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Everest daily wrap up: Severe weather holds teams at BC
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Apr 29, 2004 13: 55 EST
Everest Weather

AdventureWeather special weather alert.

High to very high winds are expected on Kangchenjunga, Everest, Annapurna and surrounding mountains, starting Saturday evening, peaking Monday.

Winds at and above C3 levels (7300m+) might reach hurricane force, raging at around 25 m/s (26 knots, 22mph). By definition, winds stronger than 17 m/s are considered storm force.

Everest North: Jockeying for the weather window

One more camp for the Italians, before the storm Soro Dorotei called in from BC: "This morning, together with Gnaro and our sherpas we climbed up to 7000 m where we set up camp I, right under the North Col. The weather was nice and we were told that it would probably stay like that for 4 more days. Well, we thought, forget about going back: Let’s go higher! Yesterday, however, the weather was awful and there was a blizzard.

Tomorrow morning I will climb up with Gnaro to camp I. We will stop there for the night. Our goal is to reach 7600 m and try to set up camp II. In the meantime, the team at BC will start heading for the ABC and then camp I. We'll see what will happen then."

Tom and Ben Clowes help a sick mate “Having been at ABC since the 16th April our bodies have felt the strain of living at 6,400m and above. We climbed up the fixed ropes on the North Col on the 22nd just for a visit. It was a hard slog but a rewarding beginning.

Coming down from ABC we called down to Iain... ‘You ok mate?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, fine, no problem.’ he shouted back. We abseiled down to him and he was very disoriented. He had no water on him and had drunk nothing and had been sick 4 times the night before. He was in trouble. Ben and I gave him our water and helped him all the way down the ropes. Sherpas came up to help. It was a hot day which made it even worse but we finally got him back to ABC to recover. Iain took a couple of days to go slowly with Mike (our doctor) and Paul to BC. He is expected to make a full recovery.”

The Dutch team doubled up its weather forecasts They get reports sent to them from a Netherlands based meteorological institute, which is backing up the reports they receive from AdventureWeather. Both weather alerts predict strong winds this weekend; because of this the Dutch are staying put in BC. Time to take care of the bills, take a shower, and have a beer.

Ropes fixed to 7700m Reports coming in this morning from our ExWeb correspondent on Everest identify about 24 tents set up at C1 on the North side, 7200m. Ropes have been fixed to C2 North, 7700m, though there are very few tents and only some stashed gear.

Everest South: "go stand in a walk in freezer"

Luis and Adventure Consultants come back from the Lhotse wall with some insight “People often ask what climbing at altitude is like. My response is simple, go stand in a walk in freezer, with a heat lamp pointed at you. Now turn on the wind fan and snow machine every so often. Then, take a simple restaurant drinking straw and pinch your nose so the only air you are getting is thru that little straw. Then to top it all off, put on about 10k worth of gear and clothing and go walk an endless flight of stairs.”

Camp IV still not ready Swee Chiow went up to camp 3 and stayed one night there before returning back down. Swee will rest at BC till camp 4 is ready.

Mountain madness back in cyberworld Sarah Henley is back to report from Everest Basecamp. "The guys seemed to manage ok without me! On the 17th the crew came back from camp 1 for a few days rest. Once they recovered they headed back up but this time they slept at camp 2 (6400) for five nights. Gene and Gary made it up the Lotse Face to camp 3, Murray's crampons broke and he had to go back to camp 2 with one crampon. The plan now is to rest in BC for four days and then make their way to camp 3 to sleep for a night or
two.. After sleeping at camp 3 they rest at base and then wait for a window of good weather to try for the summit."

Back in BC Judging from the latest dispatches ropes have been fixed nearly to South side Camp IV, 7900m. Most teams on the South side are back in BC, with a few possibly at CII and CIII.

Other Mountains: Cho Oyu summit attained and skied off

Cho Oyu - Ski8000 reaches summit! On April 28th Greg, Pasang, and Ang Pemba reached the summit of Cho Oyu! Currently Greg is descending on skis to Camp 3 at 7450 m.

The team had to search for the true summit on the huge summit plateau of Cho Oyu, since the visibility was poor. After an hour they suddenly saw Mt. Everest, a proof that they were on the true summit of Cho Oyu. The GPS confirmed this by giving an altitude of 8196 m, just 5 m off the official altitude.

Makalu - The Brits are fed up “Today has been another very frustrating day with the weather, it started snowing at about 11:00 and continued until dusk. The guys at the top camp had a brief foray onto the ridge this morning but were thwarted by knee deep snow which avalanched as they proceeded along the ridge. So, most of the team descended down to BC, having spent 4 days up high. We are really hoping for an improvement in the weather as soon as possible, you cannot believe how frustrating our lack of progress is!”

Makalu - new kids on the rock Christian Trommsdorff, Patrick Wagnon, and Yannick Grazziani will attempt a first ascent on the Eastern side of Makalu (Tibetan side). A feat only once before attempted.

“Our project plans to explore the Tibetan side of Makalu, and then to attempt a new route in a very lightweight style, as close as possible to the pure alpine style (no oxygen bottles, no high altitude porters, no fixed ropes, no pre-established altitude camps, very small team).”

They are at BC right now, at the foot of the East Ridge. Their base camp is located at the end of the moraine of the Shakyetang glacier.

Makalu - Maoists climbing fees Esp.mounteverest.net broke the news that the Maoist's ar not asking for a 'donation' anymore, but for a 'paralell climbing permit'. The Maoist came all the way to the Base Camp to demand the money.

Dhaulagiri - Argentineans need more rope "The greatest problem we have come accross has been amount of fixed ropes we still need to install, what we thought would be enough is insufficient. The new expedition that has arrived at BC, from Slovenia, has about 500m of rope but that is still not enough; so we have ordered another 1000m of rope from Kathmandu."

Jannu - team still pushing at 7000m. Today part of the Jannu North Wall team ascended to 7000m. The whole day long they were preparing a place for the portaledge which is going to be lifted from 7000m to the upper Wall. Based on the plan Bolotov's group starts working on the Wall tomorrow, and Mikhailov's group descends into BC. The weather is still unstable, but it is decent enough to continue our ascent.

Annapurna - no reports.

Mountain.ru | RussianClimb.com | Montagna.org | Gnaro Mondinelli | Tom and Ben Clowes | Dutch Paragliders | Khoo Swee | Adventure Consultants | Ski8000 | British Services Makalu | Russian Climb | Mountain.ru | Argentineans on Dhaulagiri

Image of Jannu courtesy of Mountain.ru.
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