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Everest South: Teams turn back in deep snow - urgent meeting today
image story

May 21, 2005 13: 50 EST
Luis Benitez, from AC Everest traverse team, has just reported some further details on the summit bids taking place earlier today. A team outfitted by Asian Trekking was the one to reach a higher altitude. They turned back at the Balcony in very deep snow. (A turning point also for the Catalan 'Esplugues al Everest' climber). “The Koreans didn't even try, as far as I know,” said Luis.

“Our weather forecasts show no good weather conditions until the beginning of June,” reported Luis. “Therefore, all the leaders of the big commercial expeditions are holding a meeting today, in order to decide the strategy for the next days.”

Leaders and ladders

One of the main concerns is of course the fixing tasks in the Khumbu Ice fall. “Sherpas usually don’t want to work in the icefall in June, as the conditions are poor by then. However, one of the main points of the meeting will be to trying to reach an agreement with the 'Ice Doctors', and keep the icefall opened for some more days.”

Luis is guiding for Adventure Consultants on Everest’s south side. His goal is an Everest south-to-north traverse, along with Australian Piers Buck.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1972; his mother Italian/American; his father, an immigrant from Ecuador, Luis has been a busy guide. He has summitted Everest 4 times, Aconcagua 10 times, and stood on other "Seven Summit" peaks 14 times. Since Everest last May, he's been to Elbrus (5642m) in the old USSR, Ama Dablam, Antarctica (Mt Vinson with Annabelle Bond), and Aconcagua. On each of his expeditions, Luis has been dispatching pics and reports over Contact 3.0. Currently single, Luis lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Image of expeditions leaders meeting in Everest BC sent live over contact 3.0 some weeks ago, courtesy of Luis benitez, AC Traverse team.

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