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THEY ARE OFF Everest Snowboarders on Summit Push
03:22 a.m. EDT Aug 28, 2003
At this hour (midnight EST) Stephen, Eric, Jimmy, Lakpa Dorje Sherpa and Kami Sherpa are leaving ABC for the Japanese Couloir. The most daring summit push of 2003 and one of the most notable climbs in modern Everest history has commenced.

The team plans to make web updates throughout the climb when possible.

The climbers first head for C1 (already established), spend some hours there for refuel and re-packing, and leave again in the evening.

They will climb the Japanese Couloir through the night, ascending from 6,300 meters to 7,800 meters. Stephen estimate this to take about 10 to 14 hours, depending on the snow conditions.

At 7800, the team will dig a platform for rest and to fill water bottles before departing for the summit again at around 8 PM local time. That night will be spent to climb the remaining 1000 plus meters of the Hornbein Couloir to the summit.

That's around 58 hours to summit from now (midnight Wednesday August 27).

Gods speed.

Stephen Koch aims to snowboard the Seven Summits. With only one left to go – Everest – he chose the hard way; down one of the world’s most famous direct lines, the Hornbein Couloir.

Jimmy Chin plans to climb to the top with Stephen and then ski down. The team also chose their two sherpas, Lakpa Dorje Sherpa and Kami Sherpa for companions on the climb: "Lakpa has summitted 4 times without oxygen and Kami has summitted 2x with oxygen. They are great partners and we are excited to have them along."

Off season, in the Monsoon, there are no fixed ropes, no camps and no O2. Stephen, Jimmy and Eric are friends from Wyoming. The expedition uses Contact 2.0 software to provide Web updates.

Image courtesy of the Everest Snowboard Expedition.

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