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Everest blast update - Harry Kikstra: Alex's expeditions always rock!
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Apr 10, 2005 15: 46 EST
Harry Kikstra just updated from Nyalam, adding his own story to the latest events. The climbers have been escorted by a tank and the Maoist's attacked his team mates Alex and Sergei. Here's Harry's report:

Details might change

"This is Harry Kikstra calling in from Nyalam, the evening of the 10th of April for our combined 7summits.com/7summitsclub.com Mt Everest expedition."

"As always with both Alexander's (Abramov) as well as my own climbs many things have happened, so imagine if we combine our strengths... Let me start by saying that parts of this story have not been fully confirmed, so details might change but here is the story..."

Sergey was injured

"First of all Alexander is not with us at the moment. He was supposed to arrive soon after us, but then he just did not arrive as planned at the border. Only the next day we found out that he had been in a taxi, close behind our convoy."

"Suddenly they either ran onto a landmine or a light granate was thrown into their car. At least there was an explosion and climber Sergey was injured (at his foot), though not serious, he had to be taken to the hospital and might have to leave the expedition."

Alex spending time with the Army

"Alexander Abramov, our expedition leader was with him in the car and apparently did not get injured, but he had to return with Sergey to the hospital and now has to spend some time with the police and army to file a report. Also he will lose more time as he needs to get a new visa as he was cancelled from our group visa this morning when we left Zhangmu to Nyalam. Hope to confirm more tomorrow..."

"We hope to see Alex in a couple of days again, meanwhile we will stay one more day in Nyalam to acclimatise. Our cargo cleared after all and everything seems ok."

Off to BC sans Alex for now

"We had a very beautiful ride from Zhangmu on winding roads making the Karakoram highway look like a highway. Quite a lot of snow still but the road was good and we arrived quickly."

"Day after tomorrow we will continue to Xigar (New Tingri) for another 2 days of acclimatising. Nickolay and the Sherpas will leave for basecamp tomorrow so they can prepare the camp for when we arrive. Dimitri and I will make sure the group is ok and acclimatizes according to plan. We might not be able to post after tomorrow until we reach BC, so no news should be considered as good news."

The first Beijing 2008 caps

"On a lighter note: Nate and I just had a great time when we walked past a couple of Chinese guys playing Ping Pong. We walked in and immediately got invited to a game."

"Weirdest acclimatizing exercise I ever did, but it was great fun and I think we actually kicked some Chinese butts ;-) Good to see how sport transcends borders and language barriers. Meanwhile the first Beijing 2008 caps have been spotted, so China is getting ready."

Back to the rats

"Ok, will go up to the ratroom now, Lorenzo already spotted a few nice ones trying to nibble on Noel's feet, so let's see who is the tastiest of our 4 person room with Lynne and me

All the best from a chilly Tibet,

Harry"

Yesterday, the two Russian climbers and their driver were going up a hill when they were caught up by Maoists who threw three bombs at the car. One of the bombs made it into the car and blasted away the whole floor. The driver pushed the vehicle up the mountain pass, barely making it to the top as the rebels continued to charge the trio.

The car finally made it past the top at which point the Maoists ran off. The driver was not injured, but one of the climbers suffered complicated injuries to his foot.

Meanwhile, the other part of the expedition had an eventful border crossing of their own.

The climbers had planned to be airlifted by a chopper but the Nepali army needed all the helicopters so the expedition traveled to the Friendship bridge with an army escort in a tank "searching and looking around for possible Maoists".

Alexander Abramov has made quite a name for himself here at ExplorersWeb. He was the one to drive a Land Rover to the top of Elbrus and crashed it coming down, he was the one who slaughtered his own BC food on Everest two years back, and finally the expedition leader of our team mate's climb to the summit of Mount Everest this past spring.

He fires and rehires Sherpas in a blink of an eye, he builds masterful toilet tents, and reads weather by them too. This year, Alex joined hands with Harry Kikstra of 7summits.com, forming the 7summits-club.

Harry and extra guide Nickolai Cherni are leading Lynne Stark, Hanna Noel Richmond, Nate Schneider, and Lorenzo Gariano. Nikolay Cherni has 6, 8000ers and was a co-leader of the Russian Central North wall expedition last year. Lynne Stark will attempt to be the first woman from Northern Ireland to climb Everest.

Alexander Abramov guides the rest with extra guide Ivan Dus. The entire expedition offers a full service outfit with 11 climbing Sherpas (all Everest summiters), and an expedition Doc. There are 18 expedition members in total.

Image of Alex Abramov, ExplorersWeb.

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