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 October 20-31th,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 !

NEWSFLASH 1:00PM 10/31/99 US

  • Everest S.O.S. (Continued from below)

EverestNews.com received this message from the CMA this morning which we forwarded to the climbers on Everest: "Since there will be good weather for next 3 days, they must try their best go down, if the weather changed the situation will be very bad. I think our rescue team will meet with them soon. There are 20 people and 21 yaks went up  9 days ago. They brought food and fuel. The most people can go down first, they can make the route. Our rescue team can help the injured person after they arrived I think. Please understand we have no helicopter there, even there are helicopter, it is said it is very difficult to fly over 5400m for rescue work." Best regards, Ying Daoshui CMA

  • Based on yesterday's message from the climbers, only 6 of the 18 persons at Everest Tibet BC are expected to attempt to come down.

NEWSFLASH 9:14PM 10/30/99 US

  • Everest S.O.S. (Continued from below)

EverestNews.com just received a message from the climbers on Everest, which we forwarded to the CMA.

The climbers thanked us for forwarding the information (below NEWSFLASH) from the CMA.

The climbers also told us "Tomorrow  I'll start to village again we can't wait anymore rescue team we not sure how long more days wait for them may be six strong guy (include I am) will open way again now snow is much batter than last time (like 2ft last time was 4ft)...."

"and will bring rescue team from village to BC any way I hope join rescue team when we come down to village  like in 3days from now thank you " Oct30,1999 Kipum Kim

  • E-mail raw as usual... Interpretation is always difficult.

  • Kipum Kim, has been living in New York.

NEWSFLASH 2:18PM 10/30/99 US

  • Everest S.O.S. (Continued from below)

The CMA has asked EverestNews.com to pass the following information to the climbers:

"Please tell the expedition leader that all the members should go down together along the SHAO WU LA  pass, the middle pass which is 4890m.  The route which they took from Kada to BC is the LANG MA LA pass . Now the LANG MA LA has deep snow it is very difficult to go through. Our rescue team went up through the Shao Wu La pass. Please try to inform the expedition as soon as possible.", Best regards Ying Daoshui  Oct.30,1999 CMA

EverestNews.com has sent this information to the climbers by e-mail as we assume the CMA did. The climbers has not contacted their friends in America since Thursday.

There is some reasons to believe the climbers are in contact with persons in Korean. IF you are in contact with the climbers please pass on the above message from the CMA.

  • Asian-Trekking which owns Asian Airlines has not been able to assist due to the climbers being in Tibet. "Since it is a case that have occurred in a different country, it is simply impossible for us in Nepal to be involved in the rescue & evacuation of those mountain climbers in Tibet.  The authorities in Tibet do not permit Nepalese helicopters to enter into their territory for any purpose. I would think it best for you to make attempts to contact their local agents in Tibet (through the Chinese Embassy, if necessary) and get them actively involved in their rescue/evacuation. I wish I could be of some help in this matter - but as we live in a different country (Nepal), we have to remain helpless. I keep my fingers crossed and hope for all the best for those mountain climbers. Thanks." Sincerely, Ang Tshering Sherpa Managing Director 

  • The other problem with a private rescue, of course is who would pay the cost. However, no private options are available yet that we are aware of...

  • Therefore, it appears these climbers assistance is up to the CMA rescue team trying to get to them up mountain pass by jeep or on foot... And as the CMA said a few days ago, ""All the members must unite and try to help yourselves before the rescue team's arrival. Persisting means victory."

    At least one of the climbers was living in America.  

Daily News: 10/30/99 Report

  • No New information on the 18 Koreans trapped at Everest Tibet BC, except that the News wires have gotten the story. Maybe, the world's attention will get these climbers some help. See the NEWSFLASHES BELOW for details on this story...

  • Ginette Harrison: No real new information. EverestNews.com will post pictures that Ginette sent us before her expedition to Dhaulagiri in the next few days. 

  • More Dhaulagiri: Al Burgess is all right. According to his handling Agent in Nepal, Al sent a message through mail runner from Sherpani Col. that " We nearly killed ourselves, but we are fine and returning. NO body hurt or dead." Al is returning tomorrow from Tumlingtar. and I will be meeting him at his hotel and send you the reports. 

  • Ginette and one other Sherpa from French Expedition died on Dhaulagiri. Regards, bikrum Himalaya Center - Nepal   

Daily News: 10/29/99 Report

  • It has been a very long week here for the staff. See the NEWSFLASHES below... Hopefully in the next week we will bring you pictures that Ginette sent us from her last expedition...

  • Goran Kropp Answers

Q.) Would he ever want to try K2 again? Or maybe from a different route? 

A.) --Never!  K2 is a very dangerous mountain, every time you are there you climb there is a serious risk.  It is enough to reach the summit once. 

Q.) Could he describe the major differences between climbing K2, and climbing Everest? 

A.) --K2 is much steeper and is a more technical climb compared with Everest. The weather is also harsher at K2 which makes it more difficult.  From last camp to summit you can't make any mistakes or you are lost.  And not many put up fixed ropes so you have to climb solo there. 

Q.) What was his favorite climb that he has done? What was his finest day in the hills?

A.) -Kagatondo, Mali, West Africa is my favorite climb.  It is in the Sahara and it was beautiful -- and I was there during Christmas which gave the whole thing a special feeling.   My finest day was standing on top of Muztagh Tower, Pakistan.  This was my first major Himalayan peak. 

Q.) Was there ever a point when he felt the he had risked too much and luckily made it to safety?

A.) -Maybe when I finally reach the summit   of Everest in my third attempt.  I was so tired that I almost risked it all--it was being on the border between life and death. 

Q.) What does Goran think about all the 96 books?

A.) -Perhaps there's too many--but it's interesting that there could be so many different stories.  I think it's good that so many books have been published because they warn people of the dangers of what can happen it you don't prepare yourself well for the climb.

Q.) Does he favor Krakauer or Boukreev's side of what happened on Everest that year ?

A.) -I think the truth is a mixture between Krakauer and Boukreev. 

Q.) Who does he think is the best H.A. climber ever ??

A.) -Reinhold Messner - no doubt.  He was an original and was the first to make many ascents and climb without oxygen successfully.   His climb of Everest in 1981 was the most impressive climb ever. 

Q.) What does he think about the Russian vs American style of climbing these big peaks?

A.) -What I have seen during some expeditions is that American style is safer compared to the Russian style.  I've climbed in Russia two times and although the Russians are good and strong, some Russians take large risks.

If you have more questions submit  ASAP to everestnews2004@adelphia.net . We will include in Part 2 of the Q&A. Only on EverestNews.com do YOU get to ask the Questions to the greatest climbers of our day.

NEWSFLASH 2:44PM 10/28/99 US

  • Everest S.O.S. (Continued from below)

18 members of the Korean Everest Tibet Expedition are trapped at Everest Tibet BC in heavy snow. Three climbers are injured and in need of medical assistance. Food is in short supply if available at all.

The CMA has dispatched a rescue team by jeep. The rescue team location is not known. "so far even we have no any news about them. Maybe they are also in difficult situation." states the CMA

This morning the CMA sent a second rescue team, " one leader with some food (one jeep) left Lhasa for mountain. They will try their best to reach the Kada as quick as possible. Then they will organize yaks to BC to meet our Korean team. It is very difficult for us to get in touch with the expedition, if you have any news about them please let me know...." States the CMA

"Helicopter rescue" is needed. The problem is "Helicopter rescues" are not normal in Tibet. It would probably have to involve a Chinese Army action.

EverestNews.com has put the friends of these climbers in touch with the CMA and with Asian Trekking. Asian Trekking has the Russian Military Helicopters, however, it is not known if they could fly into Tibet from Nepal.

It is also not known if a "Helicopter rescue" could reach this area and land where the climbers are.

The CMA, which appears to be working hard on this, states to the climbers, "All the members must unite and try to help yourselves before the rescue team's arrival. Persisting means victory."

As usual EverestNews.com does not try to edit those who do not speak native English. EverestNews.com gives you the raw words.

Daily News: 10/28/99 Report

  • Everest S.O.S.

There is apparently another situation. EverestNews.com has been contacted several times by person (s) attempting to assist what appears to a Korean Everest Tibet Expedition. The expedition members appear to be presently at "Everest Kangshung Face Base Camp" according to their e-mails.

The climbers are asking for a "Helicopter rescue". They state " All of the place is heavy snow ABC (advanced Base Camp) is 6 feet snow Camp1 (22.000ft) is 10 feet snow Base Camp (18.000ft) is 4ft snow that's why all member comeback to BaseCamp 18 members but still snowing here. We need food and gas ...."

Some team members are injured...

Helicopter rescue in Tibet is difficult. Their friends who have contacted EverestNews.com appear to be running out of options. We know many people read EverestNews.com including many "News sources" and people with climbing contacts.  Therefore, we publish this in an attempt that maybe someone can come forward and assist these climbers. Press interviews will not be granted. Don't even ask... However,

If you think you might have a contact that might help these climbers e-mail us at everestnews2004@adelphia.net ... Your e-mail will be forwarded to their friends who are looking for assistance.

  • It has been a rough week... if you missed it see the very sad NEWSFLASH below...

NEWSFLASH 10/27/99


Ginette was frankly one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Ginette was clearly established as one of the best female high altitude climbers in the world, if not the best.

Our previous report on Ginette is here...

Ginette was the only woman to summit Kanchenjunga on 18 May 1998 ever ! 

Ginette lived in America with her husband Gary Pfisterer.

Some addition information on her death might be found on Dhaulagiri South Wall - http://www.humar.com/ . A web site covering the Slovene Alpinist Tomaz Humar ...

A picture of an avalanche with his location is shown on the web site. It is unclear if this is the same avalanche which Ginette was lost in. But it is listed on the same day...

We are sorry but we can't write anymore today...

Daily News: 10/27/99 Report

  • "The story that must be told."

They were called Romeo and Juliet of the Cold War.



Daily News: 10/26/99 Report

  • 2000 K2

It's a pleasure to inform all of you that I'll be back to K2 once more, trying to put Brazil's flag on the top of that big mountain definitively. It's need to understand that nature has forced its magnitude with an impetuous weather in the last two years, and that's why no alpinist could accomplish such climb. It's a  very hard goal to be carried out, undoubtedly, a difficult dream to be accomplished, but I understand all of it as a big challenge and enthusiasm doesn't lack for new lunges. I'm sure all experience I got in 1998 and 1999 will be essential for our success in 2000. The departure from Brazil has already been fixed on Jun 1st and we're in mood to stay in Pakistan till the end of  August. I really hope that it's not necessary so long time, because our arrival at base-camp is   foreseen for June 14th and God willing, we'll finish  climbing its 8,611m until the end of July.

My idea is to arrive at K2 earlier, it's due to the fact that I've realized  in the last two years that there are better weather   conditions in  beginning of July. So, in order to  do the final attack at that time it's necessary to be there a month before. Aiming to diminish costs and save the alpinist's energy, we will attack K2 directly, without climbing any other mountain before,   as it happened in 1998 and 1999. My Italian friend Abele Blanc will participate in the expedition once more, other alpinists have been invited, but the team will the defined only in December 1999.

I'll be in touch with other expedition leaders, so that all of them can reach K2 at the same time and participate in the same strategy together in order to conquer K2. Since no alpinists has accomplished the climb in the last two years and the next year will be 2000, the world media will give special attention to the climb of K2. I remind you that our expedition will transmitted on-line, via satellite by internet once more with photos and information transmitted  daily, on the called K2 on-line, which will be back from Jun 1st 2000 on. All of this can guarantee agreement with important communication means. The site will receive up to 50 thousand accesses per day and with the TV program called "Fantástico" of Globo network will guarantee   50 million people per program at least. A "Fantástico's Team" will follow the expedition to base-camp and during the expedition must happen three programs at least containing  unpublished images.

A good new is that I'll be taking a trekkers group, that will follow the expedition to base-camp and afterwards will return home. It's a good way of providing other people to live the emotion of a big expedition at  the same time afford Project K2. If you are interested in participating in such adventure, see further information about the trekking to the  base-camp of K2.

I always believe that it's very important to trust   in our dreams and do the best so that they can be carried out. So, I'll be there at K2 again and I hope to count on your cheering once more.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Daily News: 10/25/99 Report

  • Ang Rita Sherpa retires, as reported earlier on EverestNews.com, Ang Rita has been ill and in the hospital. He has announced his retirement from Everest climbing. We wish him the best...
  • The weather in Nepal and Tibet has improved significantly. However, few more Summits of 8000 meter peaks are expected this Autumn with the heavy snow conditions.
  • Today's update on the Fran & Sergi Story was delayed due to developments on the possible location of Sergi body on Everest. The story will continue this week.

Daily News: 10/23/99 Report

  • All Mallory Day

This is a press release describing Audrey Salkeld and
Tom Holzel 's "fully revised" new edition of "The Mystery of Mallory & Irvine." There are several new chapters in it, including an important one describing "the Great Discovery" of Eric Simonson's team.  The release gives the unhappy conclusion that the two got extremely close--but were forced back.

Mt. Everest Expert Now Concedes Evidence proves Hillary Was First to the Top.

Evidence Found on Body of George Mallory Shows the Two 1924 Climbers Turned Back 1-2 Hours Below Summit.

Since the 1970’s rumors have circulated among the mountain climbing community suggesting that it was quite possible that George Mallory had reached the summit of Mt. Everest in 1924, 29 years before the official first ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Mallory vanished on the descent, along with Andrew Irvine, his 22-year old partner. In May of this year, a team of Everest climbers discovered the long sought-after body of one of the climbers—and with it a host of new clues that complete their amazing story. In a book to be published on Sept 16, mountaineering historians Tom Holzel and Audrey Salkeld combine the new evidence with the old. Their conclusion: The two climbers came within one or two hours of reaching the top—but were forced back by a deadly combination of running out of oxygen, encountering a bitter snow squall, and extreme dehydration.

The source of the rumor that Mallory was first to the top stemmed from an exhaustive study of the evidence of their climb made in 1970—evidence that showed that the two were using crude, but effective oxygen breathing systems; and evidence, gained in subsequent climbs on the mountain, of just how rapidly climbers can ascend at altitudes between 26,000 to 29,000 feet. It was this lack of knowledge, coupled with a profound prejudice against the "unsporting" use of oxygen that brought early critics to their conclusion that Mallory & Irvine could not have succeeded.

This theory was published in the influential Mountain Magazine in Sept of 1971 and created an enormous critical uproar. The author, American climber Tom Holzel, admits he was astounded by the religious fervor with which his thesis was attacked, and, he says, "by the complete lack of factual argument." The anti-oxygen crowd of the 1920s and ‘30s were so unused to logical thought that they were able to "calculate" the climb rate of the first use of oxygen on Everest to result in three different outcomes—depending on how against its use they were. The "antis" calculated one such climb ascending at 400 feet per hour; an "undecided" climber calculated it at 600 ft/hr. That the oxygen-using climber himself—George Ingle Finch—reported his speed in a published book at 1000 ft/hr. made not one whit of difference.

The article was followed 15 years later by a book which again made the same argument this time in greater and more compelling detail—that Mallory sent Irvine down half-way through their two-man attempt in order to free himself up for a risky dash to the top. Had he been able to send back down his hugely less-experienced partner, and obtain the balance of his oxygen, Holzel showed convincingly that Mallory would likely have succeeded. Nonsense, scoffed the critics: The route was far too difficult and Mallory and Irvine would never have split up.

Adding an eerie aura to this three-decade long search was Holzel’s 1971 prediction that the bodies of one of the climbers should rest on a snow terrace at 8200m (26,700 ft). When, in 1979 Japanese climbers reported a Chinese climber’s discovery of "an English dead" at precisely the spot Holzel predicted, he was himself galvanized to mount an Mallory & Irvine search expedition. This report of the Chinese sighting of Mallory or Irvine’s body was itself the subject of much old guard scorn. But, while Holzel’s team returned home in 1986 without having reached the 8200m terrace due to atrocious weather, they did uncover a single additional clue. The tentmate of the climber who reported the discovery of the "English dead" was hunted down. On the last day of the three-month expedition, he met with Holzel and admitted that, in spite of strenuous official denials by the Chinese mountaineering authorities, yes, he admitted, his climbing partner had described his discovery of "a foreign mountaineer" at 8200m.

By now, the mountaineering fraternity had slowly come around to Holzel’s point of view, at least to the point of considering it possible (and not ludicrous) that Mallory may have had a chance to reach the top. Enough doubt had been injected that Sir Edmund Hillary, heretofore unequivocally credited with the first ascent of the mountain, was moved to suggest that to count, such a feat should require a successful first descent as well.

And there the issue lay—until the brilliant success of Eric Simonson’s 1999 search expedition. Spreading out over the six-football field-sized 8200 snow terrace, the climbers found a 1924 body almost exactly where Holzel had predicted. But, surprisingly, the climber was Mallory, not Irvine, and the rope around his middle proved that the British old guard had been dead-right about one thing—the two had not split up. This important clue, along with several other discoveries allowed the experts to complete the portrait of what likely happened. And while details differ (and some experts still insist on putting Mallory on top) the salient new facts of the amazing discovery have led Holzel, the earliest proponent of Mallory’s likely success, reluctantly to conclude otherwise.

"The rope around his waist shows conclusively that the two did not split up," Holzel admits in the newly revised edition of his book. "But this is definitely a negative clue in terms of his possible success. Although a physically strong climber, prior to this attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world, Irvine had never been higher than 5500-ft.! Thus, he would have been terrified of the extremely precarious traverses required to scale Everest from the north—and correspondingly slow. I have also just discovered that because Mallory lost their only stove, neither man had had anything to drink the night before their climb and all during it. Thus they would have been extremely dehydrated.

"The calculations of how much oxygen they had left when last sighted at 1PM were reinforced by the discovery of one of their oxygen bottles. They each had about one hour left., which would have put them some 3-hours below the summit. An hour later just as they ran out of oxygen, they were unexpectedly enveloped in a snow squall. Dehydrated to the point of exhaustion, Mallory and Irvine just could not have continued upward, and so, at about 28,750 feet, they were forced to turn back. What a blow to Mallory! What a relief to Irvine!

In a blizzard, exhausted, the men began their descent. Then, as they traversed the treacherous 45-degree slabs (where seventeen modern climbers were discovered to have fallen to their deaths), they came to within 150 yards of the safety of the 8200m snow terrace when one of them slipped. Because they were roped, he pulled the other one down. Crashing down over 140 yards of a steep rocky slope, the force of the fall broke Mallory’s arm and his leg in two places. He suffered a gold-ball sized puncture above the left eye which medical experts believe would have instantly knocked him unconscious or killed him. He then slid another 200 yards down the 30-degree slope of the 8200m snow terrace, stopping just short of a cliff where his body lay until it was first discovered by a Chinese high altitude porter 50 years later.

No trace was found of Irvine. Now that Mallory’s resting place has been discovered, other expeditions are sure to follow in hopes of finding the Kodak VPK camera the men were known to have taken. Had it been discovered Kodak scientists believe that "fully printable images" could be obtained as long as the camera did not burst open during the fall. "Although with these new clues showing we can no longer hope for images from the summit," Holzel mused, "and Hillary’s conquest remains secure, imagine a photograph of the two climbers near their highest point—a point not surpassed until 29 years later. It would be like a window to the past, a view through a time machine. And would make us marvel once again, and be humbled by how much they achieved and with such slender resources."

The above is a press release that was sent to EverestNews.com printed FYI.

Daily News: 10/22/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 99:

The conditions on Everest appear to be improving in Nepal....

Pictures from the EXPEDICIÓN CASTELLANO LEONESA AL EVEREST 1999 Expedición Samuel Rubio  http://server3.servicios.retecal.es/everest99/




Also the Spanish message

20 de October de 1999. Kathmandu. Llueve..., como reza la canción de Serrat ... detrás de los cristales llueve y llueve. La tierra, aún no recuperada de los efectos del monzón, se ve desbordada ante la cantidad de agua que está cayendo y la acumula en infinidad de charcos. El aire huele a humedad y nosotros también. La vida continúa ... Estamos en Kathmandu, y aquí, al igual que en el resto del país, la torre de Babel que conforma el revoltijo de etnias, culturas y religiones, hace el que el vivir sea algo sencillo, hermoso y gratificante. Cada cual circula por su propio carril sin molestar ni ser molestado dentro del espíritu de tolerancia que flota en el ambiente. Hemos descendido desde el Campamento Base del Everest en varias jornadas en las que el entorno presentaba algunas modificaciones respecto a la subida. Ahora, a pesar de que el tiempo no es bueno, hay infinidad de personas de todas las nacionalidades que suben por los empinados caminos dentro de la organización de los trekkings en busca de las emociones que proporciona el encontrarse ente las montañas más elevadas de la Tierra, y quién sabe, si hay suerte podrán ver el
Everest, llamado Chomolungma por los tibetanos y los sherpas y Sagarmatha por los nepalís. También se encuentran viajeros solitarios como un catalán llamado Israel que hace 13 meses que salió de Ciudad del Cabo, y pedaleando con su bicicleta más de 17.000 km, recorrió África por el este y aquí le tenemos (aunque ahora las condiciones orográficas le han impuesto el dejar su vehículo aparcado momentáneamente en Kathmandu); aún dispone de otros seis meses más para seguir por Asia. Impactante para nosotros ha sido la llegada a Namche Bazar de un nutrido grupo de tibetanos. Con sus yaks cargados de mercancías de bajo coste procedentes de China, su piel curtida por el frío de las alturas, y con sus indumentarias y equipo que nos hacen retroceder en el tiempo varios siglos, han atravesado, después de más de una semana de larga singladura, el Chola Pass, collado situado a 5.700 m, siempre ocultándose de las fuerzas de ocupación chinas y de las avalanchas que barren sin piedad  los caminos que sólo están marcados en el viento que pasa de un lado al otro. Durante un tiempo venderán sus mercancías en la capital del pueblo sherpa, antes de retornar a su tierra de donde regresarán en reiterativa operación que durará toda su vida. En esta región del Khumbu el oficio con más aceptación es el de transportista. Los sherpas se pasan la vida ascendiendo, pesadamente cargados con todo tipo de mercancías, hacia los poblados más altos, a los que acceden después de varias jornadas caminando por pendientes senderos. Todo el aprovisionamiento se hace en estas tierras a la espalda. No existe ningún tipo de transporte rodado. En Kathmandu seguimos con nuestras gestiones de tipo burocrático, interrumpidas estos días por haber un largo período de fiestas correspondientes al final de año newari al que se apunta el resto del país. Trámites con el gobierno, facturación del cargo aéreo, etc, ocuparán nuestros próximos días hábiles. Las heridas se van cicatrizando con el tiempo, pero son las del corazón las que nunca se cierran del todo. Las imágenes de lo que hemos vivido forman ya parte de nuestro patrimonio íntimo, aunque nuestro deseo es el compartir lo que podamos con todos aquellos que han seguido de cerca nuestra aventura. Isidoro  

1.- Las nubes no consiguen ocultar un tesoro tan hermoso
2.- Porteadores hacia el mercado de Namche Bazar
3.- Tibetanos en Namche Bazar
Expedición Samuel Rubio al Everest 1999

Daily News: 10/21/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 99:

Reports of Heavy snow at BC in Nepal and Tibet continue. The conditions are reported as "bad".

If planning on trekking this Autumn be prepared for much heavier than usual snow. It appears Everest will cover much of what could be seen "clear" in Spring 1999 due to the light snow cover, as seen in the many Mallory books.

  • K2 Summits has been updated with help from our friends at www.risk.ru . Check out the K2 Summits to date on www.k2news.com !

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