be monitored.

    Early during the rescue we did have to rely on information being passed from whichever team had communications with those high on the mountain. However things improved significantly after the initial confusion, and we were able generally to talk when we needed to.

            2.) Were love ones calling it to Everest? it must have been chaos?

    Not really. There were several teams who had satellite phones who handled calls from families and friends of their own team members. Rob Hall had the best communications facilities and we established our links to the outside world from there. Other than Scott all the deaths were from Rob's team. The passing of news about deaths was done quickly through the appropriate official channels so that relatives could be informed properly. We had to do this relatively quickly before the news leaked - however we had to balance this with the need to make sure our information was reliable. It is unfortunate that during the checking process, we were passed inaccurate news about Beck. Given the conditions at the South Col at the time I believe this to be understandable.

            3.) Many climbers appear to walk past fallen climbers on Everest. Look at the woman this year and the many other examples. But others apparently like yourself stop to help. Can you help explain this to us?

    I think what appeared to have happened on Everest this year needs to be investigated. I can say that on Everest in 1996 everyone at Camp 2 reacted as would have been expected. Lives were at risk and everyone pulled together to make sure everything possible could be done.

            4.) What does Mike think about the hype around 1996?

    In 1997 5 people died in one storm on the north side of the mountain, but how many people know this, or if they do can they name the nationalities. This is not meant as an anti-American comment, but I feel that a main reason for the hype of 1996 was the involvement of Americans. Whenever this happens the American media pounce. Time and Newsweek published cover stories on Everest '96. It was featured on Larry King. And not forgetting the books. Largely therefore I think the hype has been generated by the media and entertainment industries.

    Mike has agreed to share with us this macro view of 1996, including what support was requested from the outside world, and how the issues of communication both on the mountain and to the outside world were handled. Submit those questions to web@everestnews2004.com . We have received several hundred questions, many of which are duplication of the same issues, other issues are not covered at all...

  • Patagonia Mountain Agency which includes the great Everest climber Richard Pawlowski has announced their latest expedition plans to EverestNews.com.   
    1998 Expeditions:  
    Makalu (8,463m) Sept 1 to Oct 20         $9,000
    Ama Dablam (6,856m) Oct 20 to Nov 17        $4,500
    1999 Expeditions:  
    Aconcagua (6,960m) Jan 15 to Feb 5          $2,000
    Aconcagua (6,960m)  Feb 6 to Feb 26         $2,000
    Cho Oyu (8,201m) Mar 25 to May 7      $10,000
    Mt. Everest (8,848m)  Apr 4 to May 31      $15,000
    Khan Tengri (7,010m) Jul 23 to Aug 22         $5,000
    Kanchenjunga (8,586m) Sep 1 to Oct 22        $10,000
    Pumori (7,145m)   Oct 17 to Nov 14        $5,000

     

    Jacek Maselko, which has reached the summit of Gasherbrum I (8068m), Gasherbrum II (8035m), and Ama Dablam along others, is a lead guide along with Richard. Richard has reached the summit of Everest twice. Once from the North Side and once from the South Side! Richard has also reached the summits of K2, Gashherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, Aconcagua (3X), Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, Ama Dablam (10X), Annapurna  I, and Broad peak along others... For more information on their agency and these expeditions see the Patagonia Mountain Agency link on our 98/99 Everest Links.

     

  • Byron Smith has notified EverestNews.com that he is returning in 1999. His expedition for 1999 is called "Vulcan Ford Everest Expedition" Canadian Byron Smith 1999 South Side Expedition. This web site has been added to our 99 Everest expeditions page. More on Byron Smith soon...

Daily News: 7/8/98 Report

  • Introduction to EverestNews.com interview with Everest 96 climber Mike Trueman:

    Thank you for the invitation to explain what happened elsewhere on Everest during the storm and subsequent rescue in 1996. Perhaps I should start with an explanation of how I got to be on Everest that year.

    After almost 25 years, most of which time I served in the Gurkhas, I left the British Army in 1992 after running the Mountain Training Centre in Germany for two years. My last military "duty" was to lead a successful attempt on Annapurna 4 - but a month later I was in the war torn Yugoslavia where I worked for the British Foreign Office for the next one and a half years. It was with some enthusiasm that I returned to the mountaineering world.

    In 1996 I joined the team that my old friend Mal Duff was organizing to attempt the Polish South Pillar Route on Everest.

    Mal put together teams which generally only consisted of experienced climbers. The cost of paying for an individual permit on Everest was, and still is, prohibitive, and for just over US$ 20,000 Mal made the necessary arrangements. Mal's profit margins were small, but he still made a living out of organizing expeditions. Unlike the commercially guided teams we climbed in the traditional style of expeditions to high mountains. We teamed up with climbers who we got on with and who were of similar ability, and we moved according to our own plans.

    Mal's team in 1996 consisted of Finnish, Danish and British climbers. The Danish members were a team in their own right, who were sensibly sharing Mal's permit to reduce their expedition costs.

    In early May 1996 I teamed up with Finnish climber Jaakko Kurvinen to make a summit attempt on the Polish South Pillar route. In parallel the excellent Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson teamed up with the Danish climber Bo Belevedere Christensen (currently on Gasherbrum 6 and featured on the EverestNews.com link) to make an attempt on the same route without supplementary oxygen.

    Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and after waiting at Camp 2 for several days I went back to Base Camp to get some medicine to treat a worsening chest complaint. 72 hours later, I was back at Camp 2 on the day Rob Hall and Scott Fischer’s teams went to the summit.

    The first time we realized anything was seriously wrong was about 6 pm that evening when we received reports that Rob was trapped near the summit with a client.

    The storm continued to rage and after a sleepless night we realized next morning that we had a big problem with some 23 climbers unaccounted for.

    A "rescue committee" which included Everest veterans David Breashears, Mal Duff, Henry Todd and Pete Athans, was quickly assembled at Camp 2. It was thought at the time that there were no experienced climbers at Base Camp, and I was asked to go down to fill this gap.

    On arrival at Base Camp I found that New Zealand guide Guy Cotter had arrived from an expedition which he was leading on Pumori. I have the greatest respect for Guy who is the complete professional, and we worked closely for the next 72 hours, together with Rob Hall’s doctor Caroline McKenzie who proved to be a great asset.

    During that 72 hour period between us we passed messages to and from the outside world, made sure the rescuers high on the mountain received the necessary support, liaised with the Nepalese authorities, organized rescue helicopters, and coordinated the base camp representatives of each of the teams up on the mountain.

    The first task which we finally accomplished late on that first day of the rescue, was to produce a chart which showed the location and status of every climber on the mountain. From this everything flowed.

    Before releasing the names of casualties to embassies in Kathmandu we checked again with climbers high on the mountain to confirm details. Mistakes were made - we were told for instance by a climber who had seen Beck Weathers that he was definitely dead and this was passed on. Next day we passed on the correction that Beck was fortunately alive.

    The use of the helicopter to go to Camp 1 was Guy’s idea and as an ex helicopter pilot I thought that it was not possible - but I was pleased to be proved wrong. In essence however that is how we worked. We discussed and developed ideas with the sole aim of helping the climbers who were still on the mountain to get to safety. Despite the pressurized situation which was often full of trauma and emotional stress (for example when Jan Hall was patched through on the radio to Rob), there was never a cross word or disagreement.

    During the rescue some expeditions allowed who ever needed oxygen to break in to their supplies which were stashed at Camp 4, and my final duty at Base Camp was to chair a meeting of all the expedition leaders to sort out the oxygen redistribution.

    Sincerely, Mike Trueman

    Mike has agreed to share with us this macro view of 1996, including what support was requested from the outside world, and how the issues of communication both on the mountain and to the outside world were handled. Submit those questions to web@everestnews2004.com . We have received several hundred questions, many of which are duplication of the same issues, other issues are not covered at all...

  • Bo Belevedere Christensen: The Danish team of Bo Belvedere Christensen, Henrik Jessen Hansen, Jan Mathorne, and Mads Granlien are attempting the first ascent of Gasherbrum 6 (7003 meters) and the first Danish ascent of Gasherbrum 1 (Hidden Peak), 8068 meters. If you have not been following their expedition, you might want to start. You can find their link below with almost daily updates and some significant news about their teams and others on Gasherbrum. This is a good chance to learn about Gasherbrum and follow some excellent climbers.
  • David Lim: EverestNews.com received the following information from Allison Lim on 7/7/98: "David is suffering from guillain barre (as I am sure that you know) and is at present paralyzed from neck down. But he has undergone treatment and Justin Lean, a climber from the Singapore team said that he looks more rested. He is conscious and alert and can respond to questions. The hospital's line, as is the team's, is that David condition is improving. He is still in the intensive care unit though."
  • K2 Update: The weather improved with strong sun and blue sky. The wind was mild, so now they want to go up to Camp 3 (which is at 7.400m). Camp 3 is not ready yet, when it's done climbers will be ready to try the summit. That's because at K2 they will have a camp 4 (8.050m), but just to rest for few hours. Finally news from the Spanish team. They arrived at K2 base camp. There are 8 climbers: 4 Spanish, 3 Turkish, 1 Canadian. I don't have their names. I just know that one Spanish is Pepe Garcez, who is Waldemar's friend since 91 when they met at Everest (Waldemar did an unsuccessful attempt that year by south side). Pepe & Waldemar meet again this year at Shisha Pangma. Heidi, as you know, is already there and tomorrow keep attention at the Irish's web page. Weather improved and they can attempt to reach the summit of Broad peak tomorrow (Wednesday 8th)  Waldemar confirmed me that Marco Barmasse and Edmond Joyeusaz REALLY intend to come down K2 SKIING and that has never been done before ... Source: guta nascimento
  • The bookstore site has two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages. EverestNews.com book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews !

Daily News: 7/7/98 Report

  • Everest 96 climber: Much has been written about the events above the South Col in 1996. EverestNews.com thought it would be a good idea to examine the broader picture, to find out what was happening elsewhere on the mountain to organize and co-ordinate the rescue. EverestNews.com has managed to contact Mike Trueman who has agreed to answer our questions.

    Mike is the Director of Mountain High Adventure (and is leading an Everest 99 Expedition). Mike has led expeditions for over twenty-five years. For much of this time Mike served as an officer in the British Army Gurkha Rifles and he is a fluent Nepalese speaker. From a job as an instructor at the British Joint Services Mountain Training Centre in the early 1970s to his last military position as Commandant of the Army Mountain Training Centre in 1992, Mike has led expeditions in deserts, jungles and mountains around the world. In 1996 Mike was Deputy Leader of Mal Duff's International Team climbing the South Pillar route on Everest (in 1997 Mike took over leadership of the Team Ascent Everest Expedition when Mal Duff died on Everest). On the morning following the storm when 23 climbers were still unaccounted for, Mike was asked to go from Camp 2 to co-ordinate the rescue from Base Camp.

    Mike has agreed to share with us the macro view of 1996, including what support was requested from the outside world, and how the issues of communication both on the mountain and to the outside world were handled. Submit those questions to web@everestnews2004.com

     

  • Hopefully risk will post their update on this year's events on Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • K2 Update: Heidi Howkins is in K2 base camp ! Waldemar: His K2 attempt was planned for next year. This year he was just supposed to climb Shisha Pangma & Cho Oyo (which he did successfully). K2 would be only next year, but then the opportunity to join forces with the Italian team came up and he decided to try this year. If he's not successful, he will go back next year with the approval of all his sponsors. We hope he'll do it this season. This is why his web site talks about K2 in 99...
  • The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages. EverestNews.com book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews !

Daily News: 7/6/98 Report

  • An Everest 96 climber, that was involved in the rescue of the climbers has agreed to give an interview to EverestNews.com in the coming days. This climber was unavailable after Everest therefore was not interviewed by Krakauer. Submit those questions as always to web@everestnews2004.com
  • The North Side Summit Page is close to being complete. Chinese and Slovak climbers still need to be added. One confirmed Sherpa climber's name (#37) must be added and #46 must be confirmed or deleted. All other names have been confirmed. A record year for summits on the North Side Of Everest !
  • K2 Update: We have received an unconfirmed report that Heidi is in K2 base camp !
  • The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages. EverestNews.com book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews !

Daily News: 7/5/98 Report

  • Fausto De Stefani: EverestNews.com has received several requests on why little has been reported in the US on his climbs and where does he rank with US climbers.....  American climbers all mostly focused on in the US, but EverestNews.com hopes to change that and report on all climbers including US climbers as we have been. Fausto De Stefani is unquestionably among the elite of the elite climbers in the history of the sport. Only five men has reached all 14 8000 meter peaks ever. Many climbers have died after attempting just a few...
  • Josie is taking the high road regarding comments from Steve Goodwin critical remarks. EverestNews.com has half an interview with her but would like to complete the interview before publishing. EverestNews.com has not been able to confirm Goodwin's critical remarks. In fact, the information we have received says she was never in trouble...
  • K2 Update: Weather improved, so Waldemar, Abele Blanc and Marco Barmasse went up to Camp 1. They had a lot of job trying to unbury the ropes they had fixed some days ago. They will spend this night (4th to 5th) at 6.000m at a small platform at Abruzzi's spur. Source: guta nascimento
  • EverestNews.com new book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews. The bookstore site has added a two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/4/98 Report

  • The Japanese JCYE Team had the following members reach the summit of Everest from the North Side on 5/1/9/98: Muraguchi, Satoa, Mimgmar Tshering Sherpa, Tshering Dorjee Sherpa, and Pasang Kyidar. You might ask how many more teams are out here that we have not yet reported. Well we believe several Slovak climbers also reached the summit, but are trying to confirm.
  • The man that assisted Mark Jennings name is Nima Wangchhuk Sherpa. EverestNews.com understands his efforts on Everest to have been super human, performing the impossible, the equal of reaching the summit three times or more in a day ! It is very sad, when climbers are lost, but let's not let this death harm Nima Wangchhuk Sherpa. From all accounts EverestNews.com has received, he did MORE THAN THE IMPOSSIBLE for Mark and got Mark safely back to the tents. If you have not read our interview with American climber Craig John that partially describes Nima Wangchhuk Sherpa's efforts that day, you can find the link below.
  • K2 Update: Waldemar team: (Thursday 2nd) they had very low clouds and unstoppable snow. When they went up to Camp 1, the Abruzzi's spur had a lot of snow so now it must be worst. At night they had again strong wind. But today (Friday 3rd) the climbers spent another day in base camp resting and watching world soccer cup by internet. Yes, put 8 Italians and 2 Brazilians (Waldemar & wife) together ... they can be even at the top of Everest they will discuss soccer ...Tomorrow (Saturday 4th) Waldemar and Abele intend to go up to Camp 1 but we'll have to wait for the weather to confirm it. Source: guta nascimento
  • Also on K2: The Italians web site link EverestNews.com added to the links page, are the same Italians who are climbing with Waldemar. Waldemar says he is the chief of the team. Waldemar has very strong sponsors. We are hearing that the Italian climber Barmasse intents of skiing down K2 !. We never heard anything like this on k2 ! We are trying to confirm. If anyone has information about other attempts of skiing down k2 in the past please let us know.
  • EverestNews.com new book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/3/98 Report

  • Eric Simonson has informed us he will be back on Everest for next year ! Eric has made it four out of six times over 8750 meters and once to the summit ! As most of you know he is one of the outstanding climbers American has. Eric tells us that Dave Hahn is going to lead the North Ridge again next year.
  • Update on Matthew Randall: Matthew is done with treatment. His blood counts were not high enough today to get the last two rounds of chemo...soooo...that's it. We're still not sure how to feel about it. One part is happy and relieved (he was going to get the same stuff that landed him in ICU in May) but another part is scared that he will relapse. Of course Dr. Carpenter reminded us that we would still feel that way even if we did the last two! And he's right...we've been there before! Anyway, his Hickman line will be pulled the afternoon of July 7th and we will have his first follow-up CT scans in September (we just had scans last week and they were clear for the second time in a row!). So now comes the readjust time of trying to become a semi-normal family again. And of course forever holding our breath... Please keep praying for Matthew. Chris... If you have not read the story on Craig John successful climb of Everest for Matthew Randall, a little boy with cancer , please do.
  • K2 Update: The Italian K2 team's web site is being adding to our K2 Links page. This site appears to be a very good web site with updates often. EverestNews.com also hears a Spanish team is arriving at K2 base camp soon.
  • This bring us to an important point. Several persons has helped EverestNews.com during the season and in the last few days with our ISP problems. We would like to thank you all. We have received support from Everest Climbers and individuals that just see it in their heart to help us. Thank YOU !!! Your valuable comments and assistance is not something money can buy.

Daily News: 7/2/98 Report

  • K2 Update 6/30/98: It was unbelievably cloudy and very hot, with a lot of avalanches. The Italians are indeed confirmed on the mountain. In fact two Italian climbers (Adriano and Arnaud) had to come down from Camp 1 because of high winds. They couldn't sleep all night with the wind bumping the tents. Early today, two other Italian climbers (Edmond Joyeusaz and Marco Barmasse) went to Camp 1 to replace Adriano and Arnaud. They were supposed to fix ropes above Camp 1, but it was impossible because of the clouds visibility came down just to 50m. Source guta nascimento
  • News on David Lim: EverestNews.com received two pieces of news. Let's all hope for the best for David. Source : Allison Lim: " David Lim is suffering from a rare nervous disorder caused by a viral infection. Doctors expect him to recover but he is still in intensive care." Another Source: "From what I've heard so far is that David Lim is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but his condition is stable. No one can go into the ICU without a valid reason and even then, only 2 people at a time. I saw him once when I sent over 'well-wishes emails for him' about two weeks ago. He opened his eyes when the nurse walked into his cubicle but shut them again. It's like as if he had all kinds of tubes and wires inserted into his body. He was in a pathetic state. I just wish a speedy recovery for the person who had made Singapore proud." As a footnote, some might wonder why EverestNews.com is reporting information on David's condition. It is simply because we have received HUNDREDS of requests from our visitors to the site FOR INFORMATION...therefore we are doing what we can for these people requests...
  • EverestNews.com received news from the official source in Nepal today that they are confirming Jeff Rhoads reached the summit a second time. Therefore there were 44 summits in 1998 on the south side and our summit page for the south side is complete and confirmed by the official sources in Nepal.
  • EverestNews.com new book review is: Everest, the West Ridge Thomas F. Hornbein / Hardcover / Published 1980. Submit those reviews. The bookstore site has added two Mountaineering book pages, K2 book page , an ice climbing page, and a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna book  pages.

Daily News: 7/1/98 Report

  • News on the Czech Everest 98 North Face Expedition. You will notice we added the names of Radek Jaros (34) and Vladimir Nosek (35), one of the team's doctors, to the summit page. Both climbers reached the summit on 5/19/98. Both of these climbers reached the summit without oxygen ! Other team members and their status (all without oxygen): Zdenek Hruby (42) the leader of the expedition reached 8600meters solo, Vladislav Drda (44) reached 8100 meters, Tomas Kozak (35) the other team doctor reached 8100 meters, Petr Skalka (46) reached 8300meters, Bohuslav Blazek (38) was a non-climbing member and Jaroslav Hlava (39) was also a non-climbing member. Great Job by the Czech team ! Two summits without oxygen ! It should be noted that no Czech Climbers reached to summit on any other date according to the Czech team and other sources we talked with. More on the Czech team later. Once again another great Everest 98 success !
  • There are still other climbers that will be added to the North Side summit page. It is not complete, in what appears to be a record year on Everest's North side. 

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