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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: South Siders moving to C2
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May 24, 2005 11: 52 EST
Still no luck on Everest’s South Side. An agreement has been made to send up Sherpa teams to fix the rest of the route, but the weather still isn’t cooperating: 56-67 mph winds are forecast for the summit over the next few days. That news has climbers like Carlos Pauner questioning if there’s any chance for a no oxygen summit from the South Side this year. The Singapore NUS team (no O2) is planning on moving up to Camp2, as is the Alpine Ascents team. They’re hoping for a shot at the summit at the end of May/beginning of June. A minor avalanche in the icefall is also putting the pressure on the ice docs: Will they be able to keep it open through the first week of June?

On the North Side, the news is a little better. Several teams have already summited, and without an Icefall to worry about, many of the other teams are looking at the beginning of June as a possible summit time.

Everest Weather – First signs of the monsoon

As the jet wind moves in over the Mount Everest region, the winds are increasing to 25-30 m/s (56-67 mph) at the summit level. It’s mostly dry right now, with isolated showers expected to move in after Thursday. At last, monsoon activity (a traditional pre-cursor to the weather window) can be seen over the Arabian Sea, but it will not affect the Everest area this week.

Everest South

Carlos Pauner w/o O2 – Any chance for climbers w/o O2?

“Our time here is nearly finished,” Carlos says. He reports that South Side teams have tried to summit with oxygen, but have only made it to 8400m. “Some people who were planning to climb without O2 have already left. Swiss climber Kobi told me that only someone using 3 liters of O2 per minute can summit this year. I know this seems true, but I’m still waiting for a miracle.” Carlos plans to stick around until the 26th, at least. Then he’ll be able to get a better picture of the weather.

Adventure Consultants – Icefall doctors will be busy

“A late-afternoon avalanche crashed through the top of the icefall, causing a minor stir in Base Camp. No injuries reported, but the Icefall Doctors may have their work cut out.”

Singapore NUS w/o O2

“The decision is finally made: Group 1 -- Lindley and Ernest -- are leaving for Camp 2 tomorrow to start their summit bid. There was relief among the members that the long wait was over, yet some apprehension remained as the weather forecasts were less than ideal. But with June staring at us in the face, hard decisions have to be made. The strategy in place is to move up the mountain if the weather forecast predicts better weather on May 28 or 29. Group 2 will leave either the next day or day after, again depending on the weather.”

Alpine Ascents – Moving to Camp 2

“We move up to Camp 2 tomorrow. Climactic indicators now suggest that by the 31 May/1 June wind will be moderating significantly, although temperatures will be still unseasonably cold. So, that’s what we will be going for.”

Gavin Bates w/o O2

Gavin is heading up to BC today from Gorak Shep. Yesterday, he reported, “On the south side no one has made it up yet. Teams have tried but so far all have failed due to weather and the lack of fixed lines above the South Col. Yesterday there was a large meeting between all the teams at Base Camp and the commercial teams are sending up ten Sherpas over the next three days to get the fixed lines set in place in a bid to open up the higher camps and summit route.”

Everest North

Czech Hornbein Couloir expedition

With high winds and heavy snow hitting the mountain, and avalanches sliding down the face, the team has been spending most of their time waiting around BC. Last week Pepino and Lucka got tired of waiting, and began fixing the ropes around C0. They also dug the fixes out of the snow and brought another tent up to C1. In the last few days, Pepino, Lucka, and Sona were hoping to finish fixing the ropes up to Camp 2. Other team members went down to Chinese BC to fetch more supplies.

Aud and Sigrid (Norway’s first female flight captain)

This is from Aud and Sigrid’s latest dispatch, via sat phone from Everest: “Aud tried to reach the summit tonight, but had to give up due to heavy wind. It has been windy for one month. Aud has been at 8000 meters. It is the wind - or jet streams - which has made it impossible to reach the summit. Sigrid will make an attempt on May 26th.”

Everest Vitesse – No O2 speed attempt

Yesterday, the team reported, “Bruno is resting at the ABC (Advanced Base Camp-6,375 m) since there will be a test at high altitude tomorrow (today). On the following day he’ll descend to the BC (Base Camp-5,150 m) in order to regain strength while waiting to make the attempt.”

Jean and Monica (supermom) – Beginning of June push

“As we are planning our summit push we came back down to base camp. We preferred walking down 22 km. And spend 3 full days resting 1000m lower then ABC, before our final push. The forecast is showing a great weather window at the beginning of June.”

Project Himalaya - Summit story

Today's top image is courtesy of Jamie's story about thoughts from the summit of Everest. See separate article, published later today.

Adventure Consultants | Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian) | Project Himalaya | Singapore NUS Centennial expedition´s reports | Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches | Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian) | Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish) | Aud and Sigrid | Gavin Bates | Czech Expedition - Hornbein Couloir (English on the right side of page)

1. Image of Da'Ngima and the rubber chicken courtesy of Project Himalaya.

2. Image of Carlos Pauner courtesy of Carlos Pauner.

3. Image of the yak courtesy of the Everest Vitesse team.

4. Image of Monica sending emails courtesy of Monica Kalozdi and Jean Pavillard.

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