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  Expedition leader Nick Arding Nick Arding gives a brief update and outlines future intentions

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Watch your ice axe around my dinghy
8:14 p.m. EDT May 12, 2003
Solo and unsupported North Pole skier Pen Hadow isnít the only expedition that has to deal with open water this spring. Between base camp and intermediate camp on the North Side of Everest is a frozen lake. As summer approaches, not only does Pen have to deal with the ice breaking up and melting at the Pole, but Everest teams have similar problems too.

Granted, the climbers only have to walk around the perimeter of the melted lake instead of donning a dry suit and jumping in like Pen has to. Still, the resourceful crew on the UK Royal Marines/Navy team doesnít want to do any more trekking then they have to. So, they brought along a dinghy with them to base camp to shuttle climbers and gear across the lake, instead of around it.

They inflated the vessel today while resting and waiting down in base camp Ė needless to say they got a couple funny looks. The boys should do alright though; who do you think would have the veracity to poke fun a large team of well-trained soldiers?

Expedition leader Nick Arding speaks of the teamís recent moves and outlines their future plans in todayís video dispatch. So far they have reached 7500m on the North Ridge and only lost two tents in the storm two weekends ago. Spirits are high and they paying close attention to the weather Ė next time up, itíll be for the summit!

After some tech and hard-drive problems, the UK team has everything in line and are dispatching directly from the North Side base camp.

Image and video courtesy of RNEverestNorthridge2003.com

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