8000 Meter Peaks

Everest
K2
Kangchenjunga
Lhotse
Makalu
Cho Oyu
Dhaulagiri
Manaslu
Nanga Parbat
Annapurna
Gasherbrum
Broad Peak
Shishapangma
Pakistan

Seven Summits

Everest
Aconcagua
Denali
Kilimanjaro
Elbrus
Vinson Massif
Carstensz Pyramid
Mount Kosciusko

Without our sponsors, you wouldn't see this site, please visit our sponsors. 

imax.gif (11898 bytes)  

 November 1-14th, 1998 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News:11/14/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Peter Green Continues !

    Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net

    Q.) Show Everest be guided? We see climber/guides such as IMG (Eric Simonson and Heather Macdonald) stating something to the effect that they don't guide Everest to the Top. This has always been their view as far as I know. They will assist you (or guide) you to a certain point but then you need to be responsible for your actions. Others, such as Rob Hall, believed otherwise. What are your thoughts?

    A.) Until the chair-lift and tramway system is completed to the summit (just kidding) no one can promise to take you there (and back).  One friend who guides says the client can choose the objective, even if rather out of their reach; then the guide does her/his best and calls a halt when it is necessary for safety's sake to head back.  I suppose a would-be Everester, paying so much cash, might insist on continuing at their own peril.  Guiding has its place in the world, but I greatly prefer doing my own thing with my own skill and my own family and friends.

    Q.) For Peter Green: As an "amateur", how do you fund your trips around the world and get the time off to take them?

    A.) I have to take time off without pay, sell t-shirts, and live and travel frugally.   I did all my south America trips as a graduate student.  Eating peanut butter and homemade jelly for lunch for a year easily saves up the $1k.  And on my big expeditions, t-shirts have generated about $1k.  I drive a bottom-of-the-line, manual transmission car.  The net savings there over what most folks drive pays for a trip or two.  Someday, I may have to quit a job to travel.  I am lucky to work at a university where extended travel is not so rare.  And I happened to be planning my first Asian expedition when I got this job, so they had to accept that as part of me.   I find the long break a good thing anyway.  It costs a little extra in health benefits bridging the un-paid leave, but not much.

    Q.) Tell us what you think is in Rob Hall's mind on May 10th, at 3:30 ? Why did he not turn around? Everyone else has speculated, what do you think ? You knew him. I am not sure in was for the reasons Krakauer stated.

    A.) Oh, boy that's tough.  I don't think my speculations would be anything new.   He was a nice bloke.  And no one thinks clearly that high, even with the help of some bottled air.  Accidents happen; mistakes happen; and sometimes Nature simply dominates.  The bigger the mountain, the smaller the humans.

    Q..) Can you tell us more about this fixing rope issue? You know Lopsang Sherpa was blamed by Krakauer in some ways for deaths because he did not fix the ropes that day. This has never made sense to me. Why would only one man have this job? And why would he need to fix the ropes for the other team? Makes no sense at all. What do you think about this issue?

    A.) Sharing duties makes sense, and dumping them on the strongest is common.   Depending on any one person at any crucial time for such a large group's success (and perhaps survival) is unwise.  For guiding relative novices, lots of fixed rope is necessary, and helps everyone.  But that means being sure the job will done right and in timely fashion.

    Q.) If I am an amateur, where do I start (besides getting myself in shape) climbing in California ?

    A.) Hike, backpack, rock climb, ski backcountry, winter camp, mountaineer, then head for the bigger stuff: Rainier, Mexico, Andes, Alaska.  Have fun and develop good partners!  Learn how your body handles it all, especially altitude, get familiar with gear, etc...

    Q.) Can almost anyone get to Everest Base camp without a guide? Or do you need to hire porters? I hear it is somewhat rough.

    A.) Carrying a full backpack to those elevations is rough indeed.  Hire a porter, treat them as a friend, and you will have employed someone who will work hard for decent pay and help you out.  Nepalis are among the nicest, most hard-working and adaptable people in the world, and tourism is the nation's biggest source of income.  Carry a light day-pack, take it slow, and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery on this planet.

    No need to go macho -- that's what gets people altitude sick!

    Q.) The rescue issue. You might or might not know an American woman was on the North Side on Everest this year at about 8,200 meters , while 10 to 12 climbers climbed pasted her over a two day period and reached the summit and came back down pasted her, and left her for dead each time, even though, even on the second day, she was in good enough shape to talk. These climbers were not from her team. Help us understand how climbers could do should a thing?

    A.) Well, I couldn't, but can offer some comments.  It is impossible to carry someone -- even at sea-level on easy ground.  Beck Weathers was passed over, too, but somehow he got up and walked.  Lopsang had to abandon Scott Fischer to save himself.   Now passing someone on the way up is a bit different, but again the decision may be they have to help themself -- at least partly.

    On Aconcagua, we actually passed a guy sitting beside the route on our summit morning.   But we thought he had simply started earlier and was resting. When we came down from the top several hours later, and he had only moved  about 50 yards, it was only then we knew he must be in trouble.  We gave him our remaining hot drinks and got him stumbling down the trail.  It is nearly a trail there, and 'only' 22,000', but Charley and I couldn't carry him much -- we tried.  Coaxing him to walk himself with a little shoulder support was the only way.  Really, that is all you can do except for a fixed rope route that goes fairly directly down the fall line.  North side of Everest is a long ridge -- very committing.

    Finally, for the money already spent and the glory of the summit, some folks will decide not to ruin their own attempt with a serious rescue effort (which may not succeed anyway).  And some societies/cultures are more tolerant of risk and death than others.  Americans tend to glorify heroic rescues -- but I nearly left that poor, benighted Peruvian to his doom without realizing the problem at first.  (He was too cold to talk -- as we warmed him up he spoke a little but only in Spanish -- lower in the thicker air he had pretty good English!)  The American Alpine Club gives an award for selfless rescues -- but not that often.  I nominated Ed and Scott for rescuing Chantal and Ed, Scott, Charley and Rob for rescuing Gary Ball.  These are the sort of people you want to have in your group.

    Q.) You list ski ASCENTS AND DESCENTS: Forgive me for being another "armchair climber":  You list: Southern California (from summits of):

    San Jacinto, North Face (Snow Creek drainage) complete from summit to desert 9500' below (net 6000' on skis) 45 Degrees at steepest; done four times (perhaps most by anyone)

    Mt. San Antonio (Baldy) North Face once each randonee & telemark

    Mt. San Gorgonio (11,400') North Bowls twice tele, and one-day range traverse Mt. Baden-Powell, East Ridge, probably a first descent Telescope Peak (overlooking Death Valley) 4000' summit to car

    Ok for the really stupid question; how do you do an ascent with skis?

    A.) With either cross-country (three-pin telemark) bindings where the heel of the boot is free to lift, or 'mountaineering' (randonee) bindings where the heel is optionally locked (as in resort downhill alpine skiing - for descent control) or free.  Then either wax or 'skins' (historically seal fur but now nylon or other synthetic) strapped or glued to the bottom of the ski for traction yet reasonable glide.

    And when it is too steep or icy, one carries the skis and climbs in crampons. Sometimes on part of the way down, too!

    Q.) Continued.. And (I live in Ca), do you need permits to climb these mountains, etc.

    Very interested in anything more you can tell us. Thank You very much for coming here.

    A.) Some yes, some no.  And I am usually there off-season, don't see rangers (or anyone else for that matter) and forget about paperwork in the first place.

    The Sierra has a quota from each trailhead in summer, with spring and fall extensions for the Whitney area.

    My pleasure, ask away!

    Q.) Is all the Rob Hall's and Scott Fischer's and others destiny to die? Why do the few (6 men) live with the 14 8000 meter peaks? Do they climb safer, or were they just better and possibly luckier. Or both?

    A.) #2 of those 6 died on Lhotse.  And another died on what would have been his #14.  If everyone retires immediately after finishing something so tough, it will seem -- very falsely -- that they were all somehow safer.  Luckier, and darned dedicated (and skillful) is correct.  If one keeps going to those peaks endlessly, eventually one will die there.  Messner had close calls -- he is very lucky to have survived his first 8km ascent!  (His older brother died on that trip.)

    ======

    Forgot to add another novel bit of history for Dhaulagiri yesterday: the successful 1st ascent actually used a ski-plane to land supplies at Camp I (which is in a very broad saddle) -- outrageous!  For 8km history, two good books are Sivalaya and Messner's All 14.

    Peter

  • Risk, shared some interested news with us, we suggested they post it on their site. Enjoy : http://www.risk.ru/mount/bagirati.html
  • Audrey Salkeld and Chris Bonington were winners at the Banff Mountain Book Festival last week with  World Mountaineering : The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover

    Some other titles from them include:

    Heroic Climbs : A Celebration of World Mountaineering ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
    Chris Bonington (Editor), et al / Paperback / Published 1996
    On the Edge of Europe : Mountaineering in the Caucasus ~ Ships in 2-3 days
    Audrey Salkeld, Jose Bermudez / Hardcover / Published 1994
    World Mountaineering : The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
    Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington / Hardcover / Published 1998
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your Books, Music and Videos from through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News:11/13/98 Report

  • Spring Everest 99 !!!

Our web site of the week is : Bernard Voyer ,   www.bernard-voyer.com

"After Antarctica, Greenland, Ellesmere, Sahara...  Now Everest.  First attempt Fall 97, bad weather.  Second attempt, Spring 99."  Bernard Voyer

Submit your favorites web site to : everestnews2004@adelphia.net

  • Autumn Everest 98

"For your information, I talked yesterday with Sergio Martini, Italian climber, North Side this Fall.  He told me that he reached 8,100 meters. Too much snow and risks of avalanches.  Maybe he will try again next Spring. Thanks again." Bernard Voyer

Please Welcome Bernard to EverestNews.com ! Bernard's web site is in French and English, much information on his last attempt on Everest is still on his web site. If you have problems finding it let us know. !

  • The 99 Everest Links has been updated.
  • EverestNews.com Interview with Peter Green Continues !

    Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us all week taking questions !

    Q.) Peter, I am very interested in Dhaulagiri. Have considered taking an expedition there. But this year Guy Cotter and Ed Viesturs, failed so we figured it was too hard a mountain for us. Can you tell us the difficulty of this mountain and the climb on Dhaulagiri. Thanks Jenn

    A.) The regular NE ridge is probably one of the easier 8km routes, but seasonal conditions of either the icefall approach or snow slabs high on the route, could make it impassable. Also, weather can shut off any route any season. The 'easiest' 8km routes (a bad term, see below) are climbs in Tibet and Pakistan.  We tried Dhaulagiri because Nepal is such fun and it appeared to be the safest route there -- I still think so.

    Historically, it was the last 8km peak to be climbed -- aside from the one located entirely in Tibet (Shisha Pangma = Xixabangma = Gosianthan) but only because the best route was not figured out.  In 1950, Herzog's group couldn't even figure out the approach (maps were terrible back then) so went to find Annapurna and made the first ascent of any 8km peak.  That peak has terrible avalanche hazard on the main route, and they were lucky to survive.  Though a recently completed difficult route via the west ridge is safer, it may rarely get attempted due to length and technical rigor. 

    A group of Americans was killed on Dhaulagiri's east flank in the early 1970's, and an early book on the peak was titled 'Mountain of Storms'.  It does sit quite far into the lowlands and is completely open to approaching storms. The name may translate to be 'white mountain' since it is often seen snow- covered from the lowlands.  In the 1800's it was for a time thought to be the highest on earth -- published on maps and in books as such!

    Spring may be less avalanche-prone but icier.  And one storm can change conditions in any season.

    Q.) Who were you with on Dhaulagiri and who made the summit ?

    A.) I went with my brother and a loose collection of 6 of our friends and climbing acquaintances of recent years.  None of them had ever been on an expedition to an 8km peak before, but most had Alaskan experience.  

    My brother and three others, one aged 50-ish, and another who had only one trip to the Mexican volcanoes as high-altitude background, made the top. Two more reached 8000m about 9am one day but could not move higher due to wind -- not even crawling with two ice axes!  They had plenty of time!!

    Q.) Dhaulagiri, has always been a special mountain in my heart. Can you give us some background on how many summits, some of the more exciting ones, and the death toll. Cheers Sherri

    A.) I don't have many statistics, but will do my best.  The American Alpine Journal has nearly complete records on all the peaks and routes, though starting a couple years ago, they stopped covering every attempt of the normal routes.  Our year was probably a typical fall season, several groups of several climbers each, one with sherpas, two quasi-commercial/unguided, maybe 20 out of 50 made the top, one fatality, one other injury, two benighted on descent with surficial frost-bitten big toes resulting, one porter fell in the base camp pond, no ponies hurt.  An American with a mixed European group summited earlier than us and set the age record for the 10 or so Americans who had ever climbed it.  Then our leader topped out and beat his record by a few months!  He dropped a glove descending from camp II and got frost-nipped.

    The Japanese were all over 50 years old and called themselves the 'Silver Tortoises'.  They had a cook to camp 1 at least, thermos' of tea set beside the route by Sherpas, and even bottled oxygen for the summit!  Left a mess, too, sadly.

    The south face is among the most enormous in the Himalaya but hasn't been climbed anywhere near directly that I know of.

    Early attempts up the east icefall were perilous (see above) and then the north face was pushed higher and higher, with even dynamite brought to blast out camp-ledges!

    Q.) Dhaulagiri ! 4 summits ! Did you group climb as a "group" or as individuals ? Maybe you can enlighten us on how these expeditions really work? I am a outdoors person, but have never done any "mountain", so forgive us and I find it hard to picture in my head. These books vary. cheers Joan

    A.) Our style has always been simple and flexible.  We bring 1-2 good sleeping bags and 1-2 tents each to share on the mountain and then simply go for it.  With fixed ropes at tricky spots one can just about climb alone, though companionship is pleasant and safer, obviously.  We pair up as the season progresses and people fall into cycles (or out of friendship -- just kidding).  The highest camps are quite briefly set up and have minimal 2-person tents so finally we are in pairs or solo.  All my trips to the Andes (3) and Alaska/Yukon (5) have been with pre-planned compatible pairs fully self-sufficient and independent traveling together for mutual safety and trail-breaking efficiency.  Works great.  We carry our own food, clothes, a share of fuel, whatever, and lug it all out at the end.  Kind of like a big, long repetitious backpacking trip in the beloved Sierra Nevada back home.  (Except as cold as the dead of winter and with far less air to breathe!)

    Q.) On Dhaulagiri, did any one die ? Can you tell us more about how climbers react to death on a mountain. "As the viewing public" we see some just climbing past people and is other cases people helping out.

    A.) A Ukrainian woman disappeared after we had gone home.  And a Sherpa carrying for the Silver Tortoises took a huge fall from near Camp II early on -- he was lucky to limp home with only cracked ribs and bruises.  By chance our doctor (who does emergency room -- the most relevant skill) was at camp I,  checked him out, and provided morphine so he could be helped to walk and not have to be carried out.

    I have been lucky never to be near a fatality in the mountains.  I rescued a guy high off Aconcagua who would certainly have died, and there was a body right on the summit that year.  One of my companions was Catholic and went over to close the poor souls' eyes.  The family (wealthy Argentinians) had commissioned the Army to retrieve it but after a month a guided group dragged it off and buried it under rocks.  That is what I would want for myself.  I hope not to die in the mountains, but if so, I don't want anyone troubled.

    Q.) Do you think all climbers on guided climbs of 8000 meter peaks should have radios? It appears many guides do not think they should. I still don't understand this.

    A.) I can see both sides to the argument.  Presumably cost and weight are no longer big problems, but confusion between groups and over-dependence are bad.  There is no substitute for simply staying together.  Splitting up is a very common factor contributing to accidents.  We always have a radio at each camp and find that fine.  Just check in at breakfast and bed-time, sometimes more often if a schedule is tight.  Radios are no substitute for competence, experience, and knowing that high altitudes are wickedly dangerous.

    Q.) Did you use a Sherpa support team on Dhaulagiri ? Who were they? How strong are these Sherpa ?

    A.) No, we've always carried our own stuff up.  Sherpas are incredibly strong, and work very cheaply, but we prefer doing it (or not) ourselves.  I could never have anyone taking such serious risks on my behalf.  Carrying is an important part of the acclimatization and the whole experience.  I like being in the mountains!

    Sherpas are clearly the best Himalayan climbers when it comes to repeating ascents.  Some day they'll get to return to Pakistan and we will see how they fare on K2.  Only one person (a Czech) has climbed K2 twice, while Ang Rita retired after 10 ascents of Everest and perhaps 20 other summits of Nepal's other 8km peaks -- of which Manaslu, Annapurna and Kangchenjunga are among the most dangerous.  Far more than any Westerner.

    Q.)  We have Chantal Mauduit die on Dhaulagiri this year. Ed, Guy Cotter and Veikka failed to get even very high on Dhaulagiri this year. But, your group had four summits ! Can you speculate of why the difference in resulting ?

    A.) Camp II is prone to burial by spin-drift -- ledges just off a ridgeline with broad snowslopes beside and above.  We saw a tent completely buried from sight -- on a day with a storm, just the right wind after some moderate snowfall.  If you don't set and alarm, check and dig, you'll suffocate too -- especially if the stove is left running.

    Our first location of Camp II on Makalu last year got buried -- I dug all night.  Then we moved camp.  Our Camp III on K2 was put a bit low and got crunched, too.

    As for Ed, Guy, etc...ust have been bad weather -- nobody got anywhere  on Makalu last fall, no one climbed K2 all this year -- blame it on El   Nino!  (smile).  Or if the ice fall or rock cliff above it were acting badly, getting to camp I would be horrible.   Expecting a 100% summit rate invites disaster -- obviously.

    Our year all the groups did well, except one late-arriving (Belgian military macho maniacs trying to got super-fast -- take your time, its a vacation!) so the weather was ok.  Sometimes the mountain says no; you better listen!

    Q.) What is the distance between camps on Dhaulagiri ?

    A.) Long walk from Base to I, but then very efficient.  Elevations are good: Base is 15k-ish or so, I is 19+k, II is 22k, III is 24k depending on location. Some folks have camped higher, some use a lower or preliminary II (safer from spin-drift), and some a fourth camp or even more (especially in the old days -- our camp IV on K2 was once a camp 9!) and a 0.5 camp or cache is common when starting up.

    A.) I have a hard time with some writer saying mountains like Dhaulagiri are easy. These guys seem to make anything but K2 sound easy. They make Everest sound like a yak route. I have a real problem with this. In that when climbers like us goes climbing now, we run into more and more of the "ITA group", and we spend half of our time teaching them to use their equipment. How do you think we tell the public, how hard these mountain are, and wake the public up? These mountains are not for rookies? Don't you agree or not ?

    A.) No 8km peak is easy.  Reinhold Messner took 30 tries to make his 18 summits (4 repeats) and even the best get turned back or killed in the 'modern' era. Look at the statistics.  It is true that rookies sometimes touch the top of Everest, but plenty of others don't get near it, or die trying, even on descent.  Mountains are challenging and dangerous, with altitude (and latitude) increasing both quite consistently.  People who take big peaks lightly do so at their own peril -- and I don't want to be around such folks.

    Peter

  • VHS Tapes Available

Daily News:11/12/98 Report

  • Autumn Everest 98/Spring Everest 99 !!!

    Enrique Guallart-Furio in Spain have informed us that Carlos Pitarch Francisco, one of this autumn's two summiters, has returned home from the hospital. Although the doctors tried to save all his frostbitten fingers and toes, they were forced to amputate two fingers and one of his big toes.  We wish Carlos Pitarch a speedy recovery and await news of his next adventure.

    Enrique Guallart-Furio will be attempting Everest in Spring 99. He will be attempting to complete the Seven Summits. His web page can be found on our 99 Everest links page. We have also created an Enrique Guallart-Furio Page, in that we expect to see much more of him !

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Peter Green Continues !

Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us all week taking questions ! A hint, we are a day ahead of You in submitting questions to Peter. Yesterday questions that were submitted were mainly on Dhaulagiri. We would encourage you to ask more about Makalu 97 if interested today !

Q.) What is your favorite type of reading when stormbound in a tent?

A.) Nothing too heavy -- literally or figuratively!  Seriously, I shop in the used bookstores for light paper -- easier to carry.  A friend did bring a hardback on the card game Bridge to Dhaulagiri -- but only to base camp.  He also brings heavy literature (his Mom has a Ph.D. in literature) so I guess that fits -- smile.

I'm not much for the blood-and-guts reading, nothing worse than Tom Clancy. His books are really long which is an advantage; I read fast -- 500 pages a day sometimes.  I bring Tolkein's Silmarillion for approach treks, the Trilogy for base camp and the Hobbit for higher up -- easier reading as the air thins.  I also like stories about hot places like jungles or the Australian outback -- makes a nice escape from the cold reality of big mountains.

Q.)  Also, what is the longest you have been stormbound and how did this effect the morale of the group?

A.) I guess 5 days in the Yukon as we ran out of food was pretty bad.  One day my breakfast was a vitamin pill and lunch was a cough drop.  We were awaiting a helicopter pick-up (plane got damaged bringing us in three weeks earlier and still wasn't fixed) and simply had to start a 100km walk to the nearest road.  Kind of fun, though my family back home was worried because the radio dispatcher had not successfully forwarded my message.  No problem with morale -- these were great friends who really love spending lots of time in the mountains.  Waiting 5 days for our gear to arrive at Makalu, or a week in Islamabad for our Russian permit-holder, were far worse.

Q.) Can you recommend some of your favorite mountaineering  books/authors?

A.) Joe Simpson's Touching the Void, Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet, Greg Child, Kurt Diemberger, John Muir, Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams,  Eric Shipton, Francis Farquhar.

Q.) I have read quite a bit of mountaineering literature but haven't been able to find much written about Cho Oyu and Aconcagua--do you have any recommendations on either of these?

A.) Never found much on Cho Oyu and haven't looked much for Aconcagua.  I guess there's a current guidebook by RJSecor that might have references. An account of a trip there might be called Stone Sentinel?  And there could be a new book about a successful breast-cancer-survivors trip.

A.) (This is from a climber). How hard/easy/enjoyable/bothersome etc. is it for them to be part of a 'small elite' for which climbing is so terribly important. I find for example kind of hard to deal with co-workers who are at the same time fascinated and horrified by my adventures.

Emotions can run high, and in both directions, I agree.  I just climb for fun and scenery, and having done so many trips I guess I am used to the ups and downs -- my own and others'.  Getting to be around fine folks like Ed Viesturs is a treat.  Others like Vladimir may not be 'fun', but are an interesting experience.  Kind of nice that an average guy like me can do all right!  And I tell co-workers I feel safer in Nepal than in US Cities!!

I hope that answers your question (s) -- maybe I am not reading them right.

Q.) Peter Green: perhaps he could give his thoughts on Chantal Mauduit  abilities especially, given the recent minor controversies surrounding Ed Viesturs/Mountain reporting on her death. I seem to detect a recurring, though not specific, slight against her abilities in many reports, a lot of which originates from K2 and the Rob Hall Everest incident.

I guess I am not well-informed about the controversy, nor did I know her very well at all, but I'll say the following: she may not have been the strongest or fastest, but was clearly strong and fast enough to climb a bunch of big peaks.  Her patience and determination rated with the best, and she could clearly find the sponsorship to get her trips going.  If her cheerfulness, and carefree nature came across to some as carelessness or being too happy-go-lucky, so be it.  She was climbing for herself (not guiding) so there is no one who should be complaining.  Let her rest in peace.  I am sad that she is gone -- as I am when any nice person passes away.

Many people die in the Alps every year, so Europeans aren't as sensitive to risk as Americans.

Q.) Tell us more about Makalu 97 !

I have a great slide show that I enjoy sharing.  We had a fun, simple outing but a windy season prevented anyone from getting near the summit.  Lots of stories to tell but nothing exciting, happily.  I didn't get my skis in time to use them, which was a bummer.  Our old friends (sirdar and cooks) took excellent care of us.  The trek alone is worth the trip.  Two in our group went home via three passes to the Khumbu and loved it.  Our mail never got in or out, due to successive snafus.  I finally got one letter just a couple months ago -- picked up by a friend of a friend in Kathmandu on his way home at the end of last spring's season -- hilarious, but frustrating since my wife stayed home with our baby that trip.

Q.) Did you know  A. Boukreev ? How good was he? Could he have been in the elite few ?

A.) I never met him, but clearly his record was among the best.  Being on Annapurna in the winter after deep snows had barely settled means taking the very highest risks.

Q..) Tell us about Dhaulagiri 94 where you were the leader....and four reached the summit ! Very good, who was on the expedition. This must be a huge job leading an expedition of this kind?

A.) Actually, I was only the climbing leader and another guy who had trekked in Nepal a dozen times did most of the organizing.  And my life-long style has been to never have organizational hierarchy on outings.  So, I only agreed to be climbing leader for purposes of permit paperwork (which turned out to be quite helpful) and as long as no one ever asked me what they should be doing on the mountain!  No one did.  The group was simply a loose collection of friends, all of whom did their best for themselves and the group.  I got giardia (or something similar) and was losing weight even though I felt great and acclimatized very well.  I'm a small guy, so a summit attempt was out of the question -- too little fat in reserve.  So, I just enjoyed the cheap vacation and helped clear the lower mountain at the end when almost everyone else was exhausted.

Q.) I heard that there was talk of putting up a hotel at the base camp of Mount Everest. But then nothing ever happens, any ideas what is going on with that?

A.) I don't keep up with Everest much -- just enjoyed good views of it from Makalu last fall.  Everest is Everest.  If the hotel has a good sewage system, I suppose it would reduce impact.  Impact is so different elsewhere: it took us only a day to clean the entire Makalu lower base camp; on the mountain, the sum total of trash we found was only a couple of pounds.

Peter

Daily News:11/11/98 Report

  • As you all know John Hunt died on Saturday, he was 88. John, of course, led the 1953 Everest British Expedition which put Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary on the Summit of Everest. EverestNews.com asked the great climber and expedition leader Jon Tinker for a quote about John Hunt for the News:

'In 1953 John Hunt was the right man in the right place. Whatever one might think about the manner of his appointment in place of Eric Shipton, his drive and organizational ability led to a happy expedition as well as a successful one. He was one of the main inspirations behind the setting up of the Mount Everest Foundation, which invested profits from the 1953 trip gained from the expedition book, film and lectures into the stock market. Profits, amounting
to some 30,000 pounds annually are awarded each year to British and New Zealand expeditions of an exploratory nature. I am fortunate to be a current member of the MEF screening committee, which meets twice-yearly. Our most recent meeting was on Tuesday where the retiring chairman Steve Venables gave a moving eulogy to John Hunt and we had a moments silence in his memory.

Although he will be forever associated with  Everest it is worth remembering that most of his expedition climbing was in a classical and lightweight style.'  Jon Tinker

OTT Expeditions is listed on our 99 Everest Links Page

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Peter Green !

Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us all week taking questions !

Q.) Does it present a problem in mountain climbing when your clients have never met before you begin climbing?

A.) I guess you're assuming I guide mountains -- which I have never done.  In association with university clubs in my student days I did take novices and/or less experienced climbers on 'teaching' outings, but nothing all that serious.  I was raised learning about mountains and mountaineering from family and friends, and simply continue doing the same.  (My 2-year-old son started backcountry skiing last winter, and I just had him rock climbing in Yosemite Valley last week.  I don't spend as much time climbing as I would  if it were my job, but I believe I enjoy the time more for the quality.

In general, climbing with strangers presents complications, especially at altitude where everyone is struggling at best.

Q.) Is it important for the clients to know what the others capabilities are?  How about on a Himalayan mountain like Everest?

A.) Of course!  How can you rely on someone -- or be able to best help them -- if you don't know them?  On my big expeditions, much of the fun has been doing 'familiarization' outings beforehand to be sure we all know each other.

Q.) Should Everest guides require their clients to climb at least one smaller mountain together before tackling a mountain like Everest?

A.) Businesses will generally do whatever works, same as anyone.  It helps (for both success and safety) to have climbed a lot before, but in practice with the Sherpa's help even virtual novices can be dragged up Everest.  And in the busy modern world, plenty of wealthy folks in the West want instant  gratification regardless of cost.   I recommend enjoying many years of  climbing at increasingly higher altitudes and/or on more challenging routes. Much more gratifying.

Q.) What do you think about ITA ? Should it have been written ?

A.) Ah, another three-letter-acronym: Into Thin Air by Krakauer, I assume.

I still haven't brought myself to read it.  I read the preceding article in Outside -- maybe half as long -- and found that sufficiently painful. Acquaintances of mine died.  As I recall, he made a lot of good points that needed to be made.   (Crowds are bad; being late is very bad;  running out of oxygen near the summit when the sun goes down and the weather is deteriorating is very, very bad; novices can't help themselves
much less anyone else; money considerations interfere with clear judgment.)  

More commercialization/glorification of Everest and climbing in general isn't my preference for the world's society, but he's not the only one doing it.  Ironically, he's keeping the attention all on one place, which leaves many other nice places less trampled!  (On the approach trek to Makalu last fall we saw a total of one Western tourist.)

Q.) Tell us about Chantal Mauduit on K2 in 1992.  What was her condition when you saw her?

A.) She was a strong, confident climber with good equipment and a knack for sponsorship.  She and her June companions had quite boldly tackled the Abruzzi without adding any fresh fixed lines, and gotten a bit over 7000m before giving up.   She quite patiently waited nearly a month for us to climb, fix and acclimatize before heading up.  We played a lot of cards in our dining tent -- I think she was fairly good at 'Bridge'.  She took a nice picture of me and my brother at 8100m before we headed down.  She summitted late, but also started later that day than Thor and Alexei.

I was quite sad to hear she had died in her tent last fall -- though her determination to climb all the 8000m peaks meant a lot of risk remaining in her planned career.

Q.) tell us more about Ed Viesturs and Fischer there?

A.) Both very strong and very friendly -- well-suited to guide big peaks.  With Thor, they reached our base camp a week early and stayed in the lead for weeks (being more acclimatized and motivated).  They appreciated my carrying ropes and wands high for them.  It was amazing that Scott made it after dis-locating his shoulder early on.

Q.) The book "In the Zone" implies that Fischer was a little reckless on K2.   Did you see it that way?

A.) He's a bit more of a risk-taker than some (such as myself, obviously) though not in his guiding. To summit K2 without being a little reckless is nearly impossible -- the weather simply isn't that good for very long. You either wait out a storm up high (and hope it doesn't dump deep snow or set up slabs) or descend in a storm (ditto) or both. Charley Mace put it very well in his Rock-and-Ice article: to have even a chance takes total commitment. My wife read ITZ too, and noticed how the different personalities do show through. She noticed that Scott and Ed didn't climb together again.  I suppose one could ask Ed if he would have risked it without Scott's go-for-it enthusiasm. To Scott's credit, his assistant guides got their clients, and some others', off Everest alive.

Q.) Rob Hall and Gary Ball were also on K2 that year which gives the whole season an eerie foreboding for 1996 and for 1998.  Did you see anything in any of these Mauduit, Fischer, Ball or Hall etc that would lead you to think that they may have serious trouble in the future?

A.) Well, they're all professional high-altitude mountaineers (and perhaps some of them more risk-taking than average) which just isn't a career that tends to be long-lived. Gary was sick on K2, partly exhaustion from being on big peaks nearly year-round, and he and Rob began an incredibly lucky streak of guiding Everest that simply had to end eventually. One could forebode. Climbing big mountains is dangerous, and the money connection makes it more so.  I only climb for fun and to enjoy the scenery, so I do less and can be more selective and careful. Ultimately, we will all die, and need to live in the meantime -- nothing is completely free of risk.

(I'm not sure what the connection to 1998 is -- maybe I missed something that happened this year?)

Q.) How much more physically demanding is an ascent of an 8,000 meter peak as opposed to an ascent of a lower, but long, climb such as Rainier?

A.) The duration of the approach, the period of climbing, repeating carries, the thinness of the air, and the inevitability of being high in stormy weather, are all totally beyond anything like a 14er -- even Rainier.

Only the Andes and Alaska begin to give the kind of experience needed for the high peaks of Central Asia.  I was very glad I had several trips to those before flying to Pakistan.

Q.) Did K2 require a level of physical exertion that you had not yet experienced in the mountains?

A.) Actually no, though the climatic and cultural shock of my quick trip home was a new record!  My hardest effort in the mountains was rescuing a guy from high on Aconcagua (comparable to camp II on K2, say) and then making a quick hike out; my throat was raw from dehydration and my legs remained sore for weeks.  With fixed ropes and thorough acclimatization, the Abruzzi Ridge is not so bad until you get to the higher camps or try for the summit.  And my brother and I were lucky to get good conditions for the higher camps, and then descended as the bad weather returned rather than risk a summit attempt with the others.  They were all lucky to survive, so I am sure going with them would have been a personal record in terms of 'epic exertion'.  I have no regrets at having enjoyed perhaps the most pleasant descent from high camp on K2 that anyone has ever had!

Peter

Daily News:11/10/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Heather Macdonald

      Our Final two parts of our interview with Heather Macdonald, a guide with IMG, who we followed on Cho Oyu was posted today and yesterday ! These questions were submitted from You ! the readers of EverestNews.com ! For all the updates from this expedition and for the first parts of Heather's interview see  The IMG/Expedition 8000 Cho Oyu team page.

Q. ) Explain a "typical" client on an 8,000 meter expedition.  What is his/her experience level? What size mountains has he/she climbed. What experience did the most experienced person have, what experience did the least experienced person have?

A.) Most clients going to an 8000 meter peak have climbed McKinley, Aconcagua, peaks in Bolivia or in Nepal and have done climbs like Rainier. 

Q.) Which 8,000 meter peak requires the most rock climbing experience?  Do any of them compare to Ama Dablam? 

A.) The amount of rock on a peak will vary depending on the route. Annapurna, and Makalu have long sections of rock. 

Q.) To climb Cho Oyo, does one need any rock climbing experience?

A.) No, you do not need much rock climbing experience to climb Cho Oyu but if you are a Himalayan climber you should have experience in many disciplines of the alpine environment. 

Q.)  What season do you like best in the Himalaya?  Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?  Why?

A.) I like spring season the best. More wind but less snow and trail breaking! Also less avalanche hazard in the spring. 

Q.) Everyone hears about the Sherpa.  What has been your best experience with them?  What has been your worst experience with them?

A.) I love the sherpas!! And they never get enough credit. They have taught me so much. They have taught me how to listen to the mountains. One time I was walking down to B.C. on Everest and I was sick . I met Pemba along the way and explained to him how bad I was feeling with the flu or something. He told me not to worry because being sick changes the direction of the wind! (Hopefully for the better) My worst experience was when I was climbing up to Camp 5 on Everest and a Sherpa coming down the slope fell past me because he did not clip into the rope. He stopped just on the edge of the North Face! 

Q.) Could she compare your experience with Sherpas, Baltis and Hunzas?

A.) The sherpas are a much warmer people than the balti but they are both super strong and tough

Q.) What mountaineer do you most admire? Why?

A.) There are many of them but I adore Wanda Rutkiewicz. She died on Kanchenjunga but before that climbed 8 8000 meter peaks. She was a wonderful person.  

Q.) What do you think of the issues raised in Greg Child's new book "Postcard From the Edge" especially about Cesen and Lydia Bradley and their claims and behavior?

A.) I am sorry I have not read Greg’s book

Q.) How much does your rock climbing experience help in your mountaineering?

A.) When I began climbing I lived in a cave at Joshua Tree at the end of Hidden Valley loop. I spent a couple of months there rock climbing every day. I lived on coffee and pasta. I would not have felt comfortable mountaineering without a technical background. 

Q.) Do you find that guided clients cling too strongly to their guides and is this a major cause of mountaineering disasters?

A.) Mountaineering disasters are caused by guides and clients not listening to the mountain.

Q.) Can you recommend any books that truly capture the experience of climbing a high mountain?

A.) Read Annapurna South Face by Chris Bonington. This is the REAL STUFF!!!!!!!!!!! 

Q.) All five of the women who have reached the summit of K2 have died in the mountains.  This to me is eerie.  All five were very experienced professionals.  Could some experience be bad as it can lead people to think that they are invulnerable?

A.) Its not that people think they are invulnerable but it comes down to wanting to climb something so badly, its worth more to them than life is. I wonder who will be the first woman to climb all 14 8000 meter peaks??? Women have not even begun to climb in the Himalaya. 

Q.) What was the most dangerous moment of her climbing career?

A.) The most dangerous moment in my climbing career was hanging in a crevasse on McKinley. 

Q.) How does she stay in shape for climbing, what would she recommend to office-bound people to do to stay in shape for mountaineering?  

A.) Climb up and down stairs with a heavy pack on. I Flamenco dance and guide to stay in shape for climbing. (the dance from southern Spain) Climbing is very muscle specific. Don’t forget about downhill muscles. 

Q.) As a woman, have there been any barriers to her career's development?  For example, has she been banned from countries or areas because she is a woman?  It is thought that   mountain guides would no be prejudice but, has she ever seen it in her workplace?  

A.) Pakistan was a difficult place to travel as a woman. I had to be completely covered and was ignored. I am the only woman I know of guiding in the Himalayas and there is a boys club there that I have not been accepted by. But the mountain does not care what gender you are. I have received a lot of support from Eric Simonson, Phil Ershler and George Dunn who run IMG. And for the most part the only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves. If a guy does give me " lip" , I just walk faster.    

Q.) What country's (besides Americans) climbers does she have the most respect for?

A.) I have a lot of respect for individual climbers from many different nations. Although the Japanese, Korean and Eastern Block climbers seem more willing to push the edge and die in the mountains. It’s the choice they make to climb with that kind of philosophy. There is always freedom in the hills… 

We would like to thank Heather for her time ! We hope to see her in the mountains again soon !

Daily News:11/9/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Heather Macdonald Continues !

      Our Final two parts of our interview with Heather Macdonald, a guide with IMG, who we followed on Cho Oyu will be posted today and on Tuesday. These questions were submitted from You ! the readers of EverestNews.com ! For all the updates from this expedition and for the first parts of Heather's interview see  The IMG/Expedition 8000 Cho Oyu team page.

    First we would like to thank Heather for taking time to be a part of EverestNews.com and for being so nice and kind. Someone we would love to climb with !

    Q.) Tell us, how hard is it to climb the North Side of Everest ? You have been on many Rainier Summits and Cho Oyu, but you are 0 for 2 on Everest North Side, compare them for us. For those of us that have only been on "hikes" compared to you. 

    A.) People will often ask me: "How do you train to go to Mt. Everest?", which is like asking how one might train to play in the NFL or major league ball. In theory, it takes years of training to get there. Generally I will judge climbs or routes by the level of commitment they require. And by commitment I mean physical, spiritual and mental. Well the North side of Mt. Everest is one of the most committing routes in the world. Beyond 28,000ft you are dangling on vertical ropes, walking on downsloping layered rock, and dancing around some crazy cornices. Even though Cho Oyu is high, the route is not as technical nor is it as exposed . The standard route on Rainier is not that technical or exposed but it does have objective dangers like rock fall and ice fall. The objective dangers on Cho Oyu and N. side Everest are minimal. 

    Q.) Can you describe the Hillary Step and what exactly is involved in overcoming this outcropping? if not for the fixed ropes, would most climbers be able to get over it? I read a book that described how Hillary and Norgay had to wedge themselves between rock and snow and inch their way up. also, does it look different every year as more or less snow might amass?

    A.) No I cannot describe the Hillary Step because that is on the south side of the big E and I have never been there. Yes it can be done without fixed rope. 

    Q.) How dangerous is a mountain like Cho Oyu for an intermediate climber?  Is it a realistic goal for a climber of modest ability?

    A.) Cho Oyu is a realistic goal for people who have proved themselves at altitude elsewhere. People who have climbed McKinley or Aconcagua, or perhaps have climbed in Nepal. There are only two steep sections on the route and those sections are fixed with rope. This mountain is mainly about dealing with the extreme altitude. 

    Q.) Specifically, how many deaths have occurred on Cho Oyu in recent memory?  I am a climber of modest ability who would love to climb an 8,000 meter peak. Yet I'm not sure how objectively dangerous a normal route climb on Cho Oyu would be.   I'm sure you would have some insight.

    A.) I think about 3 people have died on Cho Oyu in the last three seasons. There are no major objective hazards on this route and the exposure is not too scary. Get as much experience as you can before going to an 8000 meter peak and always climb with people you trust. Give yourself turn around times and if the weather is bad.. go down. Always remember that 8000 meter peaks are the big leagues. When your above 25,000ft your margins of safety are greatly diminished.

    Q.) You learn you are guiding climbers up McKinley in 6 months and that one of the climbers is 53 with no climbing experience. Has not been in shape in 25 years but he has been working out for 3 months since signing up for the McKinley climb. In addition you learn he is doing a 4 day Mt Washington winter climb/hike with a guide plus taking the 8 day Denali training course. Also there are no hills or mountains near where he lives.  What would want him to do in the remaining 6 months to increase the probability of a successful expedition? 

    By the way I really enjoyed following your expedition. 

    Thank you, Ed (Tawas, MI) 

    A.) I would recommend a Mt.Rainier winter seminar or a Mt.Whitney climb with George Dunn in the spring. I would also walk up and down stairs with a heavy pack. Stadium stairs are great. Dealing with a heavy pack is the hardest part of climbing Denali.  

    Q.) Could you please give your opinion on the use of canned/bottled oxygen in high altitude climbing, specifically what environmental effect it has had, and the subsequent rules from international climbing community, as well as your opinion as an expert climber, on the use of oxygen from a purist standpoint. 

    A.) There are very few people in the world that have the genetic gift of being able to climb high without oxygen. Using O2 is a personal choice but the fact of the matter is , using oxygen is much safer. Do you want to see all the oxygen bottles at the South col replaced with dead bodies? People are aware of how bad all the garbage looks on the mountain and yes bottles are being brought down by paid sherpas to be refilled. On our expeditions we try to bring every single bottle back down or make arrangements with other teams to use our full bottles that might be left up high.    

    Q.) What is it like to climb with oxygen ? This would seem to me to be a major difference (beside the size) on these 8000 meter peaks. 

    A.) Climbing with oxygen does not make you feel like you are at a lower altitude. Remember its not just a lack of oxygen you are dealing with up there but a lack of atmospheric pressure also. We need a certain amount of pressure to make our lungs work. Oxygen does keep you warm and helps muscles recover from exertion. (i.e. not producing as much lactic acid). It also helps you think more clearly. 

    Q.) As a follow up, have you ever ran out of oxygen, and had to go without when you were using it? The Ron Hall example on K2. I have always looked as an example on why not to use oxygen.

    A.) Actually this year on Cho Oyu I discovered part way to the summit that my mask was broken so I went without O2. I felt good that day so I was alright but yes that could be a serious problem. 

    Q.) Can you tell us about these Czech climbers who were on Everest in 98? We understand TWO members reached the Summit without oxygen and they have little funds. How strong were these guys? Would you climb with them?

    A.) Eastern block climbers are usually really tough people. No I never met the Czech climbers. Russian climbers always say that there is no bad weather only bad gear.  

    Q.)  Do these HA climbers really know how likely it is they will die, if they keep on climbing these 8000 meter peaks? Or do they think, "It can't happen to me"? We have seen many experienced climbers, strong climbers like Eric Escoffier die. 

    A.) I most HA climbers are very aware of the odds they are playing. But you have to do what makes you feel most alive in life, even if that means confronting death head on. Most ignore their hearts and don’t follow a passionate path. I think that is a mistake. 

    Q.) What is your thoughts on what Into Thin Air has done to Climbing ? Eric Simonson, made some comments that seems to make us believe he did not like the book. Do you share his thoughts?

    A.) I don’t think Thin Air should have ever been written. Jon is making money hand over fist for exploiting a beautiful mountain and the human thirst for tragedy. I feel awful for the families of the people who died. Now people think they are experts because they have read the books. I’ve argued with people about this book and realized: "Why am I wasting my breath, I’ve been there and they have not." One man said to me that he was actually inspired by the book. That’s great inspired by climbers making mistakes and screwing up. Everest is in the lap of the general public. Is that where it should be? 

    The last part of Heather's Q/A will be on Tuesday's New, then we will move to the other interviews including Peter Green . Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum.

  • Late yesterday afternoon the news was released that the Lord John Hunt has died, he was 88. John, of course, led the 1953 Everest British Expedition which put Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary on the Summit of Everest and back down safely. John took over the expedition replacing the great climber and mountaineer, Eric Shipton. John Hunt was a military man, who was known for being fair minded and tough at the same time.

    John died peacefully at his home in Oxfordshire, on Saturday surrounded by his family. He was knighted for his part in the Everest expedition in 1953. In 1956, he retired from the army and served in public service for the rest of his active life. There are many reports on the web giving details reports on John's life, we encourage you to read them.

    John led a good life, and we think he would want to be remembered for his service and his mountaineering. God bless John Hunt, who helped father the sport we love ! May he rest in peace.

  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child (see 11/8/98 News) Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News: 11/8/98 Report

  • Autumn Everest 98: More of those interesting little details on the S.S. Kansai Sagarmatha Expedition 1998, or what EverestNews.com was calling the Japanese SW Face Solo Expedition. The leader was Norichika Matsumoto and 8 Japanese members with 10 Sherpas. They starting climbing on 8/26/98 and Reached 8040m but had to turn back due to the bad weather conditions on Everest this Autumn.  We have now learned this: They worked very hard on this difficult route, and ending the season most of the members were very tired. They planned, as my team, for the summit day for the 15th October. Finally, only one member was going to try the summit. This member was a Sherpa. But I have to explain that this "Sherpa" member got this "member" status because he is married to a Japanese woman. Finally, they didn't go up  from the last camp, maybe because of the very bad weather that day, but I don't know exactly.  Source: Juan Corro, leader of the Spanish Everest Autumn 98 Expedition.
  • Another FYI on EverestNews.com: On translations, the staff at EverestNews.com tries to limit the changes in the wording as not to change to writer intent. Many of our sources, as you all know, are from across the world where English is sometimes a second language. The staff at EverestNews.com prefers to give you the raw version vs changing and potentially changing the writer intent. Therefore, we limit our changes. To continue on this note. You might try using http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/ to translate many of the non English web sites and for our many non-English viewers, you might use this source to translate the English web page or EverestNews.com itself !. However, translations of this kind, as well as human translations, do make mistakes and lose the meaning sometimes. So keep that in mind.
  • Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us all of next week taking questions ! We think you will find Peter hard to stay up with next week !
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 (see book reviews on 10/13/98 News) and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.
  • Several have asked if Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child ,  is in stock : Yes, Amazon has it in stock !   Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours. Other buyers at Amazon also bought:

    Mixed Emotions : Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child; Greg Child

    A Deathful Ridge : A Novel of Everest; Andy Wainwright, J. A. Wainwright

    Moments of Doubt : And Other Mountaineering Writings; David Roberts, Royal Robbins (Designer)

Daily News: 11/7/98 Report

  • Czech expedition Ama Dablam 6856: EverestNews.com has stayed in touch with the leader of the Czech Expedition to Everest and asked him to report on the other Czech expeditions whenever time permits. These Czech climbers by all accounts are some of the strongest climbers in the world. On Everest Spring 98, two of their climbers reached the Summit without the use of oxygen on the North Side and a very low budget expedition. We hear that they at least, will be on the South Side of Everest  in 99, but we need to confirm that !

Czech expedition Ama Dablam 6856

This expedition was the second time that the Czechs climbed this magnificent mountain. In 1986 Miroslav Smνd climbed Ama Dablam by his superb solo ascent via the west face while his two companions were climbing the west ridge intending to assist him during the descent. they surrendered their fight having felt lost among the labyrinth of snowy/rocky towers alongside nearly 1000-meter-high ridge. Mira then saved his life by rappelling down the south face instead of descending the unfixed ridge. Although he used Yugoslavian fixed ropes to descent, it was a big adventure and a good luck to survive without his own rope. That is why Czech climbers (at least my generation) associate Ama Dablam with Mira's unforgettable personality and climbing it awoke our memories of him. (Mira died in 1994 soloing lost arrow in Yosemite).

Our expedition started on September 25 in Lukla. Due to a high number of members (18), we were divided into two groups.

Group 1: Josef Rybicka, 46, Vera Holmanova, 46, Ivan Foltyn 27, Dusan Kubicek 26, Zbynek Mozdiak 40, Jarka Poslednν 46, Hana Teislerova 38, Robert Teisler 43, Pavel Chyzniak 23

Group 2: Josef Moravek 31, Vaclav Suchel 38, Pavel Toman 47, Dusan Pokorny 49, Jan Kalousek 35, Frantisek Tkac 32, Eddy Visnavsky 28, Vladislav Sogan 33

Some expedition members had no experience with high altitude, some of them just wanted to look around the Everest region. As the first group decided to go for a classic trek on the Kala Patar, the second one started to work on the mountain. The beginning was actually delayed by the monsoon weather with clouds, snow or rain...

We encountered the first obstacle as low as in Pungpotsche. There was no bridge across the river. The old one was smashed down by a stream and the new one was just being built up. We had to find a solution ourselves. It was quite tricky. not that much for us, as we crossed the river hung on the rope between the river banks, but what to do with our four yaks? They remained stuck and scared on the island in the middle of the river apparently happy with an idea to spend the rest of their lives there. Venca fixed our helpless situation. great entertainment began. Venca, completely naked and tied on the rope, jumped in the whitewater, and half fording half fighting with a strong stream he had made his way in ice-cold water to reach the island to save our yaks. He tied on the strongest one and pulled him out to our river bank. Fortunately the rest of the family felt rather encouraged and followed Vaclav, who was nearly frozen but happy as a famous rodeo star. This show was probably the most exciting event during the whole expedition. After that we had pitched up our tents at the base camp 4300m. The following day we continued to the ABC (4900m, two to three-hour trip), but after waking up in snowy and foggy weather we were pushed down to Pungpotsche. It made no sense to stay up there in such conditions. instead we were drinking beer in the lodge to defeat our pessimistic mood. After two days the bad weather seemed to improve. We were finished with the beer and the expedition hard time actually started. Namely for me and Vera, for Vaclav, Eddy and Frank, for Ivan and Pepino.

First day the BC, the second day ABC and immediately after that I walked up with a load for Vaclav for two and a half hours directly to the first camp (5600). the day after again. now together with Vera accompanied by Vaclav and his two boys, the following day on the ridge fixing the route with Pepνno and Ivan (almost 500 meters of fixed ropes.)

We also have thank one Japanese who provided us with his climbing rope as a fixed line and two sherpas who led the difficult yellow tower (the leader bare-footed!). Pepνno and me climbed as high as to camp 3, then back to camp 2 and in the morning the same way up again, this time up only. I was following Vαclav, Eddy and Frank, who climbed in pure alpine style, using footprints of Pepino, Ivan and Zbynμk at the end. It was already eight congratulations passing our friends on fixed ropes. Later afternoon Dušan and Pavel became our neighbors in camp 3 under that huge and wild looking serac shaking our hands on the top the next day. Beautiful day, and what a view of Everest - just to touch it. Finally 16 members of our team have reached the summit.

Oct Suchel, Visnavsky, Tkac

Oct Moravek, Foltyn, Mozdiak, Kalousek, Pokorny

Oct Kubicek, Toman, Holmanova, Sogan, Chyzniak

Oct Teisler, Teislerova

Source: Hruby Zdenek leader of the 98 Czech Everest expedition.

Daily News: 11/6/98 Report

  • Autumn Everest 98: Spanish Everest Expedition News

The Finest of Lines.

The phone rang late a few nights ago and to my delight it was Juan. His voice sounded harsh obviously effected by a chesty cough, but he was well. Even better, he and his wife Maria were in London with Juan’s work until the following day. So, with haste, I made plans to get to Gatwick for a short meeting.

So to the expedition, the team of nine was reduced to six: Spanish Juan Corro (leader) , Carlos Pitarch, Ricardo Villar, Ramiro Beltran, Javier Garcia and the doctor (Carlos Pardo) The Japanese (2)  joined the peak permit. At Kathmandu this was a slight problem as the team was not as much value to the government but after some days all the paper work was complete, special equipment purchased the expedition was set.

It was apparent very early that few people were to attempt the South Col, indeed only 4 camps were at the rocky and uneven base camp, a Japanese expedition was the most prominent, run by an ex-police man very disciplined and with a definite plan to follow. The Spanish team set their efforts to the mountain and on the way had a very tense number of days as one of the sherpas was labeled a ”criminal” by the Japanese team. Why? He touched one of their ladders on the ice fall which was a crime as they wanted there own unique route through the ice fall and no one was permitted to go near rope or ladder. This “crime” was taken so serious that long meetings and a jury was set and it took the highest level of diplomacy to cool things off. The result was two parallel route on the ice fall this autumn.

The acclimatisation was slow and each member worked hard to move equipment ever upward on this great mountain face to camp three when one night an avalanche thundered down the prone slopes (the new snow fall was making the route ever treacherous by the hour) and took half of the camp with it, loosing equipment as it swept past. No injuries but lost time delayed the progress upward and the weather was closing in with higher wind and more
snow.

Carlos the ever impatient to go was always up early and on the summit day was ready before any one. Juan and Carlos were the strongest at this camp 4. The sherpas and Richie were feeling the effects of the altitude and temperature so on the eve of the summit push the team was organized to go. The day came so fast, and Juan had spent the night on oxygen and was not too good. Richie was poor also. Carlos, Juan and Sherpas were left (at 1.30am !!) to the task of the summit push, the high wind and snow made conditions impossible but out they pushed. The two way radios making communication possible at a height where jets only go. The conditions closed in yet further and Juan shouted on the radio for the summit team to return as he felt time was enough, but Carlos was at the point of the finest of lines between madness and the dedication to get you to the top of the world. The oxygen mask had stopped working so there was no rich air to breath and the wind whisked up spindrift Covering footprint as soon as they were vacant leaving no trace for the retreat, on he pushed, the endless effort to his limit. Juan by now was so very concerned (as he told me of this sat in the airport bar, his slightly blood shot eyes watered as he relived the emotion of his best friend pushing on when all should be left for safety and reason, perhaps to a point of never being seen again) as he knew all was being gambled on this push, with luck a window opened in the extreme weather for a short time. Carlos made the summit (at 10:30am) , tied a prayer flag to the summit pole and collected one as a souvenir and turned back. Carlos was now fighting with frozen feet and hands. Juan, at camp four, waited to see his friend return from the white unknown and greeted him (at 2:30pm) with relief, although a fist fight was more appropriate to Carlos’s actions at 8000 meters you just have not got the resources available to spend in such a way.

The team returned down the mountain with the frozen parts of Carlos to worry about, a long walk out and delayed flight, meant the medical attention needed was delayed, there will be a few weeks of wait before we know what the fingers and toes of Carlos will remain after his dedicated and brave visit to the summit. Richie is well and resting after his adventure at home.

As for Juan he has returned after the greatest adventure. The sparkle for the great mountains burning as bright as ever, some time now to reflect and rest with his wonderful wife, Maria who stands by him throughout. No plans for an adventure next year, just quality time with the ones close to him.

After arriving in Spain, Barcelona, Carlos was directly sent to the hospital, and is currently there. At least, he will stay there one week more. He is being treated in Zaragoza by Dr. Arregui, a famous specialist in Europe for this type of treatment. At the moment, it is confirmed that will be he will lose the first section of two fingers in right hand, and very likely the big toe at on of his feet. He is with very good humor and optimistic about future, but at least he will suffer some months for complete rehabilitation.

Story by Juan Corro's friend Ian G., and assisted by the staff at EverestNews.com. Information provided by Juan Corro, the leader of the Spanish Everest Autumn 98 Expedition.

  • A FYI on EverestNews.com: On translations, the staff at EverestNews.com tries to limit the changes in the wording as not to change to writer intent. Many of our sources, as you all know,  are from across the world where English is sometimes a second language. The staff at EverestNews.com prefers to give you the raw version vs changing and potentially changing the writer intent.  More on this later !
  • If you missed Brigitte Muir and her news, check out the 11/4/98 News Report !
  • Please check out The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum has been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us all of next week taking questions !
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 (see book reviews on 10/13/98 News) and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News: 11/5/98 Report

  • Peter Green, has agreed to take questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com. We will post information on Peter this week and take questions from You. Peter will return from traveling next week and begin to answer questions. He is a very knowledgeable climber. Please check out the web page we have set up for his interview for more information, including his resume: The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. We have found Peter extremely knowledgeable and very modest !!! Below is More on his brief account of 92 K2. More to come, all week. Next week, Peter will begin to answer questions from You !

My background and a summary of the people involved in the 1992 Russian-American expedition to K2 including what they have been doing since.

by Peter G. Green, October 1998 in support of EverestNews.com (with great appreciation for their back-to-basics, minimally commercial web-site! )

My grandfather grew up in Lake Placid, revering the surrounding Adirondacks, so I was raised with a love of, and deep respect for, mountains.  I was hiking and skiing from the age of 2 and on multi-day backpacks and mountaineering scrambles by 9.  As my older brother Robert and I grew out of our teens, and Dad correspondingly slowed down, we set off on our own and with friends for ever higher peaks, promising to be careful.  In 1981 we flew to Mexico for the volcanoes and had a wonderful time.  By the late 1980's we had four successful trips to the Andes between us and rounded up two friends for Denali in 1989.  I returned to that region for less crowded outings in 1990 and 1991, but we were both already gazing at Asia and might have headed for the Pamirs if the Soviet Union wasn't unraveling just then. At the start of 1992 funding for my job was drying up, and Robert was tired of his, so when Dan Mazur (an acquaintance) invited us to K2 for $6000 each we said sure.  I called Charley Mace and invited him.  Neither my brother nor I had ever been on any sort of outing with an official 'leader', nor would we do it again, but the plan to have a lot of fixed rope and everyone taking care of themselves (no high altitude porters) sounded fine.  We brought our own food and tent; I packed skis just for fun.  Yes Mom, we'll be careful.

Before saying anything about the trip, let me state that everyone's point of view is different, and can change upon later reflection.  Two facts of human nature are that people differ, and everything changes.  Even more so than in everyday life, people experience things differently from each other in the mountains -- and more so the higher one goes.  So, this is all simply my spontaneous point-of-view, through the perspective of 6 years' hindsight.

K2 was pretty quiet for several years following 1986, especially with the regional tension produced by the 1991 Gulf War.  A fairly professional group of Europeans tried in early season, made it only a little above camp II, and were just heading home when we all got to base camp.  Chantal Maudit stayed on to climb with us, and became the only summiting woman alive.  (Before her, Wanda Rutkiewitz was the only woman of three previous summiters, all in 1986, to survive -- she disappeared high on Kangchenjunga in the 1992 pre-monsoon season.  Since then, the only woman to summit has been Alison Hargreaves, in the face of an approaching storm, and she and several others did not successfully get back down.)  

Ours turned out to be a pretty disorganized trip; we actually needed a lot of the Europeans' leftover food.  A tri-national sponsored group with a satellite phone was a little ahead of us, and with 5000' of fixed line apiece, we had just enough to cover the steep ground from 1000' below Camp I all the way to Camp III -- 7000' vertical at an average angle of 45 degrees. Whether by luck or as the only bit of pre-expedition planning, it gave the trip a good chance of success, and of safe descents.  That group included the legendary Kiwi team of Rob Hall and Gary Ball, plus a Mexican friend of my brother's, Hector Ponce de Leon.  Another Mexican, Hector's friend Adrian Benitez, was the only fatality our year.  Ball and Hall had tried K2 the previous year, as well as in 1988, composing two of the previous 13 consecutive expeditions that had failed on the Abruzzi Ridge -- in fact 17 total on the Pakistani side.  (In between 1986 and 1992, 6 expeditions had attempted the Chinese side, with 3 of them putting a total of 7 climbers on top.)

Our membership was quite a mix, and I am sure I don't know everyone's past and life since.  But, we numbered 18 (plus 5 mentioned above from the two other Abruzzi expeditions that summer) and this is a brief summary of us all: our prior backgrounds, how we did, and what we have done since (-- for several I have no news).

Two had little climbing experience (the Russian doctor and one American -- mostly a rock climber), and ended up doing little climbing.

Four more of us, including me and my brother, had only 6km experience in Alaska, though Neal was a world-class ultra-marathoner with a previous invitation to Everest that fell through when the permit was sold to a different leader.

Six more had Asian expedition experience over 7000m, but hadn't summitted any 8000m peaks yet.

And the most experienced six had summitted Everest (or Lhotse in the case of Scott Fischer, the first American ascent and had reached 28,000' on Everest) with Vladimir and Ed having Kangchenjunga under their belt, too.  Most of this latter group climbed and guided as their profession.

During the expedition, almost everyone in our group did well.  Our six, plus Chantal, reaching the top were generally the most experienced and most career oriented, with 5 more of us surmounting the 8000m mark -- including me and my brother from among the least inexperienced.

Scott summitted despite a dislocated shoulder early in the ice-fall, and his and Ed's rescue of Chantal after her summit.  My brother and I cruised from Camp III, already far higher than we had ever been before, to our higher-than-usual Camp IV in just 5 hours -- carrying a complete camp and placing wands, too.  Others took two days to cover the same ground in the same conditions starting the previous day.

Those who might have done much better had various good reasons.  Neal ran out of time and had to go back to work.  Doug's overboots wouldn't accept his crampons.  On his last try Larry hit his head on the rock overhanging camp II causing such a bad headache he decided not to go up.  The last two just didn't seem to acclimatize well.

Of course, the years since have seen several lives end, starting with Adrian rappelling above Camp III.  Gary died guiding Dhaulagiri the next year, and Rob and Scott on Everest in the famous 1996 pre-monsoon season.  Chantal died in her tent on Dhaulagiri.  And Vladimir died in a car accident in St. Petersburg, working part-time as a taxi-driver.  He attempted the north side of K2 in 1993 -- trying to become only the second person yet to summit the mountain twice.

I only have news of about half of the others, starting with Gennady (the photographer) who retired from expedition climbing.  Of the other summiters, Ed is doing well on his all-14 quest, with lots of coverage in the Everest IMAX film and Charley was the first American to climb Manaslu just last fall -- finally finishing the list for that nationality. 

Neal helped save Scott's clients from the storm on Everest.  Dan and Jonathan round up customers to fund their expeditions in Asia and elsewhere. Larry and my brother have also climbed other 8000m peaks, while I've enjoyed organizing two expeditions with friends, plus great trips back to the quieter peaks of Alaska and the Yukon.  So, nearly everyone has kept up good climbing, one way or another, and from our group of 18, only one has passed away in the mountains -- may it long remain so.

Peter

  • As you might have heard on the News, Peter Hillary, Jon Muir, and Eric Philips have started on an Antarctic Ski Trek as part of the Iridium Icetrek . They have set out across Antarctica on a journey that recreates the ill-fated expedition of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1911. Peter Hillary, as most of you probably know, is the son of Sir Edmund Hillary, and Jon Muir is the Husband of Brigitte Muir !

    We have been in touch with Brigitte and asked her what she and Jon was doing...

    " I just talked to Jon in fact, so here is the news. Jon, Eric and Peter started their walk yesterday..they walked 8 kms yesterday, and the same again today. Obviously they will increase the distance pretty soon, right now they are breaking themselves in! Jon is feeling strong, and he is as high as a kite! He says that Erebus looks fantastic.

    I am hoping to go to Makalu next April May, all a question of finding the money to go of course! I am taking a trek to Everest BC later this month ( 19 November to 11 December to be precise), and could do with a few more participants, so anyone who wants to join in the next week should email me at aplus@netconnect.com.au  The cost is $2980 Aust from Kathmandu. This will be the first time I look at the mountain since I became the first Australian woman to climb it, in May last year. Becoming in the process the first Australian to climb the highest mountain on each continent.

    I am back in very early January. Bye for now", Brigitte

  • Autumn Everest 98: S.S.Kansai Sagarmatha Expedition 1998, or what EverestNews.com was calling the Japanese SW Face Solo expedition. Well it has turned out this was not a solo expedition as initially planned. The route: Everest South-West face direct route. The leader was Norichika Matsumoto and 8 Japanese members with 10 Sherpas. They starting climbing on 8/26/98 and Reached 8040m but had to turn back due to the bad weather conditions on Everest this Autumn. They are still in Kathmandu right now, and plan on coming back to Japan on 11/8/98. Above Reported by Hisao Hashimoto on 05Nov. Source K.Furuno, We will have more on this expedition on Friday's news and hopefully in the coming days from Japan.
  • Your questions have been submitted to Mark Pfetzer young Everest Climber !  His resume is on the Mark Pfetzer page. His book is Within Reach : My Everest Story Mark Pfetzer, Jack Galvin / Hardcover / Published 1998.
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 (see book reviews on 10/13/98 News) and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News: 11/4/98 Report

  • Peter Green, has agreed to take questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com. We will post information on Peter this week and take questions from You. Peter will return from traveling next week and begin to answer questions. He is a very knowledgeable climber. Please check out the web page we have set up for his interview for more information, including his resume: The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. We have found Peter extremely knowledgeable and very modest !!! Below is a brief account of 92 K2. More to come, all week. Next week, Peter will begin to answer questions from You !

To 8100m on the Abruzzi Ridge of K2:

A Brief Account of the Successful 1992 Russian-American Expedition.

by Peter G. Green, Autumn 1992

By chance, a friend of mine invited my brother Robert and me to join a low budget international expedition to K2 this past summer.  It was a loose network of 18 members on a Russian permit but was mostly Americans (to foot the bill), and unclear whether adequate planning was being done.  The style of climb included fixing ropes and establishing camps, as well as having bottled oxygen available, so we accepted, but kept our expectations low. Never having been to Pakistan, we were ready to consider simply seeing the mountain a success. Reaching the summit would have been beyond our wildest dreams.  Realistically, topping 7000m (about 23,000') for new personal altitude records was a reasonable goal.

It was clear upon arrival in Islamabad (June 8) that virtually none of the necessary planning had been done.  The Russian and Ukrainian members were a week overdue and still making their way overland through China.  All but one piece of Rob's and my luggage were lost in the Middle East. Such is travel in the third world.   Wasting more than a week, we finally overcame the necessary bureaucratic obstacles, collected everyone and all our luggage too.  After more waiting due to a suspicious diesel shortage, we took the jeep road out of Skardu only to be stopped short by a damaged bridge and a washout.  That meant two extra days marching to Askole, where the trek normally begins. The extra pay for our 180 porters began to strain the budget. 

Eight days of dusty trekking got us to base camp (16,500') on June 30th.  A Swiss-French expedition that did not fix ropes was just giving up.   They had hauled on the old, tattered ropes from previous years, and had luckily survived several rope breakages.  A Mexican-Swedish-New Zealand expedition arrived just ahead of us.  Our group and theirs had agreed in Islamabad to bring 5000' of rope each; we used it all.  Base Camp temperatures were a little below freezing each night but pleasant in sunny daytime.  Only one day in the five weeks we spent there was very windy. Several times we got a little snowfall -- once mixed with rain. We had very good cooks, who made the best of bland Russian provisions. They kept us much healthier than neighboring expeditions.  Despite considerable effort to keep up my weight, I lost the five pounds I had gained during pre-expedition training and feasting.   Neal, a competitive marathoner and 5.12 leader, was shocked to have gone from a lean and muscular 150 lb down to 130 lb. 

From base camp on a medial moraine of the Godwin-Austin glacier, our route followed the moraine and crossed two stretches of avalanche debris from the South face.  We kept to the far margin of these even though the summer avalanches never came out very far.  A short icefall in the glacier guards the base of the Abruzzi Ridge.  Some of us used crampons and roped up to pass the seracs. Most of us left our technical gear on the ridge and just used a ski pole; rescue ropes were cached at each end. One time an ice block did topple Scott off balance, leading to a dislocated shoulder.

At the base of the Abruzzi Ridge (17,500'), scree slopes lead to 35 degree snow -- usually wet, heavy, and even sticky, with ice underneath.  We started fixing ropes at about 18,500' where the route began alternating between rock and snow. Staying out on the open snow-slopes risked avalanches and rockfall from above. About a hundred feet at a time, fixed ropes (and helmet use) were un-interrupted from there to Camp 3 at 24,500'.  Only a couple of short stretches were superfluous. 

Camp 1 at 20,000' was tucked behind a rock pinnacle.  Camp 2 at 22,000' was on a 40 degree slope hidden under a buttress for protection.  Gear accidentally dropped from there did not stop for 4000'.  Just below it is the famous cliff band passage, House's Chimney.  It is incredible that it was climbed in the 1930's.  I recall seeing it rated 5.7 somewhere.  Fair enough, but the rock is incredibly crumbly (on the entire route in fact), and the awkward face moves, chimneying and stemming are strenuous enough even with a solid fixed rope and ascender in one hand.   And then there is the fresh snow on the holds, ice in the back of the groove, and crampons on your over-sized boots!

The average angle of the Abruzzi route, from its base at the edge of the glacier to the summit, is 45 degrees.  Given a stretch of relatively gentle ground on top of the shoulder, the rest of the time it must be averaging about 50 degrees. That is really pretty steep for several thousands of feet of snow mixed with loose rock at quite high elevation.  Without fixed ropes, the many trips up and down would be far more time-consuming and dangerous.  Fortunately, we never had terribly icy conditions except for the gentle slopes at the bottom where the summer warmth was eating away at the snowpack.  More often we had deep snow from recent storms; whoever was strongest got to break trail.  It is necessary to make maximum use of every day since perfect days are rare.  One must be on the mountain, as high as one can get (or can tolerate) when the weather clears. Otherwise, you won't have enough time to take advantage of the break.   Of course, storms leave deep snow which impedes travel and can avalanche.   Waiting out 4 stormy nights at Camp 2 before our summit bid, Rob and I lucked out with a storm that didn't dump too much, and ended with light winds and mild temperatures to produce a firm pack.

Above Camp 2 we stayed closer to the true ridge than some of the early expeditions.  A 50' wire ladder led up one rock cliff much harder than House's. One could go around, but would have to face more avalanche danger.  One late morning, after a storm had cleared, I watched the heat of the sun send avalanches down on both sides of the route.  To reach the start of the shoulder, one follows the `Black Pyramid'.  At times one is just a few feet from a big vertical drop; it is beautiful.   At 24,000' steep snow ramps lead between overhanging ice cliffs to a patch of level snow.  At first we had set up Camp 3 at an inferior location and had tents buried and destroyed during a week of bad weather.

From there, broad slopes with a few crevasses lead up to a very steep section. Poor snow conditions would make this section very tough.  Poor visibility would be terrifying without more glacier wands, perhaps every 100'.   Finally, one gets some gentle ground.  Approaching 8000m it is mighty welcome.   Rob and I strolled up at a steady 4 breathes per step. Vladimir had put Camp 4 at the highest possible location, a rib of snow on the ridge proper at 8100m (26,500'), and just away from being under the tall hanging glacier on the summit pyramid.

Six of our group made the summit, on three different days spanning from August 1st to the 16th.  After our stormy vigil at Camp 2, on August 1st and 2nd Rob and I moved our tent to Camp 3 and then Four and felt great.  Our oxygen tanks were left below, having been too heavy to bring along.  We had intentionally (and necessarily) traveled light, with the agreement to head down at the first signs of bad weather.  Throughout the season, fine weather arrives with a light, north `China   Breeze' (and doesn't last long). Storms come from the south, bearing moisture from the Indian Ocean.  Nasty monsoon clouds had been lurking in the distance and in the middle of the night, strong winds gusted up from the south. In the morning we bailed out for home.  I reckon very few people have ever departed down from that camp feeling strong and with clear skies.  We have no regrets whatsoever.  By afternoon it was overcast.  The next morning it started snowing on the mountain and was a raging blizzard by mid-day. The three who were at Camp 4 with us and who had tried for summit despite the incoming storm, had a hell of a time getting down.  Alexei, who did summit, suffered some frostbite to his hands. Chantal, a Frenchwoman with the earlier Swiss expedition, also made it and suffered minor frostbite and some snow-blindness.   They both took all day and all night to return to the high camp. Thor, who avoided the night out but still suffered frostbite, had the energy to save their lives.

Rob and I left everything useful in the group tent at Four: pad, stove, pot, fuel and food, but took all our garbage down.  At Three and Two we picked up garbage again, and continued to One.  Stumbling on down the now rockier route below, then glissading and sliding scree to the glacier, we navigated the icefall for the 7th and last time. By descending 10,000' in 10 hours, we escaped the storm and could call our Mom to tell her we were safe and coming home.

  • Autumn Everest 98: Details are coming in ! We will still trying to confirm details and get turn-around times and other details.
  • Mark Pfetzer young Everest Climber (in 95 on the North Side reached 25,000 ft, and 96 when he reached Camp 4), has also agreed to take questions. We have gained a little more time, but we will need to submit questions to him by Wednesday !!! Submit questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net His resume is on the Mark Pfetzer page. His book is Within Reach : My Everest Story Mark Pfetzer, Jack Galvin / Hardcover / Published 1998.
  • Please check the Risk web site, www.risk.ru, for all the details of the Russian expedition on Lhotse.. Here is what we have heard from them (late yesterday) : On November 1st. Four climbers were on the summit of Lhotse Shar. That's all we have till now. No names still, but I hope it will be know next day. Update from a few minutes ago: Vladimir Savkov broadcast on the phone: On November 1st four climbers reached the summit of Lhotse Shar in a very bad weather conditions. Foigt Alexander (Novokuznetsk), Vinogradski Evgeni (Ekaterinburg), Sokolov Gleb (Novosibirsk), Timofeev Sergei (Ekaterinburg). Because of the very bad weather all other groups finished their climbing attempts and start to re-set the camp. All of them feel good. Source : www.risk.ru , please check their site for all the details on this very interesting expedition !
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 (see book reviews on 10/13/98 News) and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News: 11/3/98 Report

  • Peter Green, has agreed to take questions from You our readers of EverestNews.com. We will post information on Peter this week and take questions from You. Peter will return from traveling next week and begin to answer questions. He is a very knowledgeable climber. Please check out the web page we have set up for his interview for more information, including his resume: The Peter Green page. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. We have found Peter extremely knowledgeable and very modest !!!
Introduction:

I'm an ordinary guy with a job and a family that loves mountain scenery.

As a modest 'claim to fame' I made a strong contribution to the successful 1992 Russian-American Expedition, putting my own Camp 4 at 8100m on K2 (higher than the South Col of Everest actually -- we camped quite a bit higher than many folks' top camp on the Abruzzi). I have also climbed some other notable big peaks and have had fun skiing on a few great, some rarely skied, slopes at home and abroad.

Remember, no one had summitted via the Abruzzi for 5 straight years (1987 through 1991), and no one got above 8000m this year (1998) either.

I've never climbed as a profession, but consider myself as experienced as most professional climbers. (And I don't seek extreme skiing, just extremely enjoyable skiing.)

I apologize in advance for either factual errors or possibly causing offense. I simply enjoy chatting about mountains, and am happy to be corrected when necessary.

Peter

The Peter Green Page

Daily News: 11/2/98 Report

Daily News: 11/1/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com needs your follow up questions for Heather Macdonald by Monday ! submit to : everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Don't miss it, this will be the last set of questions for Heather ! Her complete interview is on  The IMG/Expedition 8000 Cho Oyu team page. at the end.
  • News from our sources in Nepal: Lute Jerstad, one of the first Americans to Summit Everest in 1963, has died from a heart attack while trekking with family members in Nepal. He was 61.
  • EverestNews.com web site of the week is: http://www.mission-cliffs.com/annapurna/index.html. People continue to ask about this expedition we told you about in the summer. The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition is attempting the South Face of 8091 meter high Annapurna I during the autumn of 1998. This is an extremely tough climb. We were hoping to carry reports from the expedition, however, the expedition did not obtain the necessary communication equipment and permits. They have no satellite phone.
  • EverestNews.com Interview with Mark Pfetzer young Everest Climber (in 95 on the North Side reached 25,000 ft, and 96 when he reached Camp 4), has also agreed to take questions. We have gained a little more time, but we will need to submit questions to him by Wednesday !!! Submit questions to everestnews2004@adelphia.net
  • Everest Autumn 98 ! The ProViva Everest ski Expedition has updated their site with the video footage. You can find their link on our 1998 Autumn Everest Expedition Links  page.
  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your books through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 (see book reviews on 10/13/98 News) and Within Reach : My Everest Story Mark Pfetzer, Jack Galvin / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Latest EverestNews

Check out the Bookstore

EverestNews.com Sponsor Page

wpe2.jpg (2012 bytes)

Daily News and Notes, what made this site famous among Everest climbers

Updated Everyday !

 

     

Send Mail to everestnews2004@adelphia.net.   Copyright©1998, 1999, 2000, 2001. EverestNews.com  All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes. Read it.

 

    

Where to get the News and Expedition reports !

 

 

 The Best Source for Gear On-line

• Backcountry Gear
• Backpacks
• Bags & Luggage
• Bindings
• Binoculars
• Blankets & Pillows
• Boot & Fabric Care
• Cameras
• Camp Furniture
• Camping Accessories
• Car Racks
• Carabiners
• Cards
• Child Carriers
• Climbing Bags
• Compasses
• Cooking Supplies
• Cycling Components
• Cycling Repair
• Dry Bags
• Dry Boxes
• Electronics
• First Aid
• Fishing Accessories
• Fleece
• Float Tubes
• Fly Boxes
• Fly Line
• Fly Rods
• Fly Tying
• Fly Vests & Packs
• Food
• Footwear
• Gaiters
• Gifts & Games
• Gloves & Mittens
• Goggles
• Harnesses
• Hats
• Helmets
• Hydration Packs
• Indoor Climbing Gear
• Infant Apparel
• Jackets
• Kayaks
• Kid's Cycling Gear
• Kid's Paddling Gear
• Knives & Tools
• Leaders & Tippets
• Lifejackets/ PFDs
• Lights
• Locks
• Long Underwear
• Maps
• Messenger & Bike Bags
• Mountaineering Gear
• Neckwear
• Neoprene
• Nets
• Paddles & Oars
• Paddlewear
• Pants
• Pet Gear
• Poles
• Pontoons
• Prints & Posters
• Rafts
• Reels & Spools
• Rescue Gear
• Rock Climbing Gear
• Rod & Reel Kits
• Rod Tubes & Bags
• Ropes
• Shell Outerwear
• Shirts
• Shorts
• Showers & Toilets
• Skates & Scooters
• Ski & Board Repair
• Skirts & Dresses
• Skis
• Sleds and Tubes
• Sleeping Bags & Pads
• Snowboards
• Snowshoes
• Socks
• Sprayskirts
• Stoves
• Strollers
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen & Repellant
• Sweaters
• Swimming
• Tents
• Travel Accessories
• Underwear
• Vests
• Videos
• Waders
• Watches & Clocks
• Water Bottles & Bags
• Water Filtration