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ExWeb Everest Debrief: The Extreme Chef and Dave D'Angelo

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Jul 1, 2004 15: 32 EST
The Extreme Chef’s team enjoyed another year of success on Everest. Alex Abramov’s Alpindustria Russian Everest North Side Adventure Team had 5 summits this year on May 24th and 25th. First up was the Extreme Chef himself, Alex Abramov, who along with Dorjee Sherpa summited on the 24th. Followed the next day by the team’s American contingent, Marshal Ullrich, David D’Angelo with Pemba Tenzing Sherpa. This was Dorjee’s first Everest summit and Pemba Tenzing’s 4th.

Have you seen the video? Straight from high camps, cold winds blowing and all, Dave D’Angelo shot, produced and sent out live video from the climb – with soundtrack and all. The ‘Just To Get By’ video is the best video sent from Everest since Scott Woolum’s "storm in Camp 3" last year! Both expeditions edited the videos right in the high camps, and then used RBGAN and Contact 2.0 for transmissions live to web. No middle men here, guys - this is the real thing from the mountain straight to you!

A long time coming

Alex had been on several previous Everest expeditions himself and made it as far as the second step last year, but had to turn around due to a large queue and waning time. May 24th and 25th were good summit days this spring, with no injuries and clear weather, albeit a bit windy on the 25th.

With exception of two climbers who left the expedition earlier on in the month, all team members reached at least 8300m, Camp III, and even a bit beyond. Climbers who were attempting a summit push with Alex Abramov’s first group elected to turn around several hours into the push due to high wind. The third summit group that included, Dmitry Moskalev and Dilmurad Tillahodjaev, followed days after the second group of Marshal, Pemba, and David, “went out from the camp for their ascent and reached an altitude of 8500m, but storm winds prevented them from summiting.”

The Alpindustria Russian Everest Adventure team was known proudly for having one of the most affordable climbs this spring, 10,000 USD. Despite the low price, Abramov provided one of the most comprehensive setups on the mountain, including sherpa support all the way up to Camp III. One of the only things separating the Adventure Team from other, higher priced expeditions was the optional sherpa support above Camp III – this would have added another 3000 USD to the cost of the climb.

Last year Alex organized the first Everest expedition for the Adventure team, charging only 9000 USD, “Next year, maybe I will put together another Everest expedition for 10000 EU, we will see,” said the Russian. The combination of the expedition’s low cost, coupled with quality equipment, and good service puts Alex in contention with the other big boys. Who would have imagined 15 years ago a Russian expedition with Italian and American climbers? The entrance of a Russian operator into the Everest arena marks a turning point – what’s the secret to Alex’s success? Raw pig fat served up at meals, copious amounts of chess during down time to keep the mind limber, and of course, dried, whole fish flown in directly from Russia.

The Russian Adventure team has recently been on trips to Elbrus and Ararat, over in Turkey. They also ran a successful Everest expedition last year and another again this year to the big E. This time, Dave D'Angelo, from team ExWeb was with them, and so was American Marshall Ulrich. Dave shot over two live videos from the mountain (check WebTV) and some of the best stories along with them. Almost the entire team Abramov summited this year.

Ludmila "Ludi" Koshelenko, the teams BC chef (who bought aprons and over sleeves for the BC cooks in China) is Yuri Koshelenko's wife, and came with the team to Base Camp to meet her husband. Yuri is climbing the new route on the Everest North Face with the Russian National team and also joined Babanov in their first ascent of the former highest unclimbed mountain in the world – Nuptse East, 7804m last year.

Image of Pemba, Marshall and Dave at the summit, courtesy of Marshall/Dave/ExWeb.

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