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Connecticut Everest: "George hook a blow with his right hand into the side of his wife's head"
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Nov 16, 2004 14: 10 EST

It's not the first time we hear about this expedition. But this is the first time we are getting such a detailed report. It's an article written in Hartford Courant and it's sickening. We have double checked the story with an independent climbing member of the expedition and he confirmed that the story is factually correct.

Read about the guy who climbed Everest 6 times, and beat up his Sherpa wife in Base Camp. Read about clients fearing for their lives, oxygen stashes being robbed, Sherpas demanding money in high camps, porn in mess tents, a 15 years old Sherpani slapped by her expedition leader - and a whole bunch of climbers looking the other way. Here a few excerpts:

"From now on, I will do all I can to hunt this bitch down, like a hiena [sic]," George Dijmarescu (expedition leader) wrote about a client (Anne) to another client (Michael Kodas). In another e-mail, sent to the entire team a week later, "... I am warning you and yes I am threatening you, you will be very sorry, I promise I will give you the opportunity to see worst [sic] in your life."

"During an evening of drinking, George gave Chuck a blow-by-blow account of the tension and infighting that plagued the Romanian national expedition he climbed with in 2003. But it was talk of raiding other teams' caches of oxygen that troubled Chuck. But when the team returned to Advanced Base Camp, a few days later, Anne and Carolyn were surprised to hear Chuck say that there was plenty of oxygen and abandoned equipment in the higher camps, and that he would help himself to whatever he needed."

"Russell Brice has had oxygen bottles stolen and tents filled with crucial equipment thrown from the mountain. 'I drop oxygen at Camp Three and you come and take it and it's not there for my client,' Brice said. 'That's manslaughter.'"

"'It's like `Survivor,'" Anne said. 'With all the alliances.'
Or the `Lord of the Flies,' Carolyn responded."

There was a "Pleasure Dome" tent: "Although women allegedly led the Connecticut team, a stack of pornographic magazines discouraged them from visiting."

"I'm going to sue you or I am going to whack you!' George screamed when I stuck my head into the Pleasure Dome."

"Lhakpa's sister Doni was 15 and had no mountaineering experience when George led her into the 'death zone' on Everest. Doni, exhausted and inexperienced, stepped over a piece of George's down gear with her crampons on. 'He hit Doni right in front of me. It was a back-handed, nasty slap,' said Koga, a neurologist who has worked with head trauma patients at a Katmandu hospital, studied the effects of abuse in Romanian orphanages, and is now studying at Tulane University in New Orleans."

"As we prepared to descend, we heard George boasting of the ways he could 'make an accident' happen to us. 'I'm going to burn their tent down!' he shouted."

"You know, George, I've only just met you today, but I've heard the stories, many stories about you being unwilling to help others," Dave Pritt said.

"In the cook tent, the rest of the team tried to calm Lhakpa. 'But I must fight,' she argued, eyes brimming with tears. 'I want to fight. I kill this man.' She said she wanted a divorce. After an hour Lhakpa went to visit the bathroom. But we soon heard her in the dining tent again. 'I want a divorce,' she screamed. 'She's my daughter, too.' George shouted vulgarities and insults back at her."

"George hook a blow with his right hand into the side of his wife's head. The rest of the Connecticut team saw Lhakpa crumple onto the rocky ground just inside the door. She cried hysterically as George grabbed the scruff of her coat. Lhakpa fell unconscious just inside the tent. 'I'll show you how to get this piece of garbage out of here,' George shouted, grabbing his unconscious wife and throwing her onto the rocks outside."

"Carolyn, Anne and Chuck carried Lhakpa to the cook tent. We could hear George's bellowed curses while we tried to revive Lhakpa, who convulsed. Carolyn ran for help, and within a few minutes Italian mountaineers and doctors filled the tent."

"At dinner in the cook tent, Carolyn put her open pocketknife on the table. 'Just in case I have to cut my way out of this tent,' she said. 'If it catches on fire or anything.'"

"In the middle of the sleepless night I heard Carolyn whispering.

'I'm so scared ...'"

"Coco Galescu, the Romanians' strongest climber, questioned George's authority in Advanced Base Camp, and George lunged over the dining-tent table at him. Galescu fell onto the rocky ground with George on top of him: 'You don't know what happens at night and I have this ice ax.'"
"The Sherpas demanded more money off us after having behaved really horribly, Dijmarescu and his Sherpas abused the hell out of us."

"I was honestly afraid that if something went wrong he could turn homicidal."

"The publisher of a mountaineering website requested that The Courant take me off the story, claiming he had veteran mountaineers to discredit my reporting. And I remembered George's final words on Everestnews.com describing the Connecticut Everest Expedition's climb to the summit: 'Six summits in six consecutive attempts,' he wrote at the end of his report, before offering his services. 'Do you need a guide for Mount Everest?'"

According to the article, George plans a climb to Everest Fantasy Ridge next year with one of his Everest 2004 clients.

The article is published by journalist/climber Michael Kodas in Hartford Courant.

Image (by Michael Koudas): Anne Parmenter, left, and Carolyn Moreau carried the unconscious Lhakpa to the cook tent. Copyright 2004, Hartford Courant

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