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Everest South - climbers near balcony; North - climbers going up?
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Jun 1, 2005 14: 33 EST
Everest South

Apline Ascents: "We just got the radio call from the South Col (7,960 meters/26,100 feet) that the summit team is ready to start. Everyone is feeling good and excited to be on their way. Conditions are still good – clear and calm – and we are hoping for the best for them. Hopefully we will hear from them again in a few hours from the top of the Triangular Face (26,500 feet)."

Exploradus: 9:00 p.m.

"Just a short note - the crew has begun their climb. They left the S. Col just after 8:30 p.m. heading for the fixed lines on the triangular face. This section leads to the balcony at just over 27,000ft."

Everest North - Alex reports

Alex Abramov from Everest North ABC (6500m):

"It was awful night at 8300 m. The tent jumped and skipped under the pressure of wind. Today, we did an oxygen count. We had spent 10 cylinders. 2 cylinders each left was not enough. 3 of us headed down, leaving our bottles to the other four (Dmitry Moskalev, Lorenzo Gariano, Harry Kikstra and John Christiana). They are going to make an attempt tomorrow. Now, in the evening, clouds have dispersed."

South Col to South Summit: Finally, the hour is come. At about 11 PM we put on the final gear and step out in the night. There, in the distance, we can see a worm of light slowly moving up a dark wall. It´s climbers head torches flickering in the dark. It’s completely silent. Nobody talks. If you do, you whisper. It is absolutely terrifying and you climb and climb, awaiting fthe first ray of dawn. It’s desperately cold. It's steep and at parts very icy. The ice axe and the crampons cut skin deep into the ice. You need to pee. Forget it. Someone turns around. "Can´t go on, good luck".

A cold, white moon rises from below, but you hardly glance at it or even the bright twinkle of Universe above. The adrenaline keeps your body moving. And then, suddenly, after hours and hours of despair, you notice a thin blue beam of light at the horizon. Sunrise! If you are lucky, now is the time for the fabled mountain ghost. The mountain projects itself onto the morning fog. The shadow towers in front of you like a giant mirage. Beneath lies the world in all its glory, glowing in the rising sun. You feel the warmth and all hope returning.

You kick your feet to beat the oncoming frostbite. You are at the Balcony, having a short rest, changing to a new oxygen bottle. A ridge lay ahead, and just above you, not far at all, is the South Summit.

(Text adapted from "the route" in the Everest survival kit on this website).

Dig image "Climber and headlamp before dawn, Himalaya" copyright Nomads'Land.

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