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 Daily News: 5/4/2000 Report

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. 

Makalu 2000: Dhaulagiri 2000: Lhotse 2000: Cho Oyu 2000: 

Manaslu 2000Kangchenjunga 2000:  Annapurna 2000:

  • Guest Column:

EverestNews.com this 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.

Graham Ratcliffe, 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 the expeditions.

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 in Nepal. 

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 !!

Has anyone 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 season. 

Sometimes patience takes a lot of self control.

But quite often pays off  !!

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 Sherpa.

Dispatch: 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 2000: Byron Smith

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 check his diary entry for more http://cbc.ca/everest2000/

  • Andalucia Everest 2000: Another Accident

(In case you missed the NEWSFLASH yesterday)

On 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 helicopter.  The 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 push. 

EverestNews.com will publish their reports in English. Their reports in Spanish, pictures, and more will be on http://www.deporteandaluz.com/everest.htm

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 & Thrane’s website: http://www.tt.dk/everest/intro.html

You will find several interesting New updates:

  • Jeffrey Warden

A lone climber from Canadian attempts the Summit from the South Side. His name is Jeffrey Warden, and he is from Winnipeg Canada. 

Dispatch 5/1/2000: Moved up to camp [2] 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. 

www.pangeaextreme.homestead.com

  • Everest North Side: 

http://www.everest.home.nl/ 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.

4/30/200 Two 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.

Click 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.  

Dispatch: Base camp Wednesday 5/3/2000

They do 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 !!

We are 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 mountain.

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

Gavin 

For all the May 2000 News

For all the April 2000 News

For all the March 2000 News

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