Dan Mazur's Kangchenjunga Spring 2002

15 May Dispatch: On this day we had good weather again with only a couple of snow clouds present. Ivan, Julio, and Felix spent a rest day at Camp 2. Stu, Chris, Mike, Malte, and Paul all traveled back to basecamp having completed their acclimatisation  night at Camp 4. Dan, Ian, and Galu reached Camp 2. Steve still remains ill at basecamp.

16 May Dispatch: Yet another fine sunny day! Dan, Ivan, Felix, Jambu, and Galu climbed up to Camp 4 to stay the night, and also took up extra tents to allow the establishment of Camp 5. Julio had to travel back to basecamp with Dorge, as he was suffering from mild snow blindness. Ian spent a rest day at Camp 2, as he was still feeling some after-effects from the dysentery. All other members rested at basecamp. 

17 May Dispatch: Another fine day allowed yet more progress to be made. Ivan, Dan, Felix, Jambu, and Galu pushed on up the snow plateau to reach a couloir at 7300 meters. This leads into the upper snowfield at 7500 meters. After climbing through this couloir they established camp 5 at 7700 meters altitude. Staying there for the night, the group is poised for a summit attempt, weather permitting. Ian was climbing from camp 2 to camp 4, but one of his crampons broke whilst in the middle of the rockband, and he was forced to return to camp 2. The other members rested in basecamp. 

18 May Dispatch: At 2:30 in the morning, the wind was buffeting the tents in Camp 5. After a almost sleepless night Dan, Ivan, Felix, Janbu and Galu got their stoves started in preparation for the summit attempt. At 5:15 Ivan was the first to start walking. Half an hour later the others were also following. At 7:15 they reached 8000 meters, beside the Croissant where a couloir leads through to the summit pyramid. Due to high winds and a rapid change in the weather, they were forced to turn back to camp 5. Dan and Jambu made the decision to stay in camp 5 and await better weather. Galu headed down to camp 4 to get more gas, but on the way through the couloir fell 50 meters. Fortunately, his fall was arrested by heavy snow. Ivan and Felix decided to return to basecamp to await better weather. On the way down, they experienced heavily frozen ropes on the rockband which delayed their descent. Between camp 2 and camp 1, the visibility was very poor and the route across the ice plateau was full of avalanche debris. Also, many new crevasses had appeared. Just above camp 1, Ivan and Felix caught up with Ian who was also descending to basecamp. He had also had to dig out ropes on the ice building and had earlier fallen down a crevasse. His route according to Felix had been "interesting" involving solo crevasse jumping.

Mike, Malte, Stu, Chris, Julio, and Paul had made their way up from basecamp to camp 1. Beyond ABC, the group heard howls coming from a crevasse. They found a dog in the crevasse much to their surprise, and successfully rescued it. The dog later followed Ivan and Felix back to basecamp. Julio also returned to basecamp so as to make his summit attempt with Ivan and Felix. Ian also arrived safely back at basecamp.

Steve was still recovering at basecamp.

19 May Dispatch: The weather stayed poor with much snow and wind. Consequently, Dan and Jambu stayed at camp 5 and Galu at camp 4. Mike, Malte, Stu, Chris, and Paul climbed up to camp 2. All other members rested at basecamp. 

20 May Dispatch: At camp 5, in the early morning ,the weather looked good with no clouds and very light winds. Dan and Jangbu left the tent at 5:30 am, and quickly climbed toward the top of the croissciant, surpassing their height attained several days earlier. The wind increased and spindrift slashed their faces. A gale began blowing, they found it hard to stand, and decided to retreat, heading for basecamp exhausted and in defeat, after two attempts on the summit. High gallery clouds began to buffet the summit, and spindrift avalanches began to flow down hill. In camp 2, at the time of the morning radio call, Chris was outside the tent videoing spindrift avalanches flowing through the rock band. He saw movement at the top of the band through his lens. He realized it was a person trying to descend. He and Stu and Mike and the others watched, as the person slowly tried to come down the ropes, then stopped moving. They realized the person was in trouble, and prepared to  climb up to camp 3 with supplies and go help. By 1:00 pm in the afternoon, Stu had valiantly chopped his way up the fixed line, freeing it from the previous days ice, to find Galu Sherpa, suspended from the rope, stuck there, looking nearly dead, as the freezing cold wind and spindrift avalanches swirled around him. Stu said Galu was so far gone that his mouth was open, and his tongue was hanging out, unable to close it. Galu had no descender, but was clipped to some old rope, he was wearing no down jacket and no down pants. Stu clipped off Galu's rucksack, cut the frozen-in rope to free Galu, made the tremendous and heroic effort to get Galu back down to safety at the ice cave at camp 3. The others readied things in the ice cave. Stu got into Ivan's sleeping bag with Galu, and the others prepared hot tea to revive Galu. Around 3pm, Dan and Jangbu, climbed down through the rock band to find Galu's descender stuck on an iced in piece of rope, then they found the rope itself cut. Jangbu made some classic ice moves, and refixed a new rope which Dan and he had carried as an emergency line, in case of just such an emergency. They freed Galu's descender and lowered his rucksack down to Camp3 and the ice cave at 6700 meters. There, they found Galu in Ivan's sleeping bag and the entire crew hovering around him helping. Galu was ok, with some mild frostnip, and feeling obviously chilled. The team of Stu, Chris, Mike, and Paul and Malte, had really done a fantastic job of saving Galu's life. Emotions were running high. Everyone retreated to camp 2 for the night. Galu and Jangbu spent the night together in a tent, were Jangbu spent the evening feeding Galu tea, and talking to him, trying to find out what had happened.

PS. We are presently in east Nepal, climbing the world's third highest peak, "Kangchenjunga". The name means "The Five Treasures of the Snow God" and the mountain is indeed a treasure in itself. You may wish to follow the daily progress of our expedition at: http://www.everestnews.com/kang2002.htm  We try to update this website each week, with reports of what happened to each member, on a particular day. 

Thank you very much. Cheers for now. Yours
Sincerely, Daniel Mazur from http://www.SummitClimb.com

Please join us in watching the "live-update" status of 2002 climbing expeditions to Nepal and Tibet on: http://www.everestnews.com/kang2002.htm

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