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 May 1998 Daily South Side News

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 !

LATEST NEWS FROM THE SOUTH SIDE

Reports on Everest Spring 98

Update 6/3/98 US 

  • The News will be listed again on one page (the News Page) now that the spring season is over. If you are new to our site we suggest you read our daily updates from the season below. 

Update 6/2/98 US 

  • EverestNews.com has updated the South Side summits page. We think you will like it. EverestNews.com will soon start reporting late Summer/Fall attempts. 

Update 6/1/98 US 

  • EverestNews.com is reporting 43 summits by the south route this year, with no deaths. See our list on the summits page. 

NEWSFLASH Update 5/30/98 US 1:00PM EST

  • EverestNews.com has received confirmation that there were NO deaths on the South Side from the various expeditions this year. Great Job.

Update 5/30/98 US 

  • Packing up and moving out on the South Side.
  • EverestNews.com has added some details to the summit page. Very interesting story about Edward Grylls (23) and Henry Todd's Himalayan Guides Expedition that reached the Summit of Everest. We understand Edward carried a New Testament with him and the team is raising money for a charity for tetraplegics. We will try to get the information so you can know more.

Update 5/29/98 US 4:00PM EST

  • EverestNews.com knows of no deaths on the South Side from the various expeditions.
  • Many expeditions have left BC, others are packing up. Some climbers have been attempting Lhotse (with success).
  • EverestNews.com believes, at this point, that all the deaths are on the North Side.

Update 5/28/98 US

  • EverestNews.com has confirmed the three climbers on Henry Todd's Himalayan Guides Expedition that reached the Summit of Everest were Neil Laughton, as reported earlier, Edward Grylls, and Alan Silva.
  • Himalayan Guides Expedition is also reporting to us that Andy Lakpas, Tommy Heindrich, Brad Bull, and Ilgivar Pauls, all reached the summit on Lhotse.
  • Source: Himalayan Guides Expedition

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NEWSFLASH Update 5/27/98 10:26 AM EST US

  • EverestNews.com has CONFIRMED that Tom Whittaker (UK) reached the Summit !!!
  • Four Sherpa including Tashi Tshering (his second summit this year) and climber Jeff Rhoads (also his second summit this year) reached the summit with Tom.
  • Check back soon.

Update 5/27/98 US

  • EverestNews.com has also confirmed that neither Babu Chhiri Sherpa nor the two Swedish climbers on the south side reached the summit this year. Babu sirdar for the two Swedish climbers expedition, which only reached the south summit. Babu turned around with the other members of the expedition.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/27/98 6:56 AM EST US

  • EverestNews.com has an UNCONFIRMED report that Tom Whittaker has reached the top of the world !!! More soon. This is UNCONFIRMED and UNOFFICIAL AT THIS POINT.
  • One of the Himalayan Guides climbers has reached the summit yesterday is believed to be Neil Laughton.
  • Check back soon.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/26/98 10:39 PM EST US

  • More climbers moving up the mountain ! Everest 98 is not over yet !
  • EverestNews.com can only confirm, at this point, that three members of Himalayan Guides Expedition reached the summit yesterday (Nepal).
  • Check our summits page !

NEWSFLASH Update 5/26/98 2:24 PM EST US

  • More climbers have reached the Summit of Everest from the south side today.
  • Nepal is reporting a heat wave.
  • EverestNews.com is waiting word that all climbers have descended safely.

Update 5/26/98 US

  • Josie Kieran (Ireland) is reported at Camp 2. EverestNews.com has received information from two sources that Josie Kieran is NOT MISSING.
  • Various reports received yesterday on Josie Kieran status, including that she was on Everest above Camp 4 very late. EverestNews.com has not been able to confirm this. The reports were confusing and were very concerning. However, good news, both sources are reporting her safe today. The other details will sort themselves out later.
  • From an editorial point of view, the Josie Kieran "confusing reports" was the hardest story of the year, to report or not to report.
  • As reported on 5/23/98, Tom Whittaker is attempting the summit again.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/25/98 3:15 PM EST US

  • EverestNews.com believes the following climbers reached the summit of Everest from the south side today: Bernardo Guarachi the Bolivian climber, Ed Siew, Swee Chiow, Ang Dorje Sherpa, Nawang Phurba Sherpa, Kami Rita Sherpa, and Fura Dorjee Sherpa, all from the Singapore team, Dave Welsh (UK Guide), Sundeep Dillam (UK), and three Sherpa from the HKE.  Byron Smith is believed to have came very close to reaching the summit but turned around. Josie Kieran (Ireland) was reported behind the main group and her status is not known by EverestNews.com at this time. We believe but have not confirmed that Josie Kieran, Byron Smith and Sundeep Dillam were the only three clients on HKE that attempted the summit last night. EverestNews.com is waiting word that all climbers descended safely. The Singapore team did safely reach the Camp 4.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/25/98 6:24 AM EST US

  • Numerous climbers are believed to have reached the Summit of Everest from the south side today including, Bernardo Guarachi the Bolivian climber and part of the Singapore team. Radio communications with the HKE team does not appear to be working correctly.  EverestNews.com is waiting word that all climbers have descended safely. Reports are the Singapore team did safely reach the Camp 4, however, this is UNCONFIRMED by EverestNews.com at time point.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/24/98 9:34 PM EST US

  • Climbers are on the summit ridge very early (approximately 8:15AM Nepal) within minutes of reaching the summit. Hopefully many details in the morning on who. Ropes are fixed. Therefore strength and weather are the keys.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/24/98 8:07 PM EST US

  • EverestNews.com understands that Bernardo Guarachi, a Bolivian climber some of you have requested information on, is also attempting the summit.

Update 5/24/98 7:00 PM EST US

  • EverestNews.com has confirmed around 20 climbers ascending on the South Side tonight (Sunday In Nepal).
  • As reported earlier, the Singapore team and HKE team is among the teams attempting the summit tonight. Josie Kierens & Byron Smith are believed but NOT CONFIRMED to be part of the HKE summit team.  
  • For the Singapore climbers this is the second attempt from Camp 4, this spring.

Update 5/24/98 EST US

  • EverestNews.com believes some teams will attempt the summit tonight (Sunday In Nepal) as reported yesterday.
  • We expect the Singapore team to be among the teams attempting the summit tonight.
  • Josie Kierens is reported fine. We expect her to attempt the summit.
  • Babu Chhiri Sherpa (with HKE) usually does not go with the "group", but look for others to try to follow him. He is a very strong and fast climber.
  • Weather reports are variable from the "storm" is imminent, good weather is here, and the wind is very strong at the summit. 
  • Sherman Bull is said to be much better and is "walking".
  • Byron Smith is also expected to attempt the summit in the next few days.
  • For many of these climbers (i.e. Singapore, etc.) this will be a second attempt from camp 4, this spring. Dangerous.

Update 5/23/98 EST US

  • EverestNews.com believes many teams will attempt the summit Sunday or Monday night (Nepal).
  • Tom Whittaker has reportedly moved back up to Camp 2, and is planning another summit attempt. He purchased the GPS team's left over oxygen.
  • HKE, with the climber from Ireland (Josie Kierens) is at Camp 3 and moving up.
  • The Singapore team is also moving up with 5 or 6 person team.
  • Some teams appear to feel the "storm" is imminent others feel like good weather is here. 
  • Both climbers that were injured on summit day suffered only minor injures and are reported fine. However, Sherman Bull, seems to have possibly broken ribs and hurt his leg. He has descended from Camp 4, and a sledge has been sent up for a rescue.
  • Byron Smith is also expected to attempt the summit in the next few days.
  • Base camp is washing and crumbling away with water tricking everywhere.
  • Some teams and team members (i.e., Simonson) are descending from BC.
  • For many of these climbers (i.e. Singapore, etc.) this will be a second attempt from camp 4, this spring. Dangerous.

Update 5/23/98 EST US

  • EverestNews.com has no additional confirmed summits.
  • Tom Whittaker is resting is BC, reportedly feeling well and planning on making another attempt.
  • No members of the Independent (HKE) teams has reached the summit to our knowledge.
  • EverestNews.com stands by its story of 5/19/98 11:04 EST US.
  • Many teams appear to be hoping the weather improves so the summit can be attempted next week.
  • EverestNews.com will try to provide you with more information on other teams soon. Check back.

Update 5/22/98 EST US

  • EverestNews.com has had several requests for information on HKE with Babu Chhiri Sherpa and others. We are attempting to find out what we can for you. Babu has lead summits late before, i.e. 1996, so don't be surprised !

NEWSFLASH Update 8:47 AM 5/22/98 EST US

  • EverestNews.com has received reports today of SOME climbers turning back during summit attempts the last 24 hours on the North Side due to high winds.

Update 5/21/98 3:51PM EST US

  • EverestNews.com has reports on summit attempts for tonight again.
  • Most climbers seem to feel the storm missed Everest. The race is on until the snow arrives.
  • Check the North Side report for CONCERNING weather information from the Russian expedition.

Update 5/21/98 10:05AM EST US

  • Most climbers seem to feel the storm missed Everest. The race is on until the snow arrives.
  • EverestNews.com has been receiving reports on Tom Whittaker. The reports are that Tom reached 27,000 ft before returning to lower camps for medical attention. It was reported to EverestNews.com that Tom had a recurrence of pulmonary infection and possibly high altitude pulmonary edema.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/20/98 2:05PM EST US

  • Climbers are leaving camp 4 for the summit again tonight.
  • How long will the good weather hold?  Ropes are now fixed.
  • Our prayers are with them.

Update 5/20/98 1:01PM EST US:

  • Everest Environmental Expedition with Appa Sherpa steals the day ! Appa Sherpa was first on the summit from the south side this year. Our sources tell us that as many as 9 to 10 members of the  EEE team reached the summit, with 5-6 being Sherpa and 4 climbers. This means if other reports are true that only 13 reached the summit. Only 2 to 3 could have been from other expeditions. (Updated 5/23/98: See a list of who reached the summit on our summit page.)
  • Alternate Communication satellite up.
  • Check back soon.

Update 5/20/98 11:30AM EST US

  • Michael Strynoe turned around at 8300 meters due to frostbitten feet he got earlier (see below). He is not expected to attempt the summit again this spring.
  • Galaxy 4 Communication satellite down.
  • Very little e-mail information.
  • Check back soon.

Update 5/20/98  8:00AM EST US

  • Very little news is coming in. It is now 5:59 Nepal time.

Update 5/20/98  US

  • Numerous climbers attempted the summit yesterday from Nepal. Summit success for some climbers is confirmed. Appa Sherpa (his eighth time, assisting Bob Hoffman's team this year) and Wally Berg believed to be among the climbers that reached the summit.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/19/98 2:26 PM EST US

  • Numerous climbers are expected to leave for the summit at around 11:00 PM (Nepal). Some sources are reporting good weather for one to two more days, other sources expect the weather to turn to snow in the AM.
  • As we reported earlier, there was light snow cover on the mountain early in the season. This latest snow cover is not compacted making for dangerous conditions. If the snow storm occurs, climbers could have a difficult time during the descent.
  • Some climbers are expected to make a second attempt, which is very dangerous. Other climbers, including Wally Berg, himself, spend the night at Camp 4, which is not preferred. If these climber decide to climb, we could have some very weak and slow climbers.
  • We expect some teams not to leave for the summit, but to descend to lower camps because of the snow conditions.
  • Our prayers are with them, should they decide.

NEWSFLASH Update 5/19/98 11:04 AM EST US

  • Sherpa climbers refused to go on last night from the south summit citing dangerous snow conditions, coupled with numerous inexperienced climbers, many of which were running short on energy. On a day when the climbers have perfect weather, climbers ascended very quickly up from camp 4, and then started slowing as rapidly as they were ascending. At least one climber collapsed on the way back from the south summit. The climber was assisted by Sherpa and returned to camp 4. 
  • As we reported earlier, there was light snow cover on the mountain early in the season. This latest snow cover is not compacted making for dangerous conditions.

Update 5/19/98 00:02 AM EST US

  • Climbers are turning back from the south summit ! On a day when the climbers have perfect weather, climbers ascended very quickly up from camp 4, and then started slowing as rapidly as they were ascending. Wally Berg's team then turned around ! Ropes on Hillary's step are not believed to be fixed by  Berg's team. The climbers turned around very early in the day. We are speculating many climbers must have been drained of energy from the rapid ascend. We are not sure if any climbers continued. 

Update 5/18/98 10:02PM EST US

  • The race is on to summit before the weather changes. The summit window still appears open. Numerous climbers are climbing toward the summit. We believe the climbers consist of a partial teams from Wally Berg, Henry Todd, Singapore, Iran, and Michael Strynoe the Danish climber. 
  • As expected Wally Berg's Sherpa are apparently leading. 
  • The window might be closing. Some climbers are worried that bad weather (mainly snow) will hit again early on May 20th (Nepal), which would affect the 30 to 40 climbers that are expected to leave camp 4 on Tuesday night (Nepal).

Update 5/18/98 2:02PM EST US

  • The race is on to summit before the weather changes.
  • The summit window still appears open.
  • Reports of snow on the way.
  • Numerous climbers are leaving Camp 4.
  • Who will come back from the summit ?

NEWSFLASH Update 5/18/98 8:40 AM EST US

  • The window might be closing. Some climbers are worried that bad weather will hit again early on May 20th (Nepal).
  • Several climbers are expected to leave for the south summit at 10:00 to 11:00 PM Nepal Monday night.

Update 5/17/98 US

  • The summit window appears to be opening !
  • Many climbers are at Camp 2 and some at Camp 3 on the mountain.
  • The storm damage is real. The fresh snow is not compacted. The avalanche danger is real.
  • Who will risk it all, who will wait, many questions to be answered in the next few days.
  • Many inexperienced teams and many inexperienced climbers.
  • Many seem to be looking to Wally Berg for leadership.
  • Will they all wait for Berg to break trough the snow ? Or will someone else take to lead? We expect most to wait.
  • But the window might not wait !

Update 5/16/98 US

  • Most climbers are busy moving up the mountain.
  • It appears teams will be able to salvage most of their gear lost in the storm.
  • As reported earlier, we expect the break in the weather to continue with a potential summit window in the time frame May 17th to May 21st. It is not possible to tell if the window will continue beyond May 21st.

Update 5/15/98 US

  • Things are looking up on the South Side, as well. Many expeditions are making summit plans. Much of the supplies have been located. The expeditions are working together.
  • Climbers are moving up the mountain again.
  • As we reported yesterday. We expect a small break in the weather to occur with a potential summit window in the time frame May 17th to May 21st. Whether the window will continue beyond May 21st, is not possible to tell at this time.
  • Check the latest email from Adventure Consultants on our EverestNews.com page. It might be a sign (the weather).

Update 5/14/98 US

  • We expect a small break in the weather to occur with a potential summit window in the time frame May 17th to May 21st. Whether the window will continue beyond May 21st, is not possible to tell at this time.
  • All teams are still assessing the damage of the storm with no news on the status of Camp 3 and 4 conditions. 

Update 5/13/98 US

  • As reported yesterday many expeditions are rethinking Everest 98. Some teams are expected to head home, others are expected to form smaller summit teams with the gear they have left.
  • All teams are assessing the damage.
  • Cooperation after the storm is reported excellent with teams assisting one another.
  • Patience and strength are necessary on Everest.

Update 5/12/98 US

  • The jet stream has forced many expeditions to rethink Everest 98.
  • Some tents and supplies for teams at Camp 2 & 3 are lost.
  • We understand the Danish "Solo" Climber, Michael Strynoe, got mild frostbite from the storm. However, he's is planning on giving the summit another go in a few days if the weather breaks.
  • Iranian climbers are in good shape with no apparent ill effects from their time at the South Col.

Update 5/11/98 US

  • The arrival of a jet stream has forced most Sherpa back down the mountain.
  • Summit attempts are not expected until at least May 17th. 

Update 5/10/98   

  • Many Sherpa climbers are still at high camps.
  • Summit attempts are not expected until at least May 12th. 
  • Cooperation negotiations continue.

Update 5/9/98 US

  • Many Sherpa climbers are at high camps checking on the mountain.
  • Summit attempts are not expected until the 12th. 
  • No news on the Iranians. Cooperation negotiations continue.

Update 5/8/98 US

  • Iranian climbers are at high camps.  
  • Other teams are still in base camp.
  • Various Sherpa are still stocking Camp IV.
  • Wally Berg's Sherpa are expected to lead up the mountain.

Update 5/7/98 US

  • The weather has still not broke with the mild storm continuing (up high).
  • We are sticking to our report that Summit Attempts are not expected until at least May 12th. However, there are reports that earlier attempts could occur.
  • Cooperation negotiations continue.

Update 5/6/98 US

  • The weather has not broke with the storm continuing (up high).
  • Some teams are preparing to leave Base Camp with the apparent thought of being out in front on summit day.
  • Sherpa are expressing disappointment and outrage with the summit fever being shown this year on the South Side.
  • Sherpa are also expressing disappointment with the lack of experience of some climbers and the lack of cooperation that keeps appearing.

Update 5/5/98 US

  • The lines are fixed to the South Col.
  • The intensifying storm is continuing (up high) with strong wind.
  • Summit attempts are not expected until at least May 12th.
  • Camp 4 is still not fully established and supplied for some teams.
  • Cooperation problems might become the story of 98 Everest.

Update 5/4/98 US

  • The storm is intensifying in size (up high) with strong wind.
  • Summit attempts still not expected until the end of the week at the earliest.
  • Most expeditions at base camp or below base camp.
  • Sherpa for some teams have Camp 4 established, some other teams do not have Camp 4 established.
  • Various approaches taken by different expeditions.

Update 5/3/98 US

  • Wind is increasing up high with a minor (Everest) storm
  • Summit attempts are not expected until the end of the week at the earliest.
  • Some climbers still acclimatizing.
  • Most expeditions at base camp or below base camp.
  • Sherpa for some teams have Camp 4 established other teams do not have Camp 4 established.
  • Various approaches taken by different expeditions.

Updates 5/2/98 US

  • Some climbers still acclimatizing at Camp 2 and 3.
  • Many expeditions descended below base camp.
  • Sherpa are completing the fixed lines to South Col.
  • Sherpa still stocking high camps with oxygen and supplies.
  • Various approaches taken by different expeditions.

Updated 5/1/98 US

  • Some climbers still acclimatizing at Camp 2 and 3.
  • Other expeditions descending below base camp.
  • Sherpa are completing the fixed lines to South Col.
  • Sherpa stocking high camps with oxygen for some expeditions.
  • Various approaches taken by different expeditions.

Updated 4/30/98 US

  • Significant avalanche danger.
  • Many climbers are at Camp 2 and Camp 3.
  • Cooperation is reported improving.
  • Most climbers acclimatizing well, but some inexperienced climbers reported hard going.
  • The Lhotse face is a hard blue ice with light snow cover.
  • Numerous inexperienced teams on the South side.
  • There are concerned climbers worried about summit day.

Updated 4/29/98 US

  • The ropes to the South Col are not fixed yet.
  • Many teams are still in various stages of acclimatization.
  • Most teams are expected to descend to wait on the climbing window.

Updated 4/29/98 US

  • Many teams going up to camp 3 to sleep.
  • Sherpa are establishing camp 4, for some teams.
  • Light snow at base camp.
  • Camp 2 established for most teams.
  • Many teams on the South Side again this year.
  • Several teams with inexperienced members.
  • Some problems involving cooperation are reported.
  • The greenhouse effect is showing on the South Side also with temperatures last week around 60 degrees during the day and the teens at night.

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