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A keen hunter turned climber
0-5:19 a.m. EDT Apr 24, 2003
The expedition leader writes, "in the beginning Slavaís chances of getting to the summit were 1:20, now they may be 1:2." Slava, a keen hunter, has only climbed Elbrus previous to this Everest expedition. So far he has slept at 7000m, is doing well, and never complains.

Alexander Abramov reports from Everest's North Side:

ďApril 23. Hurray! Our oxygen Ė 48 bottles - has been delivered. Today is the last day of rest. It was warm and sunny and Slava Pashkov took a sauna before going again to ABC. By the way, Slava is the secret of our expedition.

About a month before expedition a guy called and said heíd like to join our Alpindustria Adventure Team to climb Everest. He was not a climber, but a keen hunter. My first reaction was to reject. For the last three months we had about 20 similar offers. But Sergei Zon-Zam (the head of Alpindustria) vouched for him. We had a meeting with Slava, talked for about 3 hours. Why not try? We agreed, that Slava would pay for himself, for a personal guide (Larin) and for a personal Sherpa. We made a deal. I asked him why didnít he want to start with easier summits. He said what if he didnít like mountaineering then and would never want to climb Everest after that.

And it is Everest that is his dream. Pashkov bought all personal gear. I managed to talk Slava into going to the Caucasus, where they climbed Elbrus in harsh February weather together with Sergei Larin. It was a good test. Slava didnít lose his enthusiasm and went to Everest with us. He has almost become the soul of the expedition. He is very eagerly listening to the stories of experienced climbers. He never complains. He has already been to 7050m and spent a night there. Are there too many climbers who have spent a night over 7000?

If in the beginning Slavaís chances of getting to the summit were 1:20, now they may be 1:2. Letís follow his progress.

Dima Moskalev and Sasha Sergeev havenít returned from Zhangmu till night. I think, they met there Kozlovís expedition. So most probably they will arrive tomorrow.

And we Ė 8 of us Ė will take off to ABC tomorrow at 9 a.m. Vasya Elagin is waiting for us there.


Image courtesy of Mountain.ru..

Dispatch translated from Russian and forwarded by our friends at Mountain.ru..

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