Kari Kobler's Mount Everest 2002 Expedition

Kari Kobler

May 10th: Despite strong winds, strong performance by the sherpas to fix ropes to Camp 3 at 8300m: The first members of the expedition meet the requirements of attempting the summit by reaching the intermediate camp at 7500m including a stay over night.

The ones that didn't hesitate to undertake the trip ABC-Base Camp-ABC another time, now notice with excitement that the process of acclimatization is working. The first time around, the distance to ABC didn't seem to shorten at all, while we were taking step after step, with a hanging head, half our weight rested on the hiking poles, our gaze fixed on the next immediate pace, breathing at high frequencies during the fight for every meter of altitude.

Now, in upright position and with swift speed we can appreciate the impressive landscape, particularly after the intermediate camp: our path leads us in a long right turn up a rock slope, bordered on both sides by blue-white ice seracs - like giant shark tooth - and slowly the north face of Everest is revealed. Simply wonderful!

Wind on Everest - he currently determines and tortures our possibilities and everything we do. Our expectations are literally lost in it - yet, our sherpas delivered an incredible performance. During extremely difficult conditions at wind speeds more than 100km/h - and here it should be noted that our route on the North side of Everest runs primarily across very exposed ridges - the sherpas have reached Camp 3 at 8300m with rucksacks of rope, tents, oxygen tanks, food, cooker, mats and many more things against the wind, and fixed it with ropes. The materials were simply stocked at Camp 2 and 3, since tents were in danger of being collapsed or blown away. After the work was done, the sherpas descended to the North Col, just to carry more equipment up the following day. Anyone who has ever been above the North Col and experienced the wind conditions there, can only be amazed and full of respect for the sherpas. A big compliment to out helpers.

Because of the strong winds 3 team members reached intermediate camp in an exhausted state and descended the same day; under the same conditions Kari and five expedition members decided for acclimatization reasons to spend the night - an unforgettable night. Mercilessly - and much fiercer than the North Col -  the wind pounded the tents, lifted the tent floors, shuttered the entire construction, and in combination with the uneven floor this robbed us of virtually all sleep. The look on the watch became a frustrating routine, a gulp from the thermos or a trip to the toilet the only way of killing time. The only thought was the escape from the psychological pressure "wind", means descent at the earliest possible. Chomolungma doesn't seem to be willing to accept any visitors, so we wait. Michele Mérat


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A landscape treat in the 2nd ascent to ABC