Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Teams brace for 50 mph winds|
May 2, 2005 03: 20 EST
Everest teams are fortifying their camps in preparation for high winds and wet weather. For many teams, the acclimatization process is complete. North Siders have spent the night at Camp 1 (North Col 7050 m), and on the South Side, some climbers are already heading down from Camp 3. Now they have to hang tight until a weather window opens. Meanwhile, the Sherpas continue to push upward. They’ve laid in some supplies at 8300m on the North Side. To the south, they’re fixing the route up to Camp 4.
Jet back on Friday
Our old friend the jet stream should be back in town on Friday, bringing with him 20-25 m/s (45-56 mph) winds to the Everest summit. But he won’t be staying long. Starting on the weekend, the wind should drop back down to 5-10 m/s (11-22 mph). Several lows over Tibet may bring widespread showers to Everest Friday through Sunday.
Everest North - tech
Yesterday, we ran a story on a couple of Everest North Side climbers (Nigel Clark and Duncan Chessell) who are using the new Contact GEO technology: Complete with live positions, pics, and altitude tracking. Be sure to check out their dispatch sites for all the latest info.
There’s nothing like a little humor to lift the spirits on Everest. It’s sort of like laughing in death’s face. Luis reports on how the Everest traverse team took advantage of a rest day:
”Piers, being an Australian, attracted a bit of a media storm here at Base Camp when Jennifer Adams from channel 7 in Melbourne's turned up to start asking questions. Piers and the AC team, not wanting to be upstaged, turned the tables on Jen as I hopped behind the camera, and Piers and the crew proceeded to, "ask the hard hitting questions that the general public is afraid to ask!"
Everest North – normal route teams
Teams are spending the night at the North Col (7050 m) to finish the acclimatization process. Some North Side Sherpas have made carries up to 8,300 m!
Lynne and Noel went to Zanghmu (a 300 km drive) to check with doctors about Noel’s non-focusing eyes:
“We spoke to a local doctor who was very unqualified to give any advice on eye problems or any thing much ......Noel has therefore decided to head back to Base Camp after a couple of days at this altitude (2500 m) and resume climbing on Sunday to ABC and upwards...hopefully the good news is we will miss the storms forecast for Everest in the next two days.”
Assistant leader, Neal Short, reported from ABC: “Both Ran and Mark made it up to the North Col today, with David, Fred, Tore and Ian. The latter four are going to spend the night up there tonight. Tomorrow, Neal, Sibu, Alex and Jens are going to head back up to the North Col to also spend a night. The weather continues to be pretty settled, though they are concerned that it will break in the next few days. The guys want this before setting off tomorrow a.m. Our amazing Sherpa team made a carry up to 8,300m today and plan to repeat this feat tomorrow.”
The team is reinforcing ABC with ropes and stones in anticipation of the upcoming winds. They’ve decided to hold out for a few days before making their way up to C 1.
Teams have spent the night at Camp 3, where Keith Woodhouse said there was “fierce wind and intense cold.” Meanwhile, according to the Singapore NUS team, Sherpas are busy fixing the route to Camp 4, and stocking it with oxygen bottles.
“Finally back at BC. The trip to C3 really takes it out of you!!” Keith reports. “Decided on a steady trip down looking for photo opportunities but weather had other ideas and it dumped a good 6 inches of snow. Added to that my Camelbak burst in the rucksack and soaked everything. Still now in dry clothes and tucked up in my sleeping bag!”
”We are looking at the first reasonable weather window after May 10th which may work out, as there is a Singapore team itching at the bit that is planning for an earlier date. That would suit us perfectly. I now need to focus on building up my strength by dropping down to Dingbotche 4350m. Hope I can shake old the Khumbu cough, very irritating but only triggers when I talk.”
Singapore NUS team
“This morning, I left Camp 2 at 8.30am with one of our Sherpas, Kama Rita,” team member Ee Khong Lean reports. “We arrived at Base Camp at about noon. I felt relieved to be back at Base Camp. I could rest and recover from the six full days up at high altitude.”
“Ernest, who did not go up to Camp 3 with us because he wasn't feeling well, is preparing to go for his acclimatization climb tomorrow to sleep at Camp 3. We will wait for his return to join us in our summit bid.”
In his latest diary entry, team member Harold Mah describes several microclimates on Everest:
“I got back to Base Camp after a five hour descent down almost 4,000 feet with my Sherpa. We descended through 80 degree heat, a couple of snow storms, thick fog and weather that varied from warm and sunny to cold and gloomy. On the way down we bumped in Gabriel Filippi, who we had met at Base Camp, who is starting an acclimatization ascent and plans to spend the next six nights on the mountain. Rather him than me!”
“Base Camp is very quiet now. Most of the teams have their climbers on the mountain, at various stages of acclimatization, so there’s lots of space to move around. It’s a strange thought to look up at the mountain and realize that there are so many people perched on the side, sleeping in wind-battered tents, sub-zero temperatures and with little oxygen.”
David was suffering from a sore throat (Khumbu cough, no doubt) and was heading back down to BC. Jorge and Haya are climbing to CIII, and have noticed Sherpas opening the route to Camp 4, via the iced Lhotse wall.
“The cook’s helper has a reddened thorax, full of dots,” reported Mario. “Diagnosis: food poisoning. Cure: cream for the chest and a diet of boiled rice flavored with our extra-virgin olive oil. Signed: Doctor Merelli”.
“It is amazing how one feels like living again when one is back in BC. Even if the weather is far from improving. Today it snowed and the team’s spirits are difficult to keep high, so anything breaking the monotony helps, such as the dotted thorax of the cook’s helper.”
Shisha Pangma and Everest Superculoir
Ralf Dujmovits, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Hirotaka Takeuchi are currently in BC at the foot of Shisha Pangma’s south face. Check out the full Exweb story published earlier today.
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. Image of David (Valencia team) crossing crevasse courtesy of www.expeadiccion.com.
2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of Luis turned TV news cameraman, courtesy of the Everest traverse team.
3. Live image over Contact 3.0 of descending the Lhotse face, courtesy of Keith Woodhouse.
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