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Everest South: Teams preparing for a massive summit push tonight - hopefully
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Jun 1, 2005 09: 10 EST
“We are eagerly awaiting news from Camp 4 and whether they will actually be trying for the summit tonight,” reported Ellie today from BC. She referred to Alpine Ascents’ second team, consisting of Dave, Lakpa, Jose Luis, Esther, Tony, Danielle, and five Sherpas. They are currently in C4, hoping for good enough conditions to attempt the summit tonight. But they have not made up their minds.

AA summiteers back in BC

Meanwhile, the first group of climbers, who summited on May,30th, made it back to BC after a tough, two-days long descent.

“The climbers did get back to the South Col safely, arriving around 4:00 pm,” explained Elli. “They had a bit of a rough night, with the wind blowing and Vern having some breathing difficulties. David describes gusts of wind blowing the sides of the tent in, making it hard to sleep even after the exhausting effort of going to the summit. So they were glad to get out of there in the morning and head down to Camp 2.”

Running back home

“Today both Vern and David arrived in Base Camp by late morning, while Chewang and Thapkee stayed at Camp 2 to help bring loads down from Camp 4. David enjoyed a leisurely afternoon packing and taking a shower, while Vern hurried to pack his stuff to start walking down to Deboche. As I write this he is already walking down the trail.”

Alpine Ascents team is not alone up there though. Jim Williams, Exploradus team’s leader, reported earlier today on his intention to follow the rest on tonight’s summit push. That is, if there is a summit push at all…

All together, tonight

”Last night after quite a bit of discussion the group decided not to go out in the strong winds and risk a failed summit attempt. They agreed to wait another day and then try with others on the S. Col tonight. At the moment there will be a strong team from AA and a Singaporean team trying to summit on 02 June 2005. We are all resting in anticipation of a long summit night.”

Too much time at 8000m

The question is: What will happen if conditions are poor tonight? The climbers cannot remain there for long. As Jim pointed out: ”In the early days everything above here was called the Death Zone and spending much tine above here was considered dangerous to one's health. These days with light weight cylinders of supplemental oxygen one often forgets were they are and believe they can live at the S. Col indefinitely. This is simply not the case. Your body quickly deteriorates and you become weaker by the day. Most teams spend two nights on the S. Col as part of their summit attempt. Our team will spend four nights as part of their summit attempt.”

About Alpine AScents team: On May 30, David Liano, Vernon Tejas, Chewang Sherpa, and Thapkee Sherpa summited Mount Everest from the south side. 25 years old Mexican David Liano has been climbing since he was 13 years old. Summits include Cho-Oyu, Denali, Aconcagua, Huayna Potosi, Pequeno Alpamayo, and Pico de Orizaba and Iztacciauatl in his native Mexico. Vernon Tejas, has done the Seven Summits three times, and summited Everest 4. Lakpa Rita Sherpa was the world's first Sherpa to summit Mount Vinson at Antarctica, and is a six time Everest summiteer.

Vernon Tejas, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, Dave Morton, and Jose Luis Peralvo are once again guiding the Alpine Ascents International team this spring on Everest. AA has been leading climbers to the roof of the world for 18 years now. The US based company is one of the leading outfitters on the South Side. This is a full serviced guided expedition.

Among the clients, at 20 years of age, Danielle Fisher has a chance to be the youngest person to climb the seven summits, replacing the current 7 summit record holder Britton Keeshan, who was 22 when he reached Everest - the final of his seven summits - last spring. She is in the second summit push team.

About Exploradus team: This spring, Jim is leading a four-member guided team on Everest’s South Col route. Back in 1989, Jim was a member of the team that pioneered the Hercules Inlet – South Pole route, now followed by almost all South Pole expeditions. Williams has been alternating between polar adventures and climbing for the past 35 years, guiding Everest 10 times (1 summit). Team members: Neal Mueller, 27, Chris Grubb, 25, Urszula Tokarska, 41, who is giving Everest a second try after reaching the South Summit last year. If she succeeds this time, Urszula will be the first Canadian woman to climb all Seven Summits. Carrie Dagher, 29, is Base Camp Manager.

Live image over Contact 3.0 of team member Jose Luis at South Col, dedicated to Ecuadorian guide Gabriel Llano, courtesy of Alpine Ascents.

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