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 July 1-10th,1999 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News: 7/10/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: They are climbing again ! Very interesting...

Update 7/8/99:


Gasherbrum - Camp 1 5,950m, 47th day of the expedition

Wind has blown a lot at  heights today on Gasherbrum. Koreans tried to get the summit, but they returned from 7,400m due to wind strength. Even though, Pepe and Andrew and the Spaniards followed to camp 3 (7,000 m). I've got a super coughing attack and sore throat. I preferred to be waiting for a weather improvement here at camp 1.  Tomorrow Abele and Andrew are arriving from base-camp and I intend to go up with them.


Update 7/9/99:


Gasherbrum   Camp I, 5,950m / Camp III,   7,000m, 48th day of the expedition

Abele, Christian and I have come to camp 3 today at 7,000m of altitude, while the Spaniards and Englishmen took advantage of the beautiful day to get the summit of Gasherbrum II, 8,035m. In a total 16 people have succeeded.

I expect  to go on in my attempt today at midnight with Abele, Pepe and Christian. Let's cheer this year's first climb in  the Project K2 succeeds.


Daily News: 7/9/99 Report

EverestNews.com thinks You will be hearing much more about Fred in the future... Learn why.

Daily News: 7/8/99 Report

Ginette has clearly establish herself as one of the best female high altitude climbers in the world, if not the best. Learn why.

  • 1999 K2: They are climbing again ! Very interesting...

    Update 7/6/99:


    Hidden Peak -Base 5,220m,  45th day of the expedition

    My friends, the weather is very bad unfortunately. The sky was full of dark clouds today, with an intermittent blizzard every hour. We receive the forecast today from Spain and this instability will go on till Friday at least. That forecast was done by the meteorologist Daniel Ramirez, with very high efficiency, and is sponsored by BARRABES (one of the best alpinism equipment shops in Spain, see www.barrabes.com. )

    While we are waiting, we take advantage to rest and have a good food . Here at base-camp we have a cook, who offers us a great variety of   meals. His name is Baker and cooks very well. He's the same cook we had in our expedition to K2 last year. Baker works for Adventure Tours Pakistan (www.atp.com.pk), the agency which is supporting us. Each four days the agency gets the food  to our base-camp. Yesterday afternoon we had a surprise, which made Baker's eyes shine: a Goat!!! Our cook followed by Mohamed (his helper) hunted the animal today morning and prepared a lovely lunch. Here at base-camp we eat basically potatoes, rice, chapati (a kind of bread) and dhal (lentils). We are free of that type of menu thanks to food that we have brought from Italy (much pasta,  many olives, cheeses, hams, sweets, biscuits, etc...).


    Update 7/7/99:


    Gasherbrum Base,  5,220m / Camp 1, 5,950 m, 46th day of the expedition

    The meteorology has forecasted unstable weather with   storms for yesterday and today, getting better tomorrow but with strong winds S-SW on the summits. Temperature  0 degrees C at 4,500m and minimum from -20/-25 degrees at 8,000 m. The weather must get worse on Friday. In this situation and taking in consideration that the days are going by so quickly, we have decided to change our plans once more. We believe that here is no enough time to end the climb to Hidden Peak, but we can make an attempt to climb Gasherbrum, a much less complicate mountain. It's a pity, but it will just be successful if the weather permits.

    Also, it's an effort union, with the Spanish Oscar Cardiach's expedition and with the Korean Sang Bae Lee's expedition, who are at Gasherbrum camp 2. We are going to leave at 5:00 pm to camp 1 and early in the morning, around 5:00 am, we'll go on aiming to reach camp 3, at 7,000m and finally make the final attack together in the morning after. Let's cheer the weather helps us.


Daily News: 7/7/99 Report

  • EverestNews.com received the following report from Bikrum Pandey of HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu.

EverestNews.com, I have discussed this (the question of Charles Corfield's summit) with Above the Cloud's Managing Director Mr. Gyalzen Sherpa, over a long lunch. Gyalzen (Gyatsen) is the organizer of Willie's Berg's last years expedition and this years' American Millenium Expedition.

According to Gyalzen his climbing Sherpas gone with Charles had reported, on return, to their Base Camp Sirdar Chungba Sherpa of this American Millenium Expedition that Charles Corfield's team had reached to the Bishop Rock where Willie Berg had installed GPS Satellite last year. This Bishop Rock site is believed to be short of 50 feet below the real summit.

When they reported to the Ministry Tourism about their Summit Success, Corfield, according to Gyalzen, might have thought that few feet here and there (50 feet) did not make much of a difference to the real summit, which can often happen in the mountain. So they could have reported it as the summit success to Nepal's Ministry of Tourism.

So, HIMALAYA Center thinks that Charles Corfield's team had summitted the Bishop Rock, not the Internationally accepted Mt. Everest Summit.

The next step will be to interview the sherpas themselves.

Thanks Bikrum Pandey @HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu

Bikrum Pandey at HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu, is a well recognized source of information in Nepal. He is a senior Tourism Professional of Nepal, Vice President Nepal's Mountaineering Association and Correspondent of Britain's reputed HIGH magazine . Bikrum is a regular contributor to EverestNews.com.

Daily News: 7/6/99 Report


  • 1999 K2: The Hidden peak climb becomes Very interesting...

    Update 7/3/99:


    Hidden Peak  -   Camp 1, 5,950 m /  Base 5,220 m,42nd day of the expedition

    Fortunately we are at base-camp for resting after 6 work days in superior altitudes. And here, at base, I can explain better what we have been doing, because I update K2 on-line directly with my notebook. When I am climbing, I use the Iridium to update K2 on-line, calling my office in Brazil, but not always possible to publish what I want.

    Well, Pepe and I descended from camp 1 today, amidst a thin snow. In fact, the weather has got worse and we took the right decision to return from 7,100 m yesterday, leaving there just some equipment and setting our camp 3. It was a hard decision, as with camp 3 set, we could reach the summit. Here's a part of the story that neither I nor Pepe can understand well.

    Yesterday the day was very hard, we worked much to get the superior Glacier which would take us to camp 3. On Jun 30th Pepe and I fixed 600m ropes in the Japanese Corridor. On Jul. 1st, Abele Christian and Andrew (our colleagues who were at base-camp), arrived at camp 2 where we were resting (in that day the Koreans fixed more 200 m of ropes). then, all our team left early (6:00 am) yesterday trying to reach camp 2 definitively in order to prepare our final attack. But, while we were going up, the weather got worse, a cold wind started blowing and when we finished the fixed ropes the difficulties went on. We were climbing on a ground, half rock, half ice, from 45 to 55 degrees inclination. And we had no option unless continue fixing ropes.

    Around  7,000 meters of altitudes, the rock wall   was replaced by an immense glacier, there we put the last stake in the snow and tied the rope end. At that point, we were climbing amidst a snowstorm with a short visibility. The wind became stronger, but sometimes it almost stopped. At that time we all had decided to return to camp 2, because with such weather conditions it would be hard to set camp 3 and, furthermore follow to the summit in the next day. I started the long descending followed by Pepe and asking myself if we could get the base, it would be better to rest. Unfortunately it was late when we arrived at camp 2 (5:00 pm), even tired we didn't rest and  went on to camp 1 (the lower altitude it is, the better you feel to rest, due to an increase of oxygen concentration). We always looked up, to see if  our friends were descending, but we couldn't see anything. I was surprised when I was near camp 1, I saw in the same place where we had finished the climb, 3 dots moving. Pepe and I can't understand why our colleagues didn't respect what we had agreed and decided to spend the night at 7,100m. We haven't had news of them so far, although we have insisted on a contact by radio, no success. Now, it is 5:15 pm at base-camp, it's snowing a lot, we hope Abele, Christian and Andrew are OK.


    (legenda da foto) The photo shows the beginning of the Japanese Corridor. 3 work-days to find a safe path among the rock towers.


    Update 7/4/99:


    Hidden Peak     Base-camp 5,220m, 43rd day of the expedition

    Pepe and I have had some tense moments here at base-camp. The weather keeps unstable, it snowed a lot at night, and so far 3:10 pm we have no news of our friends. Well, it's sure that they set camp 3 at 7,100m, a day before yesterday, when Pepe and I came  to camp 1. Yesterday would be the day that they would attack the summit, but as the weather was very bad, they probably decided to wait one day else at 7,100 m. So, I believe that they are coming down today to camp 2, very frustrated by the bad weather, and tomorrow they must arrive at base-camp. I hope so, but I can't understand why they couldn't get in touch by radio, I don't believe that they haven't taken a radio with them.


    Today I leave you one more photo in the Japanese Corridor, where my friend Pepe Garces appears in one of the most difficult parts, under a negative wall, fixing ropes. On the first workday  Pepe and I spent  seven hours to fix 600 m of ropes. These ropes are very important to ease our climb, and a possible exit in case of bad weather.


    Update 7/5/99:


    Hidden Peak   -   Base-camp 5,200m,   44th day of the expedition

    Dear friends:

    With pleasure I communicate that all our team is well. And the news is still better, Abele Blanc and Christian Kuntner are the first alpinists that arrived at the summit of Hidden Peak this year, although it has been very hard and they were very unruly.

    In fact, they decided to set camp 3 at 7,100 m, just after Pepe and I had started descending to camp 2, as it was agreed among us (on Jul. 2nd). The Australian Andrew Lock had stayed with them, all of them intended to leave to the summit at 10:00 pm, but the wind was very strong. They waited all night for a wind stop and it stopped around 4:30 am. Then, they began the final attack by 5:00 am, quite late and with short visibility. After 30 minutes Andrew got late and couldn't see his companions anymore returning  to his tent at camp 3. Abele and Christian went on facing difficulties, threat of board avalanches, strong wind, short visibility. They got lost several times, but they went on up, arriving at the summit at 5:30 pm yesterday (Jul. 4th). The wind was very strong and Abele has confessed he was  afraid of being taken by the wind. The descending was nervous too, our friends couldn't find the descending path amidst a snowstorm and with the sunset they were already imagining to spend the night out. It was when they found several signals of old camps and finally their tent at camp 3. The arrival at the summit of Hidden Peak by Abele and Christian was, undoubtedly, a big demonstration of courage but also an unnecessary demonstration of imprudence. The life exposition to such extreme conditions isn't  worth. The rest of the team got very worried, because all of us had taken the decision to go to camp 2 and not  to continue up the summit. My friends, the mountains life is very beautiful and knowing how to live it and preserve it depends on each one. The nice living among  a good team is one of the biggest satisfaction I've already had. It's a pity that, sometimes, the man puts his   personal pride above the common aim. That's why, on one hand I'm very glad because they are Ok, but on the other hand, I'm very disappointed by our companion's individualism and by the lack of respect to their own lives.

    Our Sunday (yesterday) was dark and cold. It snowed all day long.. Practically everybody descended from superior camps to base today. The weather got a little better today, but the snow kept falling, provoking big avalanches. Koreans and Spaniards have already set camp 3 at Gasherbrum II and wait at base-camp  for good weather conditions. Two new expeditions are among us, both Americans, one of them will climb Gasherbrum IV through via Bonatti and other commercial to Gasherbrum II. 



    (legenda da foto)  Christian Kuntner and Abele Blanc, the first alpinists to climb Hidden Peak this year, just after arriving at base this   morning.

    For earlier reports on 1999 K2

Daily News: 7/5/99 Report


Daily News: 7/3/99 Report

  • 1999 K2:

    Update 7/1/99:


    Pepe Garces and I rested at camp 2 today and fortunately Abele, Christian and Ralph  came from base-camp up and now  the team  is all together. Therefore, we intend to follow to camp 3 tomorrow. The weather is reasonable, winding a little  and quite cold at high altitudes. Here, at camp 2 it was (-) 18 degrees C  at night  . Let's cheer the   weather doesn't get worse and   then we can arrive at Camp 3 at  7,200m of altitude and on   Saturday we can get the summit of Hidden Peak   at 8,068m.

    Exclusive. Don't miss this Sunday, at a   TV Program called  Fantαstico in Brazilian TV, Globo Network, images from the beginning of the expedition of the Project K2: the arrival in Pakistan, the approximation walking to   Hidden Peak  and Gasherbrum base-camp.

    Update 7/2/99:


    Hidden Peak - Camp 2,  6,500m/7,100m   /   Camp 1 5,950m,         41st day of the expedition

    Today was the longest and toughest day of the expedition. We started climbing at 7:00 am through the "Japanese Corridor" and at 2:00 pm we were at the end of the fixed ropes amidst a strong snowstorm. The wind was strong and the visibility was less than 40 meters.

    Unfortunately the  difficulty in our path has surprised us. We went up to 7,100m of altitude, climbing on a breaking rock and sank in a  snow   up to 50 degrees inclination.

    At that  moment we were all decided to return to camp2. Pepe and I initiated our descending immediately. Before,  we left a warehouse with tent, food and fuel for our next lunge. To our surprise, our colleagues didn't come down, improvising a camp 3 at 7,100. Pepe and I came to camp 1, where we arrived at 8:00 pm very tired. I'll send further details tomorrow direct from base-camp. 

  • Eric Simonson Complete Q&A on the Mallory findings will be posted next week.
  • Our Featured Book is News:

    The New edition: THE CLIMB: TRAGIC AMBITIONS ON EVEREST [Updated Edition] is a Trade Paperback of 412 pp.

    The trade paperback has three new chapters in addition to what appears in the  mass market paperback (the small one). Those three chapters:

    EVEREST UPDATE: A RESPONSE TO JON KRAKAUER: This is a 14,000+ word history and analysis of the Boukreev-Krakauer controversy.

    A REVIEW FROM THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB,This is a reprint of Galen Rowell's review of THE CLIMB that ran in the 1998 edition of THE AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL.

    This is a verbatim transcript of the audio-taped debriefing of the  Mountain Madness Expedition members, made five days after the tragedy.

    Source:  Weston DeWalt

  • World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover.
  • Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998

Daily News: 7/2/99 Report

  • Eric Simonson Q&A Part 1 on Mallory findings with questions from the staff and Our Everest Insiders members:

Q.) Many readers are interesting in how this expedition got started and the role of Larry Johnson and Jochen Hemmleb. Maybe the readers could hear the short story of their role in getting this expedition going, and what they are doing now.

A.) This expedition was the idea of Larry Johnson and Jochen Hemmleb, both Everest historians.  Larry contacted me during the summer of 1998 about organizing a Mallory Expedition which would join my Everest team in 1999 to the North Side.  I had planned to organize a commercial climb for 1999 along the lines of our successful 1998 International Mountain Guides expedition that Dave Hahn had led for me. From the beginning of our conversations, however, it became apparent to me that for this Mallory Expedition to be successful, it could not just be an "add on" to a commercial climb.  It had to be a dedicated expedition.  Our priorities had to be the search, number one, and any summit climb would have to take second place.  When I committed to organizing the expedition during the Autumn of 1998, it was one this basis.  That was one reason the expedition was so challenging to put together for me, even though I have done dozens of big trips before.  I had no clients writing checks.  We had to raise every nickel of the 300K we needed starting from scratch, and we had about 3 months to do it. We worked very hard all winter to get the sponsors on board to support the expedition.  Back in the dark days of December, when everyone thought we were nuts, it seemed like a long shot that we would ever get on an airplane, let alone find anything. 

Since getting home, Larry, Jochen, and I are working very hard with The Mountaineers and the other team members to finish up the official Expedition Book which will be titled Ghosts of Everest, and which will be published by the Mountaineers Press in October.

Q.) Do you believe the climber the Chinese found in 75 (?) was Mallory ?

A.) Absolutely not. The Chinese described a climber who was facing up, and who had a hole in his cheek.  This was definitely a different body.

Q.) Any photographs found on Mallory's body ?

A.) No

Q.) Have you been in touch with British Film Institute that now is looking at the film of Mallory’s expedition, which sounds like sat somewhere all of these years until your discovery? 

A.) We've seen the film, but there is nothing new on it.

Q.) The watch: We understand the rust marks indicate that the hands stopped at either 10:20 or 3:50. Is that correct? Meaning the theory, as no one can know for sure.

A.) I'm not sure... ...we are having it looked at by a watch expert to see where they really were.  Also, to see if the mainspring ran down, or whether it stopped due to a blow (a fall?).

Q.) Is the current theory that Mallory fell first ?and why?

A.) We don't know.  It must have been a fairly hard fall to break the rope (or maybe it caught on a rock?).

More Q&A from Eric soon. His New web site is: http://www.mountainguides.net/

  • The Summit of Everest in 1999: Lev Sarkisov's photos show the Summit early without much snow. The story on QUESTIONED SUMMITS on Everest show later many more detailed (angles) of Everest Summit from Jacek. Jacek's detailed Q&A will be coming soon, which we think you will find fascinating. Jacek is attempting to include a slideshow.
  • The K2 reports from yesterday has been updated with pictures. The weather sounds unstable weather sounds unstable weather sounds unstable.
  • Our Featured Book is News:

    The New edition: THE CLIMB: TRAGIC AMBITIONS ON EVEREST [Updated Edition] is a Trade Paperback of 412 pp.

    The trade paperback has three new chapters in addition to what appears in the  mass market paperback (the small one). Those three chapters:

    EVEREST UPDATE: A RESPONSE TO JON KRAKAUER: This is a 14,000+ word history and analysis of the Boukreev-Krakauer controversy.

    A REVIEW FROM THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB,This is a reprint of Galen Rowell's review of THE CLIMB that ran in the 1998 edition of THE AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL.

    This is a verbatim transcript of the audio-taped debriefing of the  Mountain Madness Expedition members, made five days after the tragedy.

    Source:  Weston DeWalt

  • World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover.
  • Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998

Daily News: 7/1/99 Report

Update 6/28/99:


Hidden Peak - Base 5,220 m / Camp 1,  5,950 m, 37th day of the expedition

The weather keeps magnificent. Blue sky and a very sunny day. So, we began our climb again today, aiming to set our last camp at 7,200 m and go to the final attack to the 8,068 m of Hidden Peak. We need nice weather for more three days, let's cheer everything succeeds.

Pepe Garces and I left  the base  at 5:00 pm to come to camp 1. Abele, Christian and Andrew are going to arrive tomorrow morning , because they prefer to leave at midnight and go direct to camp 2. As it is very hot the danger  of falling  in a deep crack  has increased a lot, there are immense holes where there hadn't been before. A new pleasure is the full moon, which is granting   us  a especial touch at nights. It's safer to climb at night, because the moon light   that reflects on the glacier leaves the night as clear as the day.

Update 6/29/99:


Hidden Peak - Camp 1,  5,950 m / Camp 2, 6,500m, 38th day of the expedition

Unfortunately the weather has changed during the night. Our friends who where at base-camp didn't come up. Even with the strong wind and the cloudy sky. Pepe and I have decided to go to camp 2. The idea might not be the best, as the wind has kept blown and we were obliged to be inside the tent all afternoon long. If the weather gets better, we're going to try to fix the ropes in the "Japanese Corridor". Otherwise, we go down to base-camp.

It's a pity that the weather has changed so quickly, because we are very enthusiastic about ending the climb to Hidden Peak.

I leave you a photo where there is the descending of Gasherbrum. Our path follows on the right, on the snow sloping. Getting the superior part, it's need to follow to right.


Update 6/30/99:


Hidden Peak - Camp 2, 6,500m/ Camp 3, 7,200m, 39th day of the expedition

It was a tough day today for Pepe Garces and I. We put the equipment in the "Japanese Corridor". We decided to take a look in details and we saw that the "Japanese Corridor" wasn't easy. We worked   from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm fixing 600 m of ropes. ( three 200m-reels of  8 mm ).   The ropes were from the Korean expedition that are going to climb    Hidden Peak too. Just one of them followed us to stretch the ropes, but sometimes they rolled more. The weather is unstable, but even though it was possible to work. The wind has bothered us a little.

Our friends who are at base-camp promise to come here. If the weather gets better, we intend to do the final attack this weekend.

You see our camp 2, at 6,500m. The beginning of the "Japanese Corridor" where our climb continues, it's the big snow spot that appears in the back, between the two tents.


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