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After the bomb - 7 Summits Club Everest: Salted fish, empty glaciers and the Yeti's cave
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Apr 26, 2005 19: 12 EST
After the Maoist bombs, and the tank rides - the Abramov/Kikstra joint venture on Everest continues. Yesterday, Harry sent over a report from the past five days, and today Abramov chimed in with his version. Here's a short recap from Everest North Side - 7summit club style!

Harry: Spam, mushrooms and the Yeti's favorite hangout

Harry reports spam is eating up his RBGAN credit; "My credit runs out faster than I can get the 2nd batch of pix uploaded, thanks to all the spam in my inbox..."

The Russians meantime, had a bit of a higher acclimatization hike than expected, "Half of them missed camp as it is a bit hidden behind the regular middle camp. The 4 went past it and only realized several hours later that they had gone too far and too high."

Harry's team "the fat bastards" are having a boot camp workout on Everest, while Harry - who is alergic to mushrooms - is unhappy with the mountain menu, "Mushroom soup, mushroom pizza and pasta with mushroom sauce." Harry has survived on canned fruits for dessert.

At least the climb to high camps is scenic, "The cave seems to come right out of TinTin. If there was ever a place where the Yeti would hang out, this would be it."

Belly-pierced gorgeous women combined with an interest in climbing Everest

Harry continues his report: "There is still no sign of the fabled Indian female team. As our entire FBC has seen plenty of Bollywood movies on the miscellaneaous flights in, the image of shoulder shaking, long haired, dark eyed, belly pierced gorgeous women combined with an interest in climbing Everest, is slowly gaining mythical proportions. The team is even considered by some to just be a figment of my distorted mind!"

Old power, and empty glaciers...

"Young Sergey, who had not been feeling good since arriving at ABC is going down today to recover at Base Camp. Nickolay took him down and was back within a few hours. 'Cherny' is a famous climber and coach in Russia and can kick many young (wo)man's behinds at age 66!"

Next Harry speaks about a fact familiar to most Everest climbers, but a surprise to many back home: "Even in high season on this crowded mountain it only takes half an hour to be totally peaceful and alone with no other persons in sight, just the giant east face of mighty Everest watching us when we lunch at her feet."

The joint venture between the Russians and the non-Russian parts of the team has boiled down to a friendly chaos. Every day, Harry has a "song of the day". A few days back it was Tom Waits - Tom Trauberts Blues: "Everything's broken and no-one speaks English..."

Troubled eyes

The latest is that Noel (No. Ireland) has problems with his eyes, and the team has descended to BC. But not until they had one wish granted, sort of: "Last but not least we encounter a long row of climbers in dark clothing. Upon closer inspection we discover that there are several Indian females! Yes, and even though they are flanked by at least as many men as there are women, and they do not shake their shoulders but are incredibly shy instead, they do exist!"

Back in camp they are welcomed by the essence of Russian culture,"The shower tent has turned into a real sauna, a gas heater warms a casket of stones and several sleeping foam mats are covering self made benches. Also after dinner the beer and salted fish are making a guest appearance, and the culture gap is apparent and wider than the distance between the two dining tables alone. But the atmosphere is good and while the email still does not work and the chargers and generator make extra hours...I have long discussions with Dimitry Moskalev, and before we know it is after midnight and time to sleep in the oxygen filled air of 5200m above sea level..."

Song of the day:
- Sting: Russians -
"The Russians love their children too"

The Russian side: "Yesterday a lot of things happened"

So what's Abramov's take on the expedition? Here's his latest (from Everest ABC 6300m, Tibet).

"Yesterday a lot of things happened. First, we opened our camp, and Tibetan monks came for the procedure (Puja - ed note). Noel possibly has got an eye hemorrhage. So he descended to BC with his girlfriend Lynn and personal guide Harry Kikstra. I told him to stay there for 2 days and if there is still no positive progress, descend to Zangmu. Yesterday we also divided Sherpas among the members - it was fun."

Happy Birthday to Yura! We ordered watermelons and six sheep

"We prepared all the foodstuffs for the North Col and oxygen bottles - 270kg all in all. Today Sherpas will start carrying loads. The only thing is that it had been snowing the whole night and there is avalanche danger. And happy Birthday to Yura Taidakov! He will turn 50 on April 25. We ordered watermelons and six sheep. There will be a big party in BC, it's a shame I am in ABC."

The next plan

The climbing schedule is set. The team's Sherpas have set the North Col Camp, and will be moving to 7700m today. They hope to have all camps fixed and some loads carried to the last camp at 8300 meters before May 1st. "Strong wind will start blowing in early May and it is impossible to reach high camps till May 10," says Alex. While some other teams hope for their first summit push in that period, Abramov has other plans: "From May 1 to May 10 we are planning a good rest, and by that time all expedition members will be well-acclimatized."

Only Abramov and Lorenzo are in ABC at this point. "Our Sherpas are working perfectly - they brought more than 300kg of expedition loads to the North Col. And today 2 of our Sherpas went to 8300m to help Russ Brice's team put fixed ropes above 8300m and almost up to the Second Step. We are making pretty good progress."

Alexander Abramov has made quite a name for himself here at ExplorersWeb. He was the one to drive a Land Rover to the top of Elbrus and crashed it coming down, he was the one who slaughtered his own BC food on Everest two years back, and finally the expedition leader of our team mate's climb to the summit of Mount Everest this past spring.

This year, Alex joined hands with Harry Kikstra of 7summits.com, forming the 7summits-club.

Harry and extra guide Nickolay Cherny are leading Lynne Stark, Hanna Noel Richmond, Nate Schneider, and Lorenzo Gariano. Nikolay Cherni has 6, 8000ers and was a co-leader of the Russian Central North wall expedition last year. Lynne Stark will attempt to be the first woman from Northern Ireland to climb Everest.

Alexander Abramov guides the rest with extra guide Ivan Dus. The entire expedition offers a full service outfit with 11 climbing Sherpas (all Everest summiteers), and an expedition Doc. There are 18 expedition members in total.

Image of the "Yeti cave" courtesy of the 7summitsClub.

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