www.explorersweb.com [everest] [K2] [oceans] [poles] [tech] [weather] [statistics] [medical] Some text

The Great Everest North side Caravan
image story

Apr 19, 2004 20: 04 EST
Published April 15, 04.

The Everest climbers caravan, a low budget escape from the Maoist strikes, is on its way in China. Here an inside report:

Dust, Dust, and more dust. Yesterday we drove along a beautiful and lush canyon with spectacular scenery, all the way to Nyalam. We ran into Ralf Dujmovits and his girlfriend, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (Annapurna this year). We have been giving both him and Gerlinde, a very good lady-climber, weather forecasts for some time now. Both were very appreciative and we sat down for some pleasant conversation. It's always nice to put a face to the email, something that has happened a bunch of times on this trip already.

So, today, the drive wasn't quite as nice - 6 or 7 hours maybe? The road quickly turned to dirt and dust. The close up is of Gianni, one of the Italians. A lot of the team sported some form of mask to keep the dust out. The dirt road on the Tibetan plateau took us all the way up to almost 17,000ft, (where the picture with Gianni was taken) and we stopped for about 45 minutes to acclimate and for the Russians to smoke their cigarettes.

From there it was down to the town of Tingri, a shit hole to say the least. Alex and the Sherpas will stay there tonight and tomorrow head up to Base Camp to set everything up for us. We proceeded on to the town of Xegur at about 14,000 ft. and are staying in a rather nice hotel, complete with TV, a sit-down shitter, which is attached, and even a shower. We don't get electricity until 7 tonight, but not having to go outside to use the facilities is nice, especially since that's going to be a way of life for the next month and a half.

We'll spend tomorrow here as well and then head up to Base Camp the following day. Everyone seems to be doing well. One of the team members has a bit of a sore throat, but nothing too major. The same can't be said for a climber on another team. In Tingri, just as we were leaving, a Land Cruiser pulled in with the climber. I said hello to him, as we had met before and asked what's up? The reply, "I'm pretty fucked up," with a bit of a rasp in his voice.

I also noticed a brownish speck in his mustache, a possible remnant of a nose bleed. He quickly disappeared into his room and I didn't see him come out. The climber had already been in Base Camp, but was having some problems; not sure if it was infection related or altitude - but someone sent him down. Either way, I would rather not be that guy. At best, he'll spend a day or two in Tingri and then head up to Base Camp again to give it another go, at worst, game over.

Alex talked about the medical facilities in Tingri. Have you ever seen the hospital scenes in Jacob's Ladder?

So, it's time for a nice shower, hopefully warm, to get all the dirt out of my hair. Speaking of familiar face, took me this long to really remember the familiar face of the trip. Last year I was waiting for a helicopter flight on Khan Tengri and ran into this Czech climber named Peter. A month or two later I was walking down the street in NYC and ran into him and his girlfriend on Broadway. A couple of days ago on the friendship bridge, on the border of Nepal and Tibet, who did I run into again? Peter - he is on his way to Cho Oyu. The climber world is pretty damn small.

The most recent addition to the who’s who on Annapurna is the trio of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits of Amical Alpin, and Hirotaka Takeuchi. The trio were all on Kangchenjunga together last year, but were thwarted by poor weather.

Japanese climber Hirotaka has summited Makalu, Everest, K2, and most recently Nanga Parbat in 2001. He summited Everest and K2 back to back in 1996 and became the youngest ever to summit the world's two highest mountains at the age of 25. Ralf Dujmovits is the owner of Amical Alpin and has summited Dhaulagiri, Everest, K2, Cho Oyu twice, Shisha Pangma, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, and most recently Nanga Parbat in 2001.

Gerlinde, an Austrian woman, has summited Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, and most recently Nanga Parbat this past summer. Before Annapurna, the trio will get their feet wet on Xifeng Peak and then Shisha Pangma’s South Face.

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 are running another trip again this year to the big E. This time, Dave from team ExWeb is with them.

Image of the road and Italian climber transmitted over Contact 2.0, courtesy Dave D'Angelo, ExplorersWeb.
Feature Stories Latest News more news

1. Magic Line   
2. Russian Jannu Exp.   
Jannu North Face
3. Over Everest - Richard
      Over Everest - Angelo   
Everest Ultra light
4. Dominick Arduin   
North Pole
5. Spaceship One   
6. Central North Wall   
Mount Everest
7. Russian Extreme Pr.    
Amin Brakk BASE jump
8. Fiona & Rosie    
South Pole

Special mention:

Edurne Pasaban
Juanito Oiarzabal

Henk De Velde
North West Passage

Pavel Rezvoy

Nawang Sherpa

The Spirit of Adventure
Mount Everest Expeditions  •  Mount Everest Technology  •  Mount Everest Weather  •  Mount Everest Medical  •  MMount Everest Guide  •  Mount Everest News  Mount Everest Video  •  MMount Everest Trekking Agencies  •  Mount Everest Climbing Permits#8226;  Mount Everest Statistics  •  Mount Everest Expedition List  •  Mount Everest Resources  •  Mount Everest Community