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 EverestNews.com News and Notes                       March 16, 2000

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the News Index for a list of all the Daily Reports. See the Home Page for Individual Stories.  Receiving Reports from Over 20 Teams on Everest this Spring 2000.

  • Everest Spring 2000: The Khumbu Ice Fall, details

On March 8th, EverestNews.com reported the "Change of Guard at the Khumbu Ice Fall".   In 1998 & 1999, Henry Todd and his company was "in charge" of maintaining the Khumbu Ice Fall, in which climbers on the Nepal Side of Everest must pass on the normal route to the Summit. Henry, as climbers before him, charged a fee to each climber/expedition for his services. Nepal's Ministry of Tourism has entrusted the job of fixing the Khumbu Ice Fall for Climbing Expeditions in Spring 2000 to SPCC (Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee). Government officials maintain that they have given the Ice Fall fixing job to SPCC for this season on trial basis.

Previously it was Mal Duff who fixed the Ice Fall. Mal had a 50% share and the other 50% was "owned" by Chhwang Sherpa who runs Arun Treks. Henry took over Mal's share, but the continuing "owner" has been Chhwang Sherpa throughout. The equipment for maintaining the Ice Fall too have been shared between them equally. At least two of this year's expeditions are using Arun staff, who have fixed the Ice Fall and maintained it for several years. It is a dangerous and skilled job and it would make sense for Arun to continue to be involved.

The Question then became who would do the work of maintaining the Ice Fall in Spring 2000. Our sources in Nepal told EverestNews.com that the icefall was to be maintained in Spring 2000 by Arun Treks with Asian Trekking having a part. Therefore, EverestNews.com asked Asian Trekking what role they would play: Asian Trekking told EverestNews.com, "Now Arun Treks have taken the responsibility and I am acting as an advisor for the maintenance of the Ice Fall."   Regards. Dawa Sherpa Asian Trekking.

  • Everest Spring 2000 South Side:

Snow "up high" on Everest reported as light from those trekking in the region.

Some oxygen supplies delayed.

Climbers on the way to BC !

Expect Early Summit Attempts, if conditions are good.

  • Everest Spring 2000: Byron Smith

Byron is heading out for Nepal from the Calgary Airport. It'll be another five days before he begins his over land trek to Basecamp.

They have a nice FAQ Page on their site, check it out http://cbc.ca/everest2000/faq.html

For the rest of the their News check:  www.cbc.ca/everest2000.

  • ALAN HINKES TARGETS THIRD HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD, KANGCHENJUNGA AS TWELFTH MOUNTAIN ON HIS CHALLENGE TO ACHIEVE BRITISH RECORD

Hinkes is to attempt a new route on the South-West face, and climb it solo!  Alan Hinkes, the UK's most successful high altitude mountaineer, has named the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga as his target twelfth mountain in his record breaking challenge to climb the fourteen mountains in the world over 8000 meters in height. He leaves for Nepal in a few days on his spring pre-monsoon 2000 expedition. Kangchenjunga was first climbed in 1955 by a British expedition which included George Band, now aged 71. George had climbed on Everest with Hillary and Tensing in 1953. He climbed Kanchenjunga using a route on the south-west face which has not been climbed since that date.

"George Band has given me some very useful background about how he tackled Kangchenjunga," said Alan. "I will be following in the footsteps of one of the great mountaineers of the 50s and 60s." The fourteen mountains over 8000m high are all in the Himalaya and nearby Karakoram range of mountains, and Alan's attempt to climb them is known as Challenge 8000. Alan has already climbed eleven of them including Everest and K2 which is a British record, and it has taken him fourteen years and over 24 expeditions. No British mountaineer has ever climbed all fourteen and many climbers from around the world have died trying to climb them.

He has been involved in many dangerous incidents in the Himalaya over the years, in particular in 1997 when he made the headlines around the world after he sneezed on some chapati flour and slipped a disc. He lay in agony for ten days part way up a mountain and it was only when he could drag himself down to a lower altitude that he could be rescued by helicopter and taken to hospital. Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. Although it is only 270 meters lower than Everest some consider it is a much harder mountain to climb. It lies at the eastern extreme of the Himalayan range, on the border between India and Nepal. Alan will be approaching the mountain from the Nepalese side in his attempt on the south-west face. After the first ascent of Kangchenjunga in 1955, it was not climbed again for twenty-two years, largely because of the inaccessible nature of the mountain. It still remains one of the least climbed 8000 meter mountains in the Himalaya.

All mountains at this height are very dangerous to climb, and mountaineers often refer to this extreme altitude as the 'death zone', because no-one can survive at that altitude for more than a few days. Because Kangchenjunga lies at the eastern extreme of the Himalaya it is exposed to very bad weather conditions, in particular winds of 300 mph or more. It is also a technically difficult mountain to climb, much harder than Everest, which is only 250m higher, and possibly as hard as K2 which is only 12m higher. There are no easy routes up Kangchenjunga; all faces have serious avalanche and rockfall dangers and very difficult terrain. 

Maybe Alan is intending to climb solo, using the technique of modern light-weight expeditions.

"Each mountain offers its own extreme challenge," said Alan Hinkes, "but Kangchenjunga has many different challenges. Even the approach to base camp will be harder than most and the extreme conditions on the mountain will pose many physical and mental challenges to me. I only have three mountains left to climb on Challenge 8000 and so my motivation is high. But I also believe that no mountain is worth a life and the real challenge will be to pit my experience against the conditions and challenges on the mountain."

Editorial Note: Alan Summit of Cho Oyu in 1990 has been disputed by some. We plan a further interview with Alan in which we will cover this issue.

  • Recent News

EverestNews.com will feature full dispatches from Jagged Globe for Everest Spring 2000

Spanish Climber to attempt the Messner route on Everest

Change of Guard at the Khumbu Ice Fall

Graham Hoyland and the BBC returns to Everest in Spring 2000 insearch of the camera and Irvine.

Climbers headed to Everest Base Camp

Jochen Hemmleb Q&A Part 7

India climber plans to spend the night on the Summit

Dutch Climbers prepare for Everest

  • EverestNews.com and MVS

EverestNews.com welcomes MVS has our newest sponsor. MVS has agreed to let EverestNews.com readers buy MVS phone and equipment at the dealer cost !

See the MVS Page.

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