Kari Kobler's Mount Everest 2002 Expedition

Kari Kobler

Stormy night for Kari and six climbers in Camp 1 at 7100m

Note: All relatives and friends that are using the website to get information about the health status of the expedition members please be advised that despite the reports on the website, should there be serious illnesses you will be informed directly by us and not per internet. Thanks M. Merat.

May 6th: Wind gusts continually rush across Camp 1, they thunderously roll in from far above, swoosh over our 2 person tents, hammer them with incredible force, our breathing stops. Our tents stand up bravely to the pressure, unlike the four person tents of another expedition, which is flattened, as well as our shower and toilet tents as we shall find out later. We pull out sleeping bags over our noses as a cover, as the immense power of the gusts presses finest snow through the tent walls - a drizzle of snow crystals hits our faces - brrr. The incredible noise outside finds no end, continues through the night, and together with the icy cold deprives us of all sleep.

A great example of the difference (or relativity?) in sensibility to cold: Hansruedi, wearing a full down suit, wriggles himself into the sleeping back, while Kari sleeps in a thermal shirt and sweater in an open sleeping bag - yes, we feel a little jealous. The morning we hoped for, with sunshine and clear visibility, doesn't come, instead of climbing on we descent towards ABC in dense snow fall.

Let's track back: Kari and six members set off on April 28 on a sunny day, hooked into the fixed ropes of the steep face to the North Col, in order to spend the next two nights there and in the intermediate camp at 7500m. A thick fog already surrounded us at the North Col, and the icy wind made us jump quickly into our sleeping bags in the protective tents after grabbing some food from the mess tent. The night, a true endurance test, we will never forget.

ABC was not spared the gusty winds; our mess tents, quite a strong construction, still stands, but the interior is covered with a fine powdered snow, the warmth and comfort is once had changed over to a mysterious cold. Whoever wanted to sit down to eat had to clear the seat from snow, and despite an attempt at heating with two gas heaters one quickly retreated into the warmth of the sleeping bag.

Most of the members of the North Col expedition set off to the day march to base camp since above 5500m there is no physical recovery possible. Well fed and recovered we will try anew on May 3 to reach ABC. In the meantime our sherpas have established fixed ropes to 7800m, as well as the two camps at 7500m and 7800m. According to the weather report the weekend is supposed to be sunny and less windy from Tuesday on. We are looking forward to the next ascents.


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