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Early morning Everest summit push check
11:23 a.m. EDT May 20, 2003
On this early morning summit push check hundreds of climbers assembled in the Everest death zone. On the North Side, John Roskelley of the Generations on Everest expedition reports that 75 to 100 climbers made their way up to Camp II, 7790m, yesterday, May 19th. The father/son team will be moving today, May 20th, up to Camp III, 8300m. Summit Team A from the Chinese Sohu expedition have just started their move up to Camp III, 8300m. Many other teams will most likely follow suit.

Once at Camp III teams will rest for several hours and dependant on the weather they will make their final summit push today morning, Eastern Standard Time (evening of Tuesday the 20th, Nepal time) – expected arrival at the summit will be today evening, EST (morning of the 21st, Nepali time).

The Chinese Group B is currently en route to Camp II from the North Col, 7000m.

South Korean climber, Hong-Gil Um plans to climb to the summit from the North and descend down the South side, completing an Everest traverse. Hong was the 9th person ever to summit all 14, 8000m summits.


Everest South Side

Sean Burch plans on making a move up to Camp IV, 7900m, today, May 20th. The estimate he has given from this past weekend was that 400 climbers were in Camp II, 6450m. Sean is climbing without oxygen and has spent two nights in Camp III.

Several other teams are expected to move up to Camp IV today as well – Adventures International, Adventure Consultants, German Bad Heilbrunner, Gary Guller Team Everest 03, Canadian Fire Fighters, Irish Everest, French, and the Adventure Institute. These teams will arrive in Camp IV today early morning EST (around noon today, May 20th, Nepali time).

The plan from there is to stay in Camp IV until today mid-morning EST (late evening Nepal) and then make a push for the summit. Some teams, however, might choose to stay one night in Camp IV. Teams leaving the same day they arrive can expect to make the summit on the evening of today, May 20th EST (early morning May 21st, Nepali time).

Team Miura has already spent two days in Camp IV and planned to move up to Camp V, 8450m, today, May 20th, before making their final summit push.

The Jagged Globe team was expected to arrive in Camp IV, almost 24 hours ago; however there has been no update from them. If they left for the summit accordingly, on evening of May 19th Nepali time (morning of May 19th EST), they should have arrived at the summit already.

As of yesterday, May 19th, the Sherpa team who was supposed to fix ropes above Camp IV, had not made it very far before turning around due to high winds. It is not known if they left later on that day to try again or waited until now (morning of the 20th, Nepali time.) to fix ropes.

Tshering Sherpa, who is in Camp II, reports that a Japanese team that was already up in the South Col, 7900m, may have aborted their summit attempt.

It is running down to the wire currently and the pressure is on. Many teams are positioned high on Everest and it is too late in the season to go back down and make another attempt later – there is not enough time to recover and go back up before permits expire. Winds are still very strong, but are expected to abate slightly this week – not to sub 10 m/s levels though. These conditions are climbable, but difficult. The weather is expected to further improve next week; however, long range forecasts carry an increased degree of uncertainty. At this point, all signs point to next week being better than this.

One team is still down in the South Side base camp biding their time with nerves of steel. Alpine Ascents just returned this past weekend from a recovery foray down the valley. They are waiting to see what happens up high before launching their summit bid. If they play their cards right, they could have potentially the best weather this month along with a wide-open route.


Kangchenjunga

Carlos Pauner and his team arrived back in Kangchenjunga Camp III, 7600m on the 18th. The team did not leave on the 19th because of poor weather, and was hoping to go for it today on the 20th.



Dispatches:

Adventures International
Gary Guller Everest 03
Pat Falvey’s Irish Everest
French 50 (translated)
German Bad Heilbrunner
Team Miura (in Japanese)
Chinese Everest (in Chinese)
Generations on Everest
Adventure Consultants
Canadian Fire Fighters
Alpine Ascents Everest
German Bad Heilbrunner
Gary Guller team Everest
Adventure Institute
Jagged Globe
Sean Burch
Carlos Pauner Kangchenjunga (translated)


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