March 16, 2000
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
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
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
- ALAN HINKES TARGETS THIRD HIGHEST
MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD, KANGCHENJUNGA AS TWELFTH MOUNTAIN ON HIS CHALLENGE TO ACHIEVE
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
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
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.
EverestNews.com will feature full dispatches from Jagged Globe for
Everest Spring 2000
Climber to attempt the Messner route on Everest
Change of Guard at the Khumbu Ice Fall
Hoyland and the BBC returns to Everest in Spring 2000 insearch of the camera and Irvine.
headed to Everest Base Camp
Hemmleb Q&A Part 7
climber plans to spend the night on the Summit
Climbers prepare for Everest
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