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 Everest Autumn 2000

Presents Everest Autumn 2000 !

Ski Everest Climb

Updates below

Mt. Everest, October 7, 2000

It was a historical day for Slovenian. Davo Karnicar, of Jezersko, Slovenia, accomplished an uninterrupted ski descent from the top of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,848m). At 8 a.m. local time (4.15 CEST), Davo started his historical ascent, fulfilling his longtime dream to which he had aspired since 1996 when a snowstorm halted his efforts. Today, in only five hours, Davo skied uninterruptedly (without taking skis off) from the top of the mountain to base camp at 5,340m.

Davo Karnicar and Franc Oderlap began their ascent of Everest on Wednesday early in the morning. They left base camp, climbed the notorious Icefall, and reached Camp II well before noon. In a coordinated effort the Sherpa climbers has set out the same day for Camp IV to set tents. One of them had to return due to altitude sickness. After a good night's sleep, the Slovenian mountaineers on Thursday morning headed for Camp II, heavily loaded with gear. On Friday, they traversed below the Lhotse face over the Geneva Spur and the Yellow Band, the highest-lying tectonic joint in the world, and reached Camp IV at the South Col at an altitude of 7,950m just after noon. Davo was in a very good mood, feeling the Everest summit at his hand's reach. After setting up two tents together with the Sherpa climbers, Davo and Franc put every effort into taking in some food and drink - quite a strenuous pursue at such an altitude. To his own surprise, Davo consumed a large portion of tsampa mixed with cottage cheese which the Sherpas prepared.

At five p.m., the two Slovenians tucked into one sleeping bag - it would be too heavy to carry two - and slept for three hours with additional oxygen. Upon waking up, they were more exhausted than before, yet concentrated enough to prepare the gear and get dressed. They set out at 10.30 p.m. Franc put on apparel filled with down; Davo two fleeces, a windstopper and an anorak. It was a romantic night, Davo was joking: the moon was shining brightly. Davo put on ski boots and protectors, while Franc wore high altitude hiking shoes. They both put on crampons, as the slopes were icy and the snow compressed by wind. Where the snow was breakable crust, they were trudging a new path through the snow; while elsewhere the path was already made by the Korean team. When just below the Hillary step, Davo contacted base camp via radio. Conditions at the most dangerous section were ideal. It took Davo therefore only half an hour to reach the summit from the south peak.

On top the weather was wonderful, offering great views of Lhotse, Makalu and the neighboring peaks. At this early hour, 7 a.m., it was extremely cold on the Earth's tallest point. After one hour of preparations, photographing and warming-up, Davo skied down, while Franc Oderlap, Ang Dorjee Sherpa - who summited for a seventh time - and Passang Tenzing Sherpa descended on foot. The most difficult section of the ski descent was not, as Davo had supposed, the Hillary step, but the steep section leading to the south peak, with a considerable threat of avalanches. At Camp IV, Davo put on a camera weighing three kilos - which is why he decided not to ski with it right from the top. After several steep sections, he reached Camp III where he met other climbing members of the expedition, Tadej, Urban, Matej, Grega and Jurij the doctor. Yet the adventure was far from over. The Icefall was still to be skied, an immense psychological test for any skier. Davo was skiing under the haunting ice blocks, which can unexpectedly break and fall at any time.

The merry atmosphere at base camp was beyond description. We opened a bottle of champagne and toasted to Davo, who didn't go to sleep for a long time, though very tired.

The Slovenian team

Update: Back Home !

Davo and the SI.MOBIL Extreme Ski Everest team back in Slovenia!

Davo Karnicar and the rest of the team today landed at the Ljubljana Brnik airport, where they were greeted by many sports enthusiasts who via the internet and other media followed the progress of the expedition and its successful bid.

After a short press conference, the entire team headed for Jezersko (Davo's home town), where at 1 p.m. a party began to honor Davo and SI.MOBIL Extreme Ski Everest 2000's fantastic achievement.

Update: Celebration in Kathmandu

All expeditions which have conquered any eightthousander traditionally meet at Rum Doodle restaurant to celebrate the successful bid.

Members of expeditions put their signatures on a huge white sole, which is later hung on one of the restaurant walls. The bar on the first floor, named after a non-existent "highest" mountain, 40,000.5 feet, is reserved for Everest summiters. The bar and the restaurant yesterday hosted SI.MOBIL Extreme Ski Everest 2000 expedition, representatives of the Nepalese Ministry of tourism and of the Wilderness Experience agency, as well as some Davo's wife and friends who came to Nepal on a trekking. The summiters put their names into a special book and on a board, and receive 'summiters' cards.

Dispatch 10/16/2000:

Expedition arrived at Kathmandu

The SI.MOBIL Extreme Ski Everest 2000 expedition were today taken by helicopter from Namche Bazar to Kathmandu.

After settling in at the hotel, the team was invited to an official reception given by the Nepalese Ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation.

Everest North Side Autumn Update 10/16/2000:

Everest North Side - No Summit! 

Climbers of the 2000 Korean Quomolangma Expedition (Leader: Chang Byung Ho) attempting Everest from the North side via the North Col - NE Ridge route for this fall season were not lucky enough as their counter parts in the south to set their feet on the Earth's highest point due to adverse weather condition.  Two members and two Sherpa from this lone expedition climbing Everest from the North side made the first summit attempt on the 3 October from a final camp at 8350m. They reached a point near the Second Step and then strong winds prevented them from climbing further.  Lead climber of the team Ha Chan Soo and partner Shin Don Min made a second summit attempt on the 8 October. However, adverse weather condition compounded with severe physical exhaustion disoriented their progress above the Second Step and the expedition team decided to call of the expedition. Strong wind also ripped apart their tents at Camp II. 

In the recent years, this is the season (Autumn) with least expedition teams on the mountain. Both in the 98 and 99 autumn there were more than 3 expeditions on the mountain from this route.  However, no climbers reached the summit of Everest in 99 autumn season as well.  Three expedition team climbing Everest from the other side of the mountain (two Koreans and one Slovenian) via the South Col SE Ridge route were successful in placing climbers on the summit. 

A lone North American climber with one Sherpa team did arrive at Everest base camp on the North side to give company to the Koreans but they decided not to proceeded above base camp.

Ang Karma Sherpa
Windhorse Trekking (P) Ltd.

Dispatch 10/15/2000:

At Namche Bazar

After a few minor incidents, the SI.MOBIL Extreme Ski Everest 2000 team safely arrived at Namche Bazar.

All formalities have been settled, and the team is to take a helicopter directly for Kathmandu tomorrow. The entire expedition is to stay in Kathmandu till 28 October, when they are to fly to Vienna, to continue for Ljubljana, Slovenia, the following day. They are expected at the Ljubljana Brnik airport on Sunday, 29 October, at 10.40 a.m. CEST.

Dispatch 10/13/2000:

Grega Lacen arrived at Ljubljana.

Grega Lacen, who left Nepal earlier than the rest of the expedition because of his frostbitten toes, arrived at Ljubljana yesterday evening.

Grega's frostbitten toes will be from today on treated at Barotech Institute, Ljubljana, by means of a hyperbaric chamber.

Expedition left the base camp

This morning the expedition set out for Namche Bazar. Today the team members will sleep in Periche. Ang Dorje will stay at the base camp until enough yaks are available for transporting the rest of the equipment.

Interview with Davo after arrival to base camp

The whole ascent to Mount Everest took us four days, which is very normal, I think. We made a night summit bid because I wanted to ski when there is the least wind. So we started towards the summit on Friday at around 10 p.m. We were on top on Saturday between six and seven in the morning. We were very much surprised there was so much snow there! The Hillary step, the steep crest and huge amounts of snow which threatened to avalanche - these are the main characteristics of this first uninterrupted skiing from the top of the tallest mountain on this planet.

Davo, what about the Hillary step and the Icefall?

Well, the Hillary step was a problem already for the first climbers. For me, it turned out to be less dangerous than the pointed crest from the Hillary step to the Icefall. The Icefall is, of course, a huge sliding ground which can be avoided if approached from the left side, skiing along the main line leading into the serac, which is all the time falling from the Lho La saddle. 15 minutes before I skied there one major fall took place, so I knew it would take some time before another one. Somewhere faster, somewhere slower I in the end made it through the icefall.

Were you happy with the equipment you chose - skis, boots etc.?

Yes, very much so. All the gear was tested before, there weren't any problems at all. The Elan skis turned very adequate - light enough to bring them to the top and very functional in all sorts of snow that you come across when you ski down 4,000 vertical meters.

What about the camera on the helmet, did you use it from Camp IV?

Yes, I even managed to see a few shots, they are very good; we are also waiting for Ang Dorjee who filmed arrival to the top and the first meters of skiing. Quite a few shots were made from a distance through a telelens.

Davo, how are you feeling, what are your plans for the following days?

At this moment - to regain strength. Slowly, slowly I'm also becoming aware of the whole thing. It is something that was in my head for a long long time - I had it over in my thoughts so many times. Now it came true - it came true what I came here for. I've got no frostbites, rather fine.

Update: 10/13/2000

To Summary the Korean Summits of Everest that have been reported so far this Autumn 2000 by the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal:

Kim Hwan Koo & Kim Seong Cheol both on 10/4/2000; Members of the Korean Lhotse Expedition. 

On the Other Korean Expedition, Kim Woong Sik, Hong Sun Dok and Cho Cheol Hee all of the Chung-Buk Korean Expedition reached the Summit on 10/4/2000.

Kim Hong Bin, the climber with no hands was a member of this Chung Buk Korean Expedition. Kim's hands were amputated after he attempted to summit McKinley in 1991. Kim failed to Summit Everest...

Summary of the Slovenia Summits:

Davo Karnicar, Franc Oderlap, Sherpas Ang Dorjee Sherpa (again !!! He is a famous Sherpa climber.) and Pasang Tenzing.

Second group - Matej Flis, Grega Lacen and Tadej Golob also summited Everest.

Other Everest News: The Korean climber with "no hands" has given up...

Davo Karnicar accomplished a full top to bottom ski descent from Everest!

Previous Updates 10/5/2000 to 10/13/2000

Previous Updates 9/24/2000 to 10/4/2000

Previous Updates 9/18/2000 to 9/23/2000

Previous Updates 9/13/2000 to 9/17/2000

Previous Updates 9/8/2000 to 9/12/2000

Previous Updates 8/30/2000 to 9/7/2000

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