News. For earlier reports:
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2000: Lhotse 2000: Cho
2000: Annapurna 2000:
year is offering our readers "Guest Columns" perspectives from climbers who has
summitted Everest. In this case a climber who has reached the
Summit from both sides. Graham is discussing how things are going so far. This
is the climb from his perspective.
the first climber from the UK who reached the Summit of Everest from both the
North and South Sides.
Graham Ratcliffe www.highambitions.com
As the predicted
weather windows appear in the forecasts from Bracknell in the UK , some
teams looking for an early ascent start to move climbers and final supplies up
towards the South Col. These forecasts will probably be showing wind
speeds on the summit of 35 knots or less, maybe even down to 15 knots and accompanying
warmer temperatures of - 10oC to -15oC.
Climbers pushing for
the summit have to remember in the back of their minds that these are forecasts
and not written in stone !!! As the monsoons move up from the Bay of
Bengal the winds of the Jet Stream which normally blast the summit of Everest
are pushed north over the Tibetan plateau. Early in the season there
is always a risk of what is known as 'Snap Back' . This is when the high
pressure that precedes the monsoons is not as strong in early May and the low
pressure of the jet stream can snap back over the summit. Wind speeds can
very quickly hit 80 to 100 knots with temperatures plummeting.
There is undoubtedly a
race on to be first to the summit of Everest in the new millennium. The
ambition to achieve this is obvious in many of the reports being sent by some of
It has to be
remembered that all climbers out there are ambitious to varying degrees
....or they wouldn't be there !
Nearly all those who
would like to be first up decided that long before their plane ever touched down
They have spent a
month or so acclimatizing and preparing themselves mentally. Just about
the only thing occupying their thoughts at this time will be the
summit and how soon can they go for it. There will be little or no thought
to anything beyond that, it's what you call being focused !!
stopped to think that the first climber to reach the
summit of Everest in the new millennium may well be one of the
Sherpa.....somehow to me that would seem right.
Many teams, and
especially those on the North side will bide their time giving the weather a
chance to be more settled.
When climbers see a
good weather window they are concerned it will be the only one for the
takes a lot of self control.
But quite often pays
A team of eight climbers
and over 20 Sherpas will climb to Camp
4 on Everest this spring to attempt to bring down hundreds of discarded
oxygen bottles and tons of trash left by other climbers in the past. Besides
performing this necessary task the group will also attempt to summit Everest.
Members include Robert
Chang, Expedition leader Robert Hoffman of Belmont, CA, (his fourth expedition
to Everest), Deputy Expedition leader is Robert Boice of San Francisco. The
expedition trek leader is Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of one of the first
Everest summiteers, Tenzing Norgay. In addition, Sherman Bull, 62, of Stamford,
CT, is a physician member. The lead Sherpa is Appa
If you want to know what life has been like the last few days for the Inventa
Everest 2000 Environmental Expedition, go pitch a tent at the end of an airport
runway. Expedition leader Bob Hoffman, Climbing leader Jim Williams, and
Himalayan Guides leader Henry Todd have 15 Everest expeditions between them. None
of them, Hoffman reported by radio, had ever seen so much wind and snow at Camp
II, where every expedition
currently on the mountain has been hunkered down. The wind has been so strong
that a tent belonging to another expedition was picked up and blown away.
Efforts are underway
by the expedition's Sherpas to establish Camp IV at 26,000 feet on the South
Col. That job may be completed in the next two days. At last report fixed ropes
had been set most of the way up the Lhotse Face, and climber Jeff Rhoads, along
with climbing Sirdar Apa Sherpa, were planning to move up to IV.
See www.everestcleanup.com for
the rest of their Dispatch and pictures !
- Everest Spring
Current Status: Byron
Smith, Tim Rippel and the team's Sherpas have spent
another day at Base camp.
Although the forecast still
looks good, the actual
weather doesn't seem to match the projections.
Last night high winds up to
70 miles per hour (112 km/h) sent
flying snow circling the mountain but the forecast showed much lower winds for
Camp III. Byron says they have to rely on observations on the mountain to see
what the weather is like.
This morning winds
have died down and the plan is to send Sherpas to Camp II on Thursday with Byron
and Tim following Friday. According
to Byron's previous time schedule, that would make Sunday night the time for a
summit attempt. Naturally,
things could still change between now and then.
For dispatches, video updates,
background information, interactive maps and more on
his diary entry for more http://cbc.ca/everest2000/
(In case you missed
the NEWSFLASH yesterday)
the 30th of April, one of the Expedition Andalusia Everest 2000's members
suffered an accident. This happened while the expedition had arranged to
descend from BC to a nearby town to get a few days rest before attacking the
summit. On the 28th of April, the climbers installed C 4 at the height
necessary to undertake the final attack on the summit. After spending
several days at over 6500 meters installing the camps, all the climbers returned
BC to rest for the final summit push. Some members stayed at BC while
others decided to descend to the closest town to recover. It was then that
Amparo Ortega, expedition member who is both a climber and doctor, slipped on a
strangely formed rock. She fell and broke
her Tibia and Fibula as well as her right ankle.
The news was radioed to BC where arrangements were made for an evacuation
Andalusian climber is currently at the hospital in Katmandu where she will
undergo surgery on 1 May. The
climber spoke directly with people in Spain and sounds okay
but is disappointed that the expedition is over for her. She will be back
in Spain in a few days. The rest of the expedition is continuing to rest
until 6 May so that on either 7 or 8 May, there will be the first attack on the
summit by three of the climbers. Thus,
the Andalusian flag will fly on the summit on the 11th or 12th of May. BC
will be in constant contact with Spain during the night of the final summit
EverestNews.com will publish their
reports in English. Their reports in Spanish, pictures, and more will be on
It is somewhat strange
with the record number
of reporters at BC,
that this helicopter
evacuation has not been reported.
- An experienced
Danish Expedition: Thrane & Thrane sponsorship of the first all Danish
Mount Everest Expedition
Still moving up !
Check them out...
The BigE-expedition and
its progress can be followed at Thrane & Thranes website: http://www.tt.dk/everest/intro.html
You will find several
interesting New updates:
A lone climber from Canadian
attempts the Summit from the South Side. His name is Jeffrey Warden, and he is from
Dispatch 5/1/2000: Moved
up to camp  to-day, will wait here for weather to calm down. Strong winds
major concern. Fresh snow on the
"Lhotse" face. Saturday, May 6th, probable summit attempt.
Frits Vrijlandt and Steven Le
Poole, will attempt to climb Everest via the North ridge. They are part of a
non-commercial British/Dutch expedition.
expedition members quit
BASE CAMP - Expedition member Adrian Walker has been
forced to leave the expedition. Last week at North Col he experienced serious
eye trouble. The expedition doctor and doctors in Britain strongly advised him
to stay put because there would be a big change of recurrence. Subsequently,
Adrian decided to leave the expedition altogether.
for entire article
- The Millennium
Seven Summits Expedition http://adventurealternative.com
lead by Gavin Bate and John Barry.
EverestNews.com will feature full dispatches and photos from this
expedition. Please see below for information on them and their dispatches
from Everest. The
team of seven is made up of John Barry and Gavin Bate, Andy Salter, Polly
Murray , Chris Tiso, George Barlow and Michele Santilhano.
camp Wednesday 5/3/2000
say that patience is a virtue, and ours is being tested right now ! We have
spent several days below in the village of Lobuje, eating well and sleeping
well, and every morning gazing up at the high tops and seeing the tell-tale
signs of high winds and bad weather. By mid-afternoon the weather has invariably
clagged in and quite often it is snowing. With a sigh we have gone back into the
lodge and discussed, yet again, our different possibilities and itineraries.
It is SO frustrating !!
Now we are back in Base Camp
and yesterday when we arrived there was a huge snowstorm and the tents were
lashed by strong winds. People are leaving the mountain in droves ! This morning
it is clear skies but still high winds and we have spoken to our Sherpas at Camp
2 who have confirmed that there is no movement up high.
It is VERY frustrating !!
all ready and primed ( like "coiled springs" as Andy says, doing some
light calisthenics outside in a muscle T-shirt ) and we have all over-dosed on
sleep. The silent cry of "Let's Go !" is in everyone's mind. One
pleasant distraction has been the arrival of my second trek group who arrive at
Base Camp today. We met them in Lobuje and it was good to chat with new faces.
Rory Tiso, brother of Chris, was man of the hour when he delivered a 'goodies
bag' of luxuries like the newspapers, magazines, salami, cask strength
whisky, Sambuca, haggis and oatcakes ! We fell upon the bag like idiots !
Our trek group is fantastic,
some real characters. None of them are climbers or even especially enthusiastic
hill walkers - they just wanted the opportunity to go to Base Camp during an
actual summit attempt. It means a lot to us as well, to have that sort of
support from people back home who have trekked up here to see this incredible
Anyway life is now revolving
around the weather forecast and the daily radio call with Camp 2 to find out
what the movements are up there. At the moment the forecast indicates that the
weather is changing today, with a big high pressure coming in from the north (
the Tibetan plateau ) which is pushing this current low pressure away, hence the
present unsettled weather. On the 5th the winds are supposed to be gossamer
light and several groups are going for the top on that day. Unfortunately
we can't take advantage of that because we don't have all our gear at Camp 4
yet. Then on the
7th'ish there's supposed to be 35 knot winds at 24,000' which is too strong for summiting
and, hopefully, then a drop in wind for maybe the 8th or 9th which is our
proposed date of summiting. Who knows ? We are literally in the hands of the
Gods up here.
It is UTTERLY frustrating !!
We will keep you posted.
Meanwhile life at Base Camp drags on and we dream of hot showers, clean sheets,
central heating, bacon sanies, strong cheddar, armchairs, movies and washing
machines !! All the best
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