CIS wrap up: Big winds on Peak Lenin|
Jul 16, 2004 08: 42 EST
No break in the weather for Scott and company! The trio are still holed up in Camp III, 20,000 ft, on Lenin, “Very high winds, whiteout, blowing snow. Quite difficult to even get out of the tent. Have over 2 feet of fresh snow now and winds to 70 mph!”
Typically you take reported wind speeds with a grain of salt, as they tend to feel stronger than they actually are. Plus, climbers will unintentionally embellish a bit – shocking, right? However, if anyone knows his wind speeds, it’s Scott. When everyone else was hunkered down in Base Camp, he was up on the Lhotse Face of Everest last year during a huge storm and sent back live video of shredded tents. If he’s reporting 70 mph winds, well, let’s just say it’s whipping pretty hard up there – Woolums has earned some street cred.
The limiting factors for Adventures International right now are food and supplies, “We have about 3 more days of food and fuel here but will probably call the 18th our last day to wait it out. There has been no break since we arrived.”
Last year Scott encountered a similar problem while he was guiding on Khan Tengri. The weather was just too poor and he decided to head down after several days up high. He's going for Khan Tengri again, though - it's his next stop after Lenin.
The Russian “Wild World” Tien Shan crew still has yet to report – their last dispatch was over a week ago now. No cause for concern right now, more than likely technical problems. They planned to go for the South Pillar of near 7000m mountain in the area.
Further west, the Adventure Consultants and Alpine Ascents team are just behind one another. Luis Benitez’s AC team have arrived at the foot of Elbrus and are honing their mountaineering skills on the snow – crampon and self arrest training. “What more can you ask for whilst acclimatizing? A little wind, a little sunshine, beautiful views, and rolling around in the snow! Today we went even higher than yesterday, getting more and more used to the thin air up there…Tomorrow will be our final practice day, then on the morning of the 18th, weather permitting, we go for it!”
Just behind AC is the Alpine Ascents crew that is about to make their way up to the barrels. Luis and Alpine Ascent’s leader, Vern Tejas will be reunited – it was just over a month ago that they both were in Everest Base Camp together guiding for their respective companies.
Vern and his crew are getting their lungs in shape, venturing up to 11,000 ft and doing some glissading on nearby snowfields, “Yes, we got wet but we got down fast. The views were beautiful and the descent quite thrilling. A good time was had by all.”
ExplorersWeb just got word that the Extreme Chef will be back on Elbrus at the end of this month with a group of Italians. We don’t know if they’ll be sending back reports, but there’s always a good time to be had when Abramov is running the show!
Adventure Consultants is going for Elbrus, 5642m, one of the 7 summits. Their leader is none other than Luis Benitez, a four-time Everest summiter.
Also on Everest is Alpine Ascents, being led by Vern Tejas.
Scott Woolums is a two-time Everest summiter and avid expedition techie. He has used Contact 2.0 in the past to send back incredible live footage of tents being ripped apart on Everest's Camp III, and also sent back live dispatches from last year’s Khan Tengri expedition. He is now back in Asia and is armed with Contact 3.0 for his Lenin/Khan Tengri double header. Peak Lenin is 7134m and is located in the Pamir's. It is one of the mountains necessary to climb in order to become a Snow Leopard.
C.I.S. - Commonwealth of Independent States, formerly known as the USSR.
Line image from the storm in Camp III courtesy of Adventures International.