NEWSLETTERS - Everest Expedition 2004

Newsletter 1 Karsang13 April 2004

Hello to all of you from the past Himex team members, Team Kasang.

We are all safe and sound at Mt Everest Base Camp, Tibet, China. 5200m. The purpose of this dispatch is to introduce the team and bring you up to date with the expedition so far and also to give a brief outline of what will happen from this point.

Apart from a one day delay out of Kathmandu, due to a closed runway at Lhasa, the trip into base camp has been very smooth. In fact, we have enjoyed a better standard of accommodation and food compared with last year during the 6 day journey to base camp. We have all avoided stomach problems and everyone appears fit and healthy at this stage of the expedition. Of course, we are all very relieved to be at base camp where food hygiene is much more tightly controlled. On the subject of base camp, again Russell and his team of Sherpas have done an amazing job setting up the camp. We all feel very comfortable here.

Russell has assembled an amazing team of Sherpas. There are 24 Nepalese Sherpas, 12 Tibetan Sherpas and 7 local Yakmen available for the expedition as a whole. We have worked with many of the Sherpa team before and this familiarity is a huge boost to us. We all realise that the input made by the Sherpas is key to success on the mountain. We are all immensely grateful for this effort.

From here: We will depart for Advanced Base Camp ABC in a few days time. ABC is at 6400m and is the platform from which we will launch our attempts to climb the mountain. (ABC is set up to the same scale as BC) However, the first phase of the expedition is acclimatisation and familiarisation on the mountain. We will attempt to reach camp 3 at 7900m. This will be achieved in incremental steps, moving higher up the mountain. Russell talks about creating comfort zones on the mountain, places where one is happy to rest and spend time, importantly this creates levels on the mountain that one can return to and be sure of safety.

Once we have tagged camp 3, we will return to base camp to rest and build energy reserves for a summit push- phase 2 of the expedition. We do not expect to make a push for the summit until May. At this point weather and snow conditions will determine our schedule. A summit bid will be made from camp 4 approx 8300m where we will spend only a small amount of time. We expect to use oxygen above camp 3 at 7900m.

It is amazing to be here at Everest Base Camp. For all of us this has been a place we have dreamt of for many years.