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Everest South Side climbers to South Col (8000m) tonight
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May 4, 2004 20: 08 EST
No O2? That's right, and that’s why the Mexican/Canadian Everest team is one of the leading teams up to high camps.

The Mex/Can's, are moving to the South Col right now, far up the South side because when climbing without O2, spending more time at higher altitudes increases the chance of a successful summit bid. With an early acclimatization, you get several shots at the summit in one season, and your acclimatization increases with each attempt. They won't find much on the Col though:

Reported Richard: "Very strong winds at the higher altitudes had severely limited the work of the Sherpas from all expeditions. Fixed ropes have been put in place just to the top of Geneva Spur; but no tent has yet been pitched at South Col (Camp 4, 8000m).

Weather forecasts do not predict a window for a summit attempt during the next week, but wind speeds below the South Col should be inferior to 60 km/h for the next few days allowing us an acclimatization push up to the South Col. Alejandro, Andrés, Luis and Tom left for Camp 2 Monday morning, and start off for the South Col at seven o’clock Wednesday morning. Martin and I have decided to go up to Camp 2 Tuesday morning and begin our acclimatization push directly from Camp 2 to South Col (Camp 4) during the night from the 6th to the 7th. This will allow us to test our batteries for a longer push, to test our underwear and down outerwear at colder temperatures and to limit our exposure to higher altitudes. We are figuring on taking 8 to 10 hours to reach the South Col from Camp 2 then staying a few hours at the South Col (maybe eating a popsicle…) and going back down to Camp 3 or Camp 2."

And the BC manager just filled in with this report:

"On May 3 (Monday), 2004, Andrés, Alejandro, Luis and Tom left for Camp 2 (21,300’). Upon arrival, via radio, Andrés confirmed that they arrived safely with no problems. Despite the high winds over the weekend, the camp was intact. Martin and Richard will try to join them leaving early on May 4th (today). The plan for May 5th (Wednesday), is to get to the South Col. Weather is getting better. The Jet Stream is moving north, away from the mountain. The “window” that the team has been hoping for is near. A summit attempt is close!"

This team comprises three Quebecois and four Mexicans "bound together by friendship and respect". The climbers will attempt Everest without oxygen (a first for Canada if successful). After Everest, Delgado will travel to Pakistan for a K2 double header.

Expedition members: Andres Delgado, Luis Espinoza , Alejandro Ochoa Reyes, Martin Boileau, Richard Cartierts and Tom Masterson.

Image of push to Camp 3, courtesy of the team.




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