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Everest North side Special: Accidents, winds and new order for rope fixing
image story

Apr 12, 2005 16: 00 EST
Everest climbing season has barely begun, and already the mountain is taking its toll on the climbers. Parts of the Norwegian team on Everest North side has spent 3 days in ABC, and lost two team members: Håkon contracted pulmonary edema and Tarald a serious bout of throat infection. Both climbers are heading home.

Body on the way to ABC

Meanwhile, in an interview with TVNorge (Norwegian television), Morten Aass said that he had passed a dead climber on his way to ABC. Morten said the climber was Japanese, but there are no other confirmations of this statement elsewhere, and it's not clear if the body was new or old.

Climber gasping for Oxygen in ABC

According to their report, Jon, Eirik, Mattias and Marius went to ABC (6400m) on Thursday and returned on Sunday. When they were in ABC members from another expedition asked if they had oxygen to give them for a very sick climber.

The Norwegians were very tight on O2 for the trip, but had made an commitment already back home to help first and summit second, so they offered their oxygen. The irony was that the sick climber was planning to climb Everest without oxygen. The ill mountaineer made it back down to BC the next day, with the help of a doctor.

The team also confirmed strong winds during Saturday night in ABC. The Jet wind roared right above them and several tents were destroyed. Dawa Sherpa said he had never encountered winds this high in ABC.

Shared cost of fixing rope

The team also reported that a pact has been made on the North side for a new system for fixing ropes. In previous years, much of this work has been done by Himex, with many expeditions free loading on the work and costs.

This year, teams including Himex, Jagged Globe, the Norwegians and Alongi have agreed to try a new system for fixing ropes from ABC to the top of the 2nd step.

A pool of strong Sherpas

This is an excerpt from the agreement, sent out to all North side expeditions:

"Instead of letting each group fix different parts of the routes, which has been very difficult to coordinate during previous seasons and also lead to poor quality and even dangerous situations, we have decided to make a pool of strong and highly qualified Sherpas from all expeditions arriving in due time to take part in the fixing work."

"There will be one easily identifiable line of new strong, static blue rope along the whole route. Wherever needed poor belays will be replaced. All old ropes will be removed and carried down. The steepest places where abseiling is recommended or passing is difficult will be provided with double ropes."

Safety at 100 bucks per climber, TMA to collect fees

The total cost is US$ 30 000, and with approx. 300 climbers expected on 25 different expeditions this spring, the whole work will be covered by only US$ 100 per climber. (Sherpas pay nothing). Russel Brice (Himex) will lead the work and TMA CMA (Tibetan Chinese Mountaineering Association) will contribute to the system by collecting the money from all groups arriving at Base Camp.

’Norway for Everest’ team members are Petter Kragset, Henrik Wolf Meedom, Marius Flygind, Eirik Bjargo, Håkon Staver, Tarald Skagefoss, Mattias Karlsson, Vidar Femdal, Røe Jon Gangdal, and Morten Aass. They are currently attempting Everest through the classic route on the North side (Tibet).

Image of Marius and Jon on their way to ABC, courtesy of Norway for Everest/Everest2005.no

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