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Exploradus Everest - a windy night at the South Col
image story
May 31, 2005 00: 35 EST
American Jim Williams is one of the few people in the world who can claim to be both a polar explorer and a high altitude climber. Oddly enough it's his cooking skills he brags about.

But today, there is not much cooking on the burner. His team is at 8000 meters, after spending a windy night at the South Col:

31 May 2005
Windy night on the S. Col

"The first night on the S. Col has passed and everyone seems OK. The tents were whipped by the wind all night so sleeping was restless. Everything seems good as the crew waits for the winds too die down this evening. A new pair of crampons have been sent to the S. Col with Lhakpa Rita from AAI this morning so everything should be in order for tonight's summit attempt.

This years weather window has been a short one. The drive for the summit often defies the normal limit of mountaineering safety. Those who have spent their hard earned money often put the summit ahead of their own life. This dangerous attitude is one thing we must all guard against. I and all the summit sherpas will be keeping close track of the members as they attempt the summit during the evening of the 31 May and the morning of 01 June 2005."

This spring, Jim is leading a four-member guided team on Everest’s South Col route. Back in 1989, Jim was a member of the team that pioneered the Hercules Inlet – South Pole route, now followed by almost all South Pole expeditions. Williams has been alternating between polar adventures and climbing for the past 35 years, guiding Everest 10 times (1 summit). Team members: Neal Mueller, 27, Chris Grubb, 25, Urszula Tokarska, 41, who is giving Everest a second try after reaching the South Summit last year. If she succeeds this time, Urszula will be the first Canadian woman to climb all Seven Summits. Carrie Dagher, 29, is Base Camp Manager.

Image, ExplorersWeb files.

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