Dan Mazur's Kangchenjunga Spring 2002

25 May Dispatch: The weather today started off bright and sunny but clouded over quickly and it started snowing gently. After yesterday's events, Stu was understandably wanting to get off the mountain and back to base camp as quickly as possible both to rest and to inform Chris's family of the events personally by satellite phone. Before leaving Camp 6, Stu and Paul went over to Chris's body and said a prayer and paid their last respects and retrieved some personal items for the family, including his video camera. Stu, Paul, and Mike all descended from Camp 6. Malte meanwhile agreed to wait in camp 4 to accompany Stu down to camp 2. During his descent to Camp 2, Stu took a 50 meter slide down the snow slopes of the upper rock band, stopping 20 meters above a cliff. Luckily, Felix was there to help him recover. Paul and Mike descended to camp 4 where they spent the night. Steve and Dan were still in Base Camp, while Ivan, Julio, and Felix were moving from Camp 4 to Camp 6 for a final summit attempt.

26 May Dispatch: The weather was sunny in the morning, but windy with spindrift blowing everywhere. By noon the weather turned bad with plenty of new snowfall. Ivan, Julio, and Felix set off at 4:30 AM for the summit, reaching 8200+ m in the couloir by 7:15. However, the wind ruled out climbing to the summit. They retreated in hopes of another attempt the next day. 

Stu and Malte descended from Camp 2 to Base Camp. The wind and snow made the trip from ABC to Base Camp a difficult one, especially for Stu who was very tired from his summit climb and the strain of Chris's death. 

Paul and Mike descended from Camp 4 to Camp 2. The snow conditions on the mountain were deteriorating, and they set off little wind slab avalanches on the way down to the Rock Band. The snow became even deeper below the Rock Band, with thigh-deep snow in spots. No major slides occurred and everyone reached their camps safely. The sun appeared briefly that afternoon, and was then replaced by light but steady snowfall that continued throughout the night.

Steve continued to recover in Base Camp, and Dan awaited Stu's arrival so that Chris's family could be contacted. Sherpas were also on the mountain, beginning to break down camps and retrieve equipment in preparation for our departure on the 29th.

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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