Call from The Edge Everest Snowboarders in Camp 1
00:07 a.m. EDT Aug 29, 2003
Stephen Koch and the Everest snowboarders just called in (10.20 PM EST Thursday Aug 28).
Stephen calling in MP3
The team is in Camp One. They have not been able to move higher due to very wet conditions. In order to reach the wall, they have to cross a glacier which has melted. They now must wait for the glacier to freeze over, so they can walk on it. It's only 2 hours from camp one to the wall. Although they must allow enough time for the freeze over, they must also leave early enough in order to not get caught by the sun on the wall, said Stephen. The have to be in position at level two as the sun start to melt the wall after midday.
Hopefully they'll leave tonight, said Stephen, around 12-13 hours from now (9-10 PM local), and reach the wall latest Midnight. That will give enough time to reach level 2 before midday the next day.
Eric will follow the team only to the edge of the wall and not follow further on the climb. He will stay behind and instead provide updates on the team from his location.
"We have plenty of time and no problems of turning around if conditions run bad. Our permit is good for September 15 and next week is the full moon, which would be good for a second attempt".
But, says Stephen, "The current weather (early morning local) is good with clear skies and high whipping clouds, and most of the route is covered with snow - which is good. The conditions at the wall seem fine at this point." (They hope not to find too much exposed rock as it would slow them down).
"Everybody feel well" concludes Stephen, "So we will do a serious attempt if the conditions are right."
If everything goes as planned, the climbers will leave for the wall around noon EST tomorrow, reach the wall early afternoon the same day, and reach level 2 around early morning EST Saturday. Stephen says that the team appreciate everybody who follow them and stand by them.
"Are you nervous?" we asked. "Not really, not yet" Stephen replied.
Next update is scheduled for tomorrow 4PM EST.
Stephen Koch aims to snowboard the Seven Summits. With only one left to go – Everest – he chose the hard way; down one of the world’s most famous direct lines, the Hornbein Couloir.
Jimmy Chin plans to climb to the top with Stephen and then ski down. The team also chose their two sherpas, Lakpa Dorje Sherpa and Kami Sherpa for companions on the climb: "Lakpa has summitted 4 times without oxygen and Kami has summitted 2x with oxygen. They are great partners and we are excited to have them along."
Off season, in the Monsoon, there are no fixed ropes, no camps and no O2. Stephen, Jimmy and Eric are friends from Wyoming. The expedition uses Contact 2.0 software to provide Web updates.
Image courtesy of the Everest Snowboard Expedition.