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Everest South Side Expedition: International

A British company has organized an expedition in which two teams are sharing a permit. There is an Irish part and an American part, we are told these are two different expeditions on one permit. Anyway, on to the news from the American Part (Adventures International):

Summits reports and other reports..

SUMMITS: The Following 2 members & 2 Sherpas of "Irish Everest Expedition 2003" team have been successful to climb the summit of 8848m.high Mt. Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) on 22nd May. 2003 at 09:50 AM-11:10 AM.

Name of the Summiteers

(1)   Mr. Michael Murphy (44 Yrs), Teacher, Russagh Mill, Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland.

(2)   Mr. Gerard McDonnell (31 Yrs), Electronic Engineer, Kilcornan, Askeaton, Co Limerick, Ireland.

(3)   Mr. Pemba Gyalje Sherpa (29 Yrs), Sirdar, Jubhing-8, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

(4)   Mr. Pemba Rinjee Sherpa (32 Yrs), Climbing Sherpa, Jubhing-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

The 10 members "Irish Everest Expedition 2003" team was permitted to climb 8848 Meter high Mt. Everest from South East Ridge for the period of Seventy five days from 19 March 2003 under the leadership of Mr. Patrick Falvey (45 Yrs), Climber/Adventurer from Beaufort, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland.

The Following 2 members & 2 Sherpas of "Irish Everest Expedition 2003" team have been successful to climb the summit of 8848m.high Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) on 22nd May 2003 at 12.30 PM.

Name of the Summiteers

(5)              Mr. Charles Scott Woolums (45 Yrs), Mountain Guide, Lincoln Street, Hood River, USA.

(6)              Mr. Clifford Dargonne (39 Yrs), Dentist, Whippingham Road Brighton, UK.

(7)              Mr. Mingmar Chhiri Sherpa (23 Yrs) Climbing Sherpa Jubhing - 1, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

(8)              Mr. Jangbu Sherpa (23 Yrs), Climbing Sherpa, Jubhing-1, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

            The 10 members "Irish Everest Expedition 2003" team was permitted to climb 8848 Meter high Mt. Everest from South East Ridge for the period of Seventy five days from 19 March 2003 under the leadership of Mr. Patrick Falvey (45 Yrs), Climber/Adventurer from Beaufort, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland.

May 21st, Waiting at the South Col in High Winds: A wild night last night up here at the south col. Last night over 60 people went up to try for the summit. Soon afterwards some very extreme winds turned all summit attempts around.

We made a decision to wait and not go up to conserve our oxygen for tomorrow or the next day. Very serious conditions though last night and this morning. Of the teams that went up last night, over half have now descended to camp 3 to recover.

Our Team is really doing excellent up here. Strong, good spirits, and ready to go. We have been using oxygen since arrival so are feeling super and sleeping well.

Talked to the Lhotse Team this morning. They spent last night at Lhotse Camp 4, 7800 meters, actually the last 3 nights there! They are moving down to Camp 2 today and doing well. Great job yesterday summiting Lhotse guys!

Our plans are to go this evening if we get a break in the weather. If not, we have enough oxygen to wait till the day after tomorrow.

Hanging out at the South Col! Day 2. 30 plus knots and a serious plume blowing off the top right now. Scott Woolums Reporting.

May 21st, Scott Calls in from Camp IV, 7900m: In a phone call from C4, Scott Woolums reports that all South Side summit push teams turned around tonight. The past twelve hours has been horrible, the wind pounding the tents all night. The climbers turned already before the balcony, as the Sherpas couldn't even reach there. The good news is that at the moment all climbers on the south side are back safe at C4, and at least 18 have already started a descent to C2.

May 20th, Phone call from Everest South Col: Climbers heading for summit in strong winds: Scott Woolums of Adventures International just called in from Camp IV, 7900m. Four hours ago (2000 hrs Nepal time), Sherpas left from Camp IV, to fix ropes from the Balcony, 8400m to the summit, 8848m. One hour after they left, other teams followed suit, first the Indians, then the Irish, French, and the rest in all about 75 climbers are currently making their way to the summit right now. Scott says that it looks like it's a cap cloud on the summit and he estimates that it is probably blowing 60 80 mile per hour up there.

At this minute (2.30PM EST), the climbers are just reaching the Balcony and the Sherpas are nearing the South Summit.

Scott is weary about the situation. His climbing experience tells him that these are not the best circumstances for a final summit push. The main problems being the wind, the clouds rolling in and the fact that the ropes to the South Summit, 8750m, have not yet been fixed. With the mass exodus from Camp IV for the summit, Scott is fighting the peer-pressure and has decided to wait another day at the South Col, to re-evaluate the situation, look at the weather conditions and see how the first wave of climbers are faring.

The current weather reports show unstable conditions over Everest. It is neither a window, nor a full storm. Those kind of conditions are very tricky for climbing decisions. Hard gusts of high wind alternate with pockets of calm, subjecting a summit push to a great deal of chance and risk.

The crucial point will be when the climbers reach the South Summit. There they will step out of the shelter of the ridge and out onto the exposed fore summit. Not until then will they be able to know the true force of the winds over the main summit.

May 20th, Just Arrived at the South Col! Yahoo, the Lhotse Team is safely back in camp 4 after reaching Lhotse summit this morning. A cold windy day, but John, Lorenzo, Pasang Nuru and Pemda Chirri all summited Lhotse! Congregations!

The Everest Team is up here at over 26,000 ft. now! Whew, an exciting day after leaving early this morning from camp 3 and coming up over the Yellow Band and the Geneva Spur.

Were all doing well here at the south col, on oxygen, settling in for a short nap. then a bit later tonight its off to the summit!

Fairly good conditions here at the South Col. Winds of 30 mph and sunshine. Were all set for tonight, just time to relax and brew up. Our Sherpas are all doing very well, with Phenden. Llama Babu, Jangbu and Mingma all here. Pasang Nuru may come up from Lhotse. These guys are amazing. they came up from camp 2 today with loads to support our summit day.

We plan to have at least one safety/rescue sherpa(s) stay here when we go up. This is critical in the event of an emergency. The additional support of having at least one sherpa that can bring up extra oxygen or assistance quickly is super important. Off to the summit tonight! Were all hoping for good weather tonight. Watch for a report and photos from the summit in the morning if we get good conditions!

The winds have really kicked in with a huge plume blowing off Everest right now. We have enough oxygen to sit out another day if we need to. Right now there's no chance to summit in these winds. So we are hoping for a change today. Scott Woolums Reporting.

Pictures copyright Scott Woolums

May 22, 2003  12:45pm (Nepal local time): Scott, called home via satellite phone from the summit of Mt. Everest to report that he and Cliff Dargonne were standing on top of the world at 29,035 feet, along with Sherpas Jangbu and Minga Chirri! He said they climbed through a storm that blew in making the going tough with lots of wind on the summit ridge. "We couldn't even see the main summit from the south summit...looked up to see patches of blue sky and decided to push on," he recalled. Kevin Neal and Sean McEvoy accompanied them to the south summit before making the difficult decision to descend. They are all resting safely at camp IV at this hour. Stay tuned for more details.

May 24th, All Expedition Members in Base Camp after Successful Summit Climb!

Everyone is here in base camp after a truely successful season on Everest and Lhotse. The feeling of coming down after a long time at extreme altitudes is hard to describe. Even here at almost 18,000 ft. it feels like sea level after being almost 72 hours at or above 26,000 ft.. Really have enjoyed being here with the whole team and the Sherpas that have worked so hard to make it a successful and safe season. Look for later reports detailing the Sherpas that helped make it happen!

Both Teams are here now. John and Lorenzo are enjoying being down off Lhotse and they are planning to fly out with the Everest Team to Kathmandu. Scott, Sean, Cliff and Kevin are recovering from a long stay up high and will start packing gear for the helicopter ride out day after tomorrow!

Were all down safe, enjoying a bit of celebration with the Irish Team right now. The Sherpas have been working hard bringing down everything from up high. Tomorrow night we'll have a party to celebrate both the Everest and Lhotse Teams summits (and South Summits!). We have a chartered helicopter coming in on the 26th which will let us all get back home just a little bit sooner.

A brief list of our Expedition Success

Lhotse Summit- May 20th 9.15am
John Rust
Lorenzo Gariano
Pemba Sherpa
Pasang Nuru Sherpa

Everest Summit- May 22nd 12.30pm
Scott Woolums
Cliff Dargonne
Jangbu Sherpa
Mingma Chiri Sherpa

Everest South Summit- May 22nd 10.00am
Sean McEvoy
Kevin Neal
Phenden Sherpa
Llama Babu Sherpa

Its been a long season here in the Himalayas. Now its off to spend some time at home before our South America, Europe, and Russian Climbing seasons begin this summer. Watch for more live reports following Scotts Kazakstan trip coming up in July. Full coverage of a climb of the spectacular Kang Tengri Peak in the Tien Shan Mountains of Northern China region! Scott Woolums Reporting


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