Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: First fatality|
May 2, 2005 03: 21 EST
Canadian climber Dr. Sean Egan passed away today on his way down to Pheriche. He had been experiencing respiratory problems, and was descending to Pheriche to seek medical advice. Dr. Egan died of a heart attack en route. See separate Exweb stories on Dr. Egan today.
The Everest teams’ dispatches have confirmed high winds on the mountain today, but they look forward to better conditions starting this weekend. On the North Side, teams battled wind and snow, continuing to stock supplies at the North Col. South Side teams also ran into rough weather. The Valencia team returned from Camp 3 in the middle of a storm: 50 cm (20 in) of fresh snow, and 50 km/hr (31 mph) wind gusts. They made it through the wind and snow only to find out that three of their oxygen bottles were stolen by other climbers!
Friday’s windy conditions should die down, beginning this weekend. Look for winds to drop to 5-10 m/s (11-22 mph). Snowfall should be heavy, though, as the Tibetan lows continue to cause showers in the Everest area.
Wind and snow are the specials of the day, and teams did their best to hole up in shelter and wait out the storm.
Jean Pavillard and Monica (supermom)
Like everyone else, Jean and Monica are doing their best to hold out against the weather: ‘Interim camp at 5,800m. Fresh snow, high wind. We may stay right here and let the storm move out, before continuing up the mountain.”
“Our goal today was to reach the North Col, and we made it… partially. We were loaded with food and went at a slower pace. Midway the fog wrapped around us, and soon came the wind and blizzard. The way up the fixed ropes was tough and the wind grew sronger. At 2 pm we decided to leave our loads in a depot at 6900, and turned back to BC.”
With May around the corner, and most acclimatization processes completed, teams are starting to think about the summit. But like the North Side teams, the immediate issue of the day is to avoid the nasty weather.
“While David was in BC, Jorge and Haya returned today from CIII in the middle of a storm. There was 50 cm of fresh snow – great for the descent of the otherwise iced Lhotse face – and gusts of wind 50km/h – not so great. They are all in BC but Jorge and Haya will need some time to recover the sensibility in their fingers after that cold.”
“Some Korean climbers told our Brazilian mate that they had used our tents and three O2 bottles in camp III. When he asked them to replace the bottles, the Koreans said: ‘Oh, we have this one we haven’t used, You can take it up if you want.’ Tomorrow we will go and have a chat with them.”
Alpine Ascents (young Dainelle is among the climbers)
Nigel Clark reports: “Yesterday we moved up from Camp I to Camp II. At first the weather was good but deteriorated quickly to a whiteout. We arrived at camp II in the afternoon cold and pleased to be there.”
”Today (Friday 29th) we climbed up to 7000m for the first time to the base of the Lhotse face where we could see Camp III. The weather was not good though - very high winds and a lot of blowing snow.”
Exploradus – extreme chef
“So first for all of the worriers out there, we made it through the icefall safely and are now hanging out at Camp I,” wrote team member MC yesterday. “The icefall is constantly changing as the glacier moves downhill so we were treated to a new route to explore this time through the track.”
”When I'm walking through the icefall, I kind of feel like my older brother has just set up a room full of dominos. You're really curious to jump extra hard or throw something at all of the precariously placed blocks just to see what will happen but you know that you're going to receive a pounding if you do. And so you quickly tiptoe through and hope that you don't accidentally upset the balance.”
On April 29th, the AC team’s Sherpas reported higher winds near Camps 2 and 3 on. They added, “we are hopeful that all will be well for our move up the hill the day after tomorrow.”
“Feeling quite positive today. Everyone is looking forward to May 1st and the psychological impact that will have. My plan is as follows: BC till Monday. Drop down to Dingboche on Monday and stay 3 nights in a lodge. Thursday back up to Deboche. Friday the 6th back at BC. From BC to summit needs 5 days, so Naga will call us back early if the 10th looks like a likely date. If the weather is not ready we will wait at BC, or in my case maybe ABC for weather window.”
Waldemar and Irivan, the Brazilians climbers, are in Camp 3. They got there yesterday, in conditions progressing from bad, to very bad, to extremely bad. They've spent the night with -18,2º inside the tent, -27ºC outside. They'll return to BC tomorrow.
International Mountain Guides
Erin Simonson reports: “The real news in the past week was IMG's ability to get out in front of the curve, fix ropes up the route to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face, and establish our tent positions there. This may not sound too exciting, but it was a strong strategic move given the scarcity of decent campsites on the Lhotse face. Plus, reports from the mountain indicate the route conditions this year are fairly icy compared to normal, which makes the whole formula on the Lhotse face even trickier.”
Leipzigers w/o O2
"On Sunday some of us we will go all the way to Camp 2 - Jana will depart on Saturday to spend a night in C1. We hope to set C3 on Monday, before heading back to BC:"
Read the full dispatch in a separate Exweb story published today.
Evening Gazette reports that Alan Hinkes has reached base camp, arriving the day before his 51st birthday.
Everest Traverse’s dispatches
Singapore Mountaineers w/o O2
Singapore NUS Centennial expedition´s reports
Alpine Ascents Cybercasts
Jim Williams’ Exploradus dispatches
Dirk Stephan and Keith Woodhouse’s reports
Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches
Nigel Clark’s dispatches
International Mountain Guides dispatches
Mountain Madness dispatches
Climbing for a Cure’s dispatches
Esplugues al Everest (Catalan)
Jagged Globe dispatches
7 Summits/Harry Kikstra’s dispatches
Ed Viesturs' dispatches
Shaunna Burke and Ben Webster’s dispatches
Czech Expedition - Hornbein Couloir (English on the right side of page)
Gavin Bate’s – Adventure Alternative
Norway for Everest’s dispatches
Iranian expedition’s news
Valencia expedition’s website (Spanish)
Canadian Kanatek expedition’s website
Martin Minarik’s dispatches
Sigrid Hammer’s website (Norwegian/English)
Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian)
Ralf, Gerlinde and Hirotaka’s dispatches (German)
Inaki Ochoa (Spanish)
Ivan Vallejo (Spanish)
Leipzig expedition´s news (German)
Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian)
Mario Merelli (Italian)
Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish)
Waldemar Niclevicz’s dispatches (Portuguese)
Mallorca Expedition’s news (multilingual)
O’Brien brothers/HDF expedition’s website
Japanese Team Honda’s website (Japanese)
Gabriel Filippi’s reports through Peak Freak
1. Live image over Contact 3.0 of descending ladder at the top of the Icefall, courtesy of Keith Woodhouse.
2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of crossing a crevasse between camp I and camp II, courtesy of the Alpine Ascents team.
3. Image courtesy of Esplugues al Everest.
4. Image courtesy of Valencia expedition.
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