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 Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Team Everest Expedition 2001

North Side

Leader Mr. Ian Edward Atkins from England

13 members, 6 climbing Sherpas from Asian trekking supporting the expedition. 


Jim Morning Deputy Team Leader

Brian Kirkpatrick  Doctor

Jim Lennie

Heavy Whally

Ned Kelly

Dan Carroll

Steve Price

Nick Sharpe

Willie McRitchie

Kenny Kenworthy

Richard Bale

Jim Groak






Update 5/21/2001: Summit attempt by two of their members !

Update 5/22/2001: Summits !

Dan Carroll and Rusty Bale at 11:10hours Nepal time

Update 5/23/2001: The second summit pair from the RAF have turned back at Camp three as one of them is having stomach problems. The others are still on the hill looking to summit tomorrow and Friday.  I will let you know as soon as I hear anything worthwhile.  Thanks for your interest, Carol RAF

Paul "Semi" Le Bon
Public Relations Officer
RAF Mountain Rescue Association

Update 5/25/2001: Following the successful ascent on 22 May by Chief Technician Dan Carroll and Corporal "Rusty" Bale, the expedition received a congratulatory e-mail from the expedition Royal Patron, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. 

Next to make an attempt were Flight Lieutenant Jim Lennie and Sergeant Willie Macritchie. Unfortunately, late last night we heard the news that Jim and Willie were abandoning their Summit attempt at camp 3 due to Jim feeling unwell with stomach problems.  Willie in fine R.A.F Mountain Rescue tradition; is putting the safety of his partner above his own Summit Goal and will accompany Jim back down to the North Col today.

Thanks must go to them both for another tremendous effort on behalf of the Team and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service. More members of the team are moving up to ABC while the weather holds.  We anticipate a further attempt tomorrow 24 May by Flt Lt Ted Atkins (Exped Leader) and Wing Commander Brian Kirkpatrick (Exped Dr). 

The expedition remains optimistic that further successful summit attempts are achievable.

Best wishes, Paul "Semi" Le Bon Public Relations Officer 

RAF Mountain Rescue Association


Update 5/30/2001: Hello EverestNews.com, The RAF Mountain Rescue Service expedition has been plagued with erratic communications problems with the UK.  With luck, this issue has been resolved and we are expecting regular (hopefully daily) updates.  The expedition status is as follows: 

1. All expedition members are safe and well.
2. Ned Kelly, Kenny Kenworthy and Pete Greening are at Camp 1.  Steve Price and Jim Groark attempted to reach Camp 3 but were forced to turn back due to bad weather.  They are at ABC along with Ted Atkins and Brian Kirkpatrick. All other expedition members are at Base Camp.
3. Weather permitting; Ned, Kenny and Pete are planning a summit attempt on Saturday 2nd June.  Followed by Ted and Brian who will make their attempt on Sunday 3rd June.


Update 6/2/2001: Ted Atkins (expedition leader), Brain Kirkpatrick (expedition doctor), and Jim Groak were planning to start their summit bid at 1:00 am or so in Tibet from Everest high camp. The weather is unstable. The RAF team, or any others below, will not be able to see them until first light with their telescopes, radio communications are poor with few left on the mountain.


All are experienced climbers, but only Ted has 8000 meter experience before this expedition.


The other group from the RAF turned back yesterday before high Camp.


Rescue would be next to impossible with so few on the mountain. Three men on Everest, almost alone, going for the Summit !


NEWSFLASH Update 6/3/2001: They did go for it ! But, Ted Atkins (expedition leader), Brain Kirkpatrick (expedition doctor), and Jim Groak could not find the ropes above high camp last night. Therefore they have delayed their summit attempt until tonight!


Some of this route is not roped. It is unclear if any experienced Sherpa climber is with them. Asian Trekking, the expedition company that supplies Sherpas climbers to most expeditions on the North, is supporting this expedition with 6 Sherpa climbers. However the RAF has not mentioned them in the last few days. Dan Carroll and Rusty Bale, from this expedition, reached the Summit of Everest earlier in the Expedition.


NEWSFLASH Update 6/3/2001: I see from your site that you have the latest news [That is our job !] ; thanks for your interest.  Brian, Ted and Jim are going again tonight, as they have enough O2 at their high camp to make a second attempt.  You will probably hear before I do [We will try !], but if not I will email you tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.


All the best Carol , RAF 


[Wishing the RAF all the best, a good bunch !]


Update 6/4/2001: RAF Summit attempt off. The climbers coming down due to bad weather....

Everest 2001

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