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Everest South Side Expedition: Everest 50
The fiftieth anniversary expedition. (French)

 Current Nepal Time

First the summit news then the dispatches

The Following 1 member of "Everest 50 Expedition 2003" team has been successful to climb the summit of 8848m. high Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) on 23 May. 2003 at 6:30 AM.

Name of the Summiteers

1.     Mr. Patrick Berhault (46 Yrs), Rue Jean Charcot, La Trinite, France. 

The 12 members "Everest 50 Expedition 2003" team was permitted to climb 8848 Meter high Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) from South East Ridge for the period of Seventy-five days from 31 March 2003 under the leadership of Mr. Jean Michel Asselin (51 Yrs)  Mountain Guide from St Bernard Du Touvet, France. 

Wednesday May 21st  - afternoon:

Information has been specified for this morning. There will be an attempt today! The weather at 17h for us is not so bad: this evening, the sky will be clear for the night and the south-western wind will blow at 40km/h at the South col to reach 80 km/h at the top. Thursday morning, the weather will be nice before the sea of clouds at 7.500m does not go up causing falls of snow until the evening. The wind will blow at 70 km/h in the day at top. Aude Joncquiert-Latarjet and Brice Lequertier are at camp IV and have decided to go this evening towards the summit. Departure at 22h, they follow the same program as those of the day before. They will be accompanied by the sherpas and a hundred applicants to the summit resulting from other expeditions.

At camp III, Patrick Berhault, Patrick Gabarrou, Nicolas Mugnier and Eric Loizeau prepare an attempt for tomorrow evening. Basile and Marcel sleep also at camp III and will probably go down to camp II tomorrow. Laetitia, Jean-Christophe, Mario, Bruno are at camp II with Dominique, Guillaume, Philippe, Hugues and Daniel Blanchi. They will return tomorrow or after tomorrow to the base camp after having greeted the mountain. As per his fall in crack which could have been dramatic, Dominique suffers from a fracture of the nose and perhaps of the wrist. He will go down early tomorrow to the base camp with the Sherpas and should be repatriated to Katmandu for a radiographic review.

Jean-Michel is at base camp. The descent since camp IV was not easy. He left with a sherpa before the others at 6h this morning to be able to carry out the almost 3.000m of uneven during the day, Jean-Michel has to seek the trace which the snow of the night had covered. After a funny session of injection in the open air at camp II on a sleeping bag in the beautiful area of the glacier, he joined the base camp at the end of the afternoon. His eye is well, it was a frostbit of the cornea which grows blurred little by little under the action of the drugs given since 24h and the perfusion posed by Régis. Yesterday finally, only Hugues d' Aubarède, Dominique Blanc-Vial, Daniel Blanchi and Serap left towards the summit. Guillaume and Philippe remained with Jean-Michel for the night at camp IV and could admire the strange and beautiful spectacle of the lines of each one’s frontal lights stretching on the mountain.

Hugues reached the 8.200m, Daniel the 8.100m and Dom 8.000m. As for the sherpas, still and always, they are admirable. Their work at the Southern col under often unbearable conditions of cold, is without fault: attentive, far-sighted, with equal mood and armed with an exceptional courage, they equip the way, greet the climbers, guide them; for that and all the remainder, an immense thank you on behalf of Everest 50.  

Thursday May 22nd, 2003

That’s it! the way of the 8.850m is open. The first steps of the season to the top are those of Pemba Risi, one of the Sherpas which equipped the way. Aude and Brice run towards the top at 23h30, a little later than envisaged. With them, the Sherpas Temba Nuru and Then Dorje and more than one hundred of climbers. Aude stopped between 8.600m and 8.700m, under the summit. She started to feel her extremities freezing; with lucidity and reason she preferred to go back. At 7h Aude was resting in good health at the Southern col before going down again to camp III. Brice has continued upwards under difficult conditions: wind at more than 70km/h, a clear sky quickly covered and falls of snow. In the lower camps, waiting is long and is shared among anguish and exaltation. 9h30, telephone call: Brice is at the South col, camp IV, he is well. He gave up at 8.800m at the Hillary step, last stride before the top. The conditions had become too difficult, the very reduced visibility made him to turn back.

This morning, about fifteen people would have reached the top of the world according to Jean-Michel: "the crenel of weather was very short and was reserved for the very good ones: those who had enough experience and resources to make this ascent quickly were the summiteers day. What Aude and Brice did is already a terrific prowess ". Patrick Berhault and Nicolas Mugnier have been at camp IV since this morning. Patrick Gabarrou and Eric Loizeau should join them during the day to leave with them this evening. Serap Jangbu, the sirdar of Everest 50 in string for the challenge of the fourteen 8.000 will belong to the ropes. Finally nobody managed to dissuade Hugues d' Aubarède who was ready to accompany them.

As yesterday, the crenel of good weather will be short: this evening snow in small quantity for the end of day; improvement in middle of night for good weather until Friday midday. The south-western wind of 40km/h at 8.000 m for 60km/h at the top this evening would fall to 30km/h at 8.850m tomorrow. The summit is from now on equipped and it is not necessary to await for the head team to open the way to engage there. From Camp III, Basile is descended in snowboard and unfortunately made a fall in bottom of the slopes of Lhotse. Jean Blanchard doctor of urgencies took care of him. He would suffer from two broken ribs.

He rests this evening at camp II and will go down tomorrow to the base camp with the sherpas. Laetitia and Jean-Christophe slowly accompanied Dominique still shocked by his fall of yesterday of 150m finished in a crack which fortunately did not want of him, they left camp II for the base camp. They arrived at base camp at the beginning of afternoon. The snowflakes did not make it possible for the helicopter to land and there are strong chances so that it is postponed for the following day. Basile would benefit from it to regain Katmandu. From Camp II, this morning, Guillaume left earlier: gone down yesterday from camp III to camp II with ski, he continued this morning to camp I.

The conditions of snow were not good, the frozen surface made the descent dangerous. He took off his skis at the top of Ice Fall to join the base camp by foot. It is the last attempt this evening for Everest 50. Everyone crosses the fingers for those who are on the mountain.  



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