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First summit pushes just started
12:01 p.m. EDT May 8, 2003
In just 5 hours more climbers on the South Side will be leaving for one of the first pushes to the summit. Already today the French 50 team was scheduled to leave for Camp II. On the North Side the Russian Alpindustria team planned on leaving Base Camp and trekking to Advanced Base Camp to start their summit push.

ExplorersWeb’s forecasts indicate that today the winds are subsiding to a level where the summit could be climbable, although there are still winds up high. The forecast for the upcoming 5 to 7 days ranges from 10 – 25 m/s. The summit can be made in 10 m/s winds; however only the most experienced climbers can make it in 25 m/s.

In this period of unstable weather several factors will play into a team’s success, luck, strength, and the condition of their tents up high.

From the South, the French 50 team, Indian Army, Jagged Globe, Koreans, and South Africans will be going for a summit push.

Jagged Globe has an experienced team. Expedition leader Robert Anderson has been on Everest nine times already, but has not summited. In an interview with ExplorersWeb, Stephen Venables said of Robert, “He deserves more than anyone to reach the summit.” Robert was the expedition leader of a small team that opened up a new route on Everest’s Kangshung Face in 1988. He was also part of a winter Everest expedition. Also on this team is an American who has climbed 4, 8000m peak, and Borge Ousland, an Arctic veteran who is very strong.

On the North Side the Russians have a very formidable team. They just returned to base camp after spending several days down at 4000m and feasting on fresh sheep meat, so they are well rested. In addition every member of the team, with the exception of their cameraman has been on or summited an 8000m peak. The Russians are historically known for their toughness and veracity.

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