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 October 11-20th, 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: 10/19/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 98:

"The story that must be told."

They were called Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War. Continues….

You know him as Sergi ….

Serguei Anatolievich Arsentiev was born 1958 and was a native of St. Petersburg. He along with Fran would become the first husband and wife team to Summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen.

But who was Sergi? The Russians knew him, but the world knew little.

We asked Robert Link, American climber, who reached the Summit of Everest with Sergi on the 1990 Everest Peace Expedition. How good was Sergi? Robert, replied, "The Question is, Was he the best!". With question we paused. You mean in the likes of Messner? Recalling that Robert Link is a partner with Ed Viesturs. Robert replied, "Yes." We discussed Sergi at length with Robert. He recalled the Peace climb where Sergi was chosen to go to Everest to represent Russian over such climbers as Anatoli Boukreev. Where Sergi, along with Robert Link, was chosen for the first team to attempt the summit from the Peace Expedition, an indication of his strength and greatest. Robert told us of Sergi great strength and endurance of Summitting Everest without oxygen. Others had told us that Sergi was to use oxygen that day, and that some climbers were critical of Sergi was not doing so. Clearly, Robert Link was not critical of Sergi actions. Robert was clearly proud to have climbed with Sergi. In Robert Link mind, the only Question was, Was he (Sergi) the best?

We discussed with Robert the issue of little press for many of the eastern European truly great climbers, and what a shame that was. The fact that American was not aware of many of these climbers.

EverestNews.com then reviewed Sergi history.

We found a climber and a man. Sergi was an intellectual man of great intelligence. A man who was an electrical engineer that assisted in manufacturing spy satellites in Russian. No this was not an ordinary man, nor an ordinary climber on Everest.

Sergi earned the Snow Leopard name for climbing the 5 highest mountains in what was know as the USSR. Sergi summited all three tops on Kanchenjunga in a traverse, an achievement few men on this plant could accomplish, one that most experienced H.A. climbers would not even consider. Sergi was on the elite Russian climbs to Kanchenjunga, Everest and Annapurna. In 1991 he made quick work of Annapurna I, ascending the north face to the Summit in alpine style and of course without the use of supplemental oxygen. However, on Annapurna something happened that forever changed his life. He met a beautiful American Woman. Sergi, first wife had been killed in an automobile accident. Fran and Sergi were clearly in love from the start. In 1992, Fran and Sergi were married and after their climb of Elbrus, where Fran skied down from the Summit. They soon moved to American. The love was strong. They earned the nickname of "Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War."

EverestNews.com found a climber who made the first winter ascent of Peak Korzhenevkaya (7105m), peak Lenin (7134m). Sergi received the National Friendship Medal from President Gorbachev for Summiting Everest and was a national hero in his homeland. The greatest of these achievements were not known to the western world.

However, Sergi’s new wife had a dream, to become the first American woman to Summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. This dream was not hidden. If Fran could become the first American woman to Summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen, she would be famous.

To be continued….

Daily News: 10/18/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 99:

Heavy snow has hit BC in the last several days as many of you know. EverestNews.com does not track BC treks, therefore EverestNews.com has no information on BC trekkers. However, the only climbers we know of that have had problems in the last several days are 2 German who were trekking to Dhaulagiri that have been missing since Wednesday German who were trekking to Dhaulagiri that have been missing since Wednesday from Myagdi district,  northwest of Kathmandu. The missing German trekkers are Annegret Winkler and Franc Peter Zuenderh. Their whereabouts and condition are not known.

Snow in the Autumn is not usual.

BC Pictures from EXPEDICIΣN CASTELLANO LEONESA AL EVEREST 1999 Expediciσn Samuel Rubio  http://server3.servicios.retecal.es/everest99/



  • "The story that must be told."   They were called Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War, will continue this week. EverestNews.com plans in the next week to take you to May 23, 1998.


Daily News: 10/16/99 Report

  • Everest History:

1975 - Britons Dougal Haston and Doug Scott became the first to climb Mount Everest by the southwest face. 9/24/75

Daily News: 10/15/99 Report

  • Everest History:

Ang Rita Sherpa, the great climber who has reached the Summit of Everest ten times, was admitted to the hospital for treatment for a possible case of tuberculosis.  Ang Rita became sick in his home and was admitted to the hospital a week ago.

The Snow Leopard, climbed Everest the last time in May 1996.

  • No word from Chris and Brad as they were planning on attempting Shishapangma via the 1990 Swiss/Polish route which Alex Lowe was lost on.


Daily News: 10/14/99 Report

  • EverestNews.com has a great project in the planning stage…. But before it can begin another one must end .


  • Everest Spring 98

"The story that must be told."

They were called Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War.

To give us an insight into what happened on Everest Spring 98, let’s first look at who these climbers were.…

You know her as Fran….

Francys Yarbro Distefano-Arsentiev was born Francys Yarbro on January 18th 1958 in Honolulu Hawaii to John Yarbro and his wife Marina Garrett. At six her father took her to the Colorado Mountains. She was forever hooked.

Growing up she attended school at TASIS, The American School in Switzerland as well as school in the US. Fran attended Stephens College before graduating from the University of Louisville. She then received a Master’s degree from the International School of Business Management in Phoenix. Fran found a way to return to Colorado in the mid 80’s and became a business accountant in Telluride Colorado.

Her father was from Columbia; her mother, we are told, now lives in Lexington KY. She had a son, Paul of Telluride Colorado. Paul now lives with his father in Telluride.

In 1992 she married Sergi (Serguei) Arsentiev.

Fran climbed many of the Russian peaks including the first ascent of Peak 5800m (with Sergi, they named it Peak Goodwill) as well as Denali via the West Buttress. Fran became the first US woman to ski down Elbrus. She reached the top of both the east and west summits of Elbrus.

Her mountaineering record continued to grow....

But she had a dream, to become the first American woman to Summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. A goal which some thought impossible....

Her death was listed as May 23 in the obituaries in the US, stories in the local papers, and many other places. Suppose they know now she really died on May 24th ???

That is one of the many questions: "Why would the world not know when the first American woman to Summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen died?" This question will be answered ….

To be continued….

  • EverestNews.com does not have the time not the talent to write this story, but we know it must be done. Our Russians friends frankly do not understand why Americans "do not get it". We have some ideas: "American need the dots connected and the first story is usually the one remembered." We ask for your patience and understanding as EverestNews.com attempts to tell this story. Our journey will be difficult. We encourage Your e-mails with questions, but please understand we cannot answer them as there is simply not enough hours in the day. Some have asked why we don't just publish the whole story. That one is easy. For it is not yet written.... With the assistance of our Russian friends and many climbers who were on Everest in 1998, we will try to connect as many dots as we can for you. Along the way, you will understand some of what EverestNews.com has been doing, as we tell that side of the story also. Then You draw the conclusions.

Daily News: 10/13/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 99:

More Pictures, must see !

Spanish in Icefall

Spanish in Dining Tent

Spanish on Face

Daily News: 10/12/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99:

Canadian Climber: Bernard Voyer, "1999 Expedition Everest" reached the Summit of Everest in Spring 1999. This is his Q&A...

Q.) Tell our readers a little more about You, Bernard. What do you do for a living?

A.) Having a dream! Between my expeditions, I give conferences for enterprises and schools.  (see the link in our web site).   Working as a speaker is very important for  me since it is my source of revenue and it helps to finance my  expeditions.

I love to communicate and be able to meet thousands of people every year,  with whom I share my passion of adventure.  My life is well balanced between my adventures, my communications and my work-outs.

Q.) And what are your goals?

A.) I have always dreamt of pitching my tent on the largest lands of ice on our planet.  Dreamt of Everest because of its fabulous symbol, the highest  mountain on earth, but mostly because it would be cold and that I would see marvelous glaciers.  Today I know the three poles and I still dream of climbing other mountains.  We are nourishing a project for next spring, we will you tell about it when it is confirmed.

Q.)  How was it climbing Everest with your wife at BC ?

A.) It was marvelous to climb with my wife at base camp.   We work together and she organizes and co-ordinates my expeditions..  She was at base camp in 1997 as a manager, in South Pole she managed the logistics and in Greenland she staid a full month in Nuuk the capital.  Knowing that she is waiting for me and that at every moment she is there to assure my security gives me a lot of energy.  She always supports me and I am lucky not to have to negotiate each of my departures.  We do our training together and we climb more and more often together, and next spring project is her project.

Q.) What was it like climbing with Goran Kropp?

A.) He is a fantastic guy. We did not discuss about mountains but more about my success of reaching South pole.  This is his next goal.   He his suppose to come to Montreal to discuss about it.  We shared my gastronomic freeze dried meals, which he appreciated.

Q.) Tell us about Summit day ? Did you know for sure you were going the night before ? How did summit day go ?

A.) We were suppose to go on the fourth of May to the summit, but the weather  predictions were not good and we decided to stay at camp IV to sleep at 8,000 meters and make the attempt on the fifth.  Most of the climbers quit and returned to camp II.  Pete Athans and his team-mate and sherpas stayed with Goran and Renata and two climbers who returned at south summit with sherpas and Elsa the Mexican with the American girl and the guide Andy and also with an English man and my team Dorjee, Chouangba and I.

I left South col at 11:00 and arrived at the summit at 12:10, it was long we had to wait and wait for fixed ropes and back to camp IV at 18:00.

Q.) On the way down from the Summit, how hard was it ?  

A.) On the way down, I was exhausted like everyone and I had a little problem with my eyes.  I also had no oxygen to sleep and to get down.

Q.) Was it a real plus, being at Everest a second time ?

A.) Yes, experience counts a lot, I was faster this year and I knew a part of the route  and I felt more secure on ladders etc. . .

Q.) How is Renata Chlumska doing ? Sounds like she had a hard climb...How hard of time did she have...

A.) About Renata, she made it with Goran, both using oxygen.   Renata was strong and really well prepared.  At the beginning of the expedition she had little problem with acclimation but after everything went well.

8.) What was your most interesting climber on Everest ?

Inaki the Spanish climber.  He is funny and human.   I have spent quality time with him in 97 and last spring.  Strong and fast.   He would deserve to make it.  He was strong enough but not lucky with the weather.  He is now in Himalaya for another big climb.  We wish him the best of luck.

I was met in 97.  Two Italians climbers world renowned , Fausto Stefani and Sergio Martini both completed the fourteen 8 000 meter summits.

Bernard Voyer

Daily News: 10/11/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 98:

The Fran/Sergi story will begin this week.

EverestNews.com plans to go slow on this story, with the hope that this complex story can be understood. The conclusions however, will need to be Yours, as EverestNews.com does not intend to place blame, assign guilt or point fingers at any climbers for the loss of these two great climbers. EverestNews.com feels strongly that one takes their own life into their own hands when one chooses to enter into H.A. climbing...

Went finished we believe You will understand why EverestNews.com has waited so long to publish this story. Frankly, this is a strong powerful very sad story, like none we have seen before. It is a story you should think IF you want to read... Everytime we touch it, we become overcome by it...

We will go slow...

  • Bernard Voyer's Q&A coming soon !

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