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The ghosts of Everest haunt an Irish mind
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May 12, 2004 15: 15 EST
This little Irish expedition is almost ready for the summit. A few more days in Dingboche and they will be off. As they wait though, Pat’s mind becomes restless.
“The ghosts of Everest were haunting my sleep. A hundred and one thoughts crossed my mind as I relived my final summit attempt of last year.

A myriad of thoughts and actions crossed my mind. This is one of the most emotional times for a climber as he or she prepares for the summit attempt. Having read the accounts of past triumphs and tragedies and having suffered the rigors of high altitude and the pressures it puts on the body, climbers are acutely aware of the fine line between success and disaster.

No matter how confident you are, it would be foolhardy to ignore your fears. Fear is a good thing if dealt with in a logical way and confronted as it arises. Fears need to be eliminated one by one, if possible as they occur, leaving only those ones that need to be dealt with on the day.”

This mentality can be seen in many of the dispatches from teams in their final rest phase. Those who know the mountains know that they must take a good look at the upcoming obstacles and dangers. Like Khoo Swee, Pat is worried about the congestion on the ropes at high altitude. “An excessively slow climb increases the risks of weather changes, oxygen problems and frost bite. As we rest in Dingboche, I'm hoping that some of the other teams are going to make a break for it, thus reducing the number of teams holding.”

They plan on making their attempt between May 16th and 20th.

Pat Falvey and Clare O’Leary are both members of last year’s Irish Everest 2003 South Side expedition. The objectives of the team this year are to have the first Irish female ascent, Clare; and to have the first Irish climber to summit from both sides of Everest, Pat.

The 2003 Irish expedition had four members reach the summit, and thus achieved the first Irish ascent from the South. The summiteers included Michael Murphy, Gerard McDonnell, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa and Pemba Rinjee Sherpa. Pat reached the summit from the North in 1995.

Live images of Pat, Clare and Base Camp Wyeth provided by Contact 2.0, courtesy of the team.

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