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Gavin Bates coming down - winds picking up, Alpine Ascents update
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May 29, 2005 23: 39 EST
Gavin Bates has turned around, listen to his audio dispatch. He reports that the wind has picked up, and he feels that he made the right decision. Gavin was climbing without oxygen.

Meanwhile, Alpine Ascents just updated:

"May 30 Summit 9:00 am
Hello again,

Here’s the latest from Everest. At 8:00 am. I heard from the summit team with the news that the climbers and the sherpas were all together, and that they were half way between the balcony and the South Summit. The weather was still very good with very little wind. Everyone was feeling good and moving strongly. Apparently they started out a little slowly last night because Chewang went ahead to help set the fixed lines up to the balcony. In the meantime Thapkee was with Vern and David but carrying five bottles of oxygen. Now that they are all together again Thapkee and Chewang can share the oxygen carrying duties and it sounds like they are making a bit faster progress. These guys are amazing.

In the meantime, the second climbing team left Camp 2 at about 6:00 this morning heading for Camp 3. I’ve heard them a couple times on the radio this morning breathing hard but doing well. Tony has been fighting a tooth abcess problem but seems to be doing ok.

At base camp Kent, Cathleen, and Mostafa are packing up and will be heading down the valley today. We wish them well on their journey home. "

Gavin Bate was attempting Everest for the third time... this time without oxygen. The plan was to climb alone with a cache of gear stored at C2, from where he would shoot straight for the summit, without fixed camps in C3 and C4.

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