Newsletter 69 May 2006
Well, we are ready
Today Team 1 headed out of ABC for the North Col and then higher. The plan at this stage is to summit on Saturday the 13th.
Team 2 will follow tomorrow with summit day planned for Sunday the 14th. This is both an exciting time for everyone and a nerve racking time for Russ who is stage managing the whole show, using his expertise to schedule the summit attempt around the weather.
We have chosen to head for the summit instead of the traditional rest at BC because all the team is in great health and the calm weather has not worn us out. To trudge the 22 kilometres down to BC then back to ABC just does not seem to add enough value to our summit aspirations.
So who is in Teams 1 and 2?
- Bill (head guide, 4 summits) and Phinjo (Tibetan)
- Ken (camera, 1 summit) and Narwang (Tibetan, 2 summits)
- Terry (doc) and Karsang Namgel (Nepalese 5 summits)
- Marcel (client) and Loppasang Temba (Nepalese 5 summits)
- Kurt (client) and Pemba Chhosang (Nepalese)
- Brett (client) and Phura Nuru (Nepalese)
- Mogens (super fit client, no oxygen!) and Tashi Teshering (Tibetan 2 summits)
- Ed (camera) and Ngawang Nurbu (Nepalese)
- Woody (guide 2 summits) and Phurba Tashi (Nepalese 10 summits - that is a lot of summits!)
- Shaun (guide) and Wangbe (Tibetan)
- Whetu (camera 3 summits) and Son Dorgee (Nepalese 4 summits)
- Cowboy (client) and Tashi Phinjo (Tibetan 3 summits)
- Penguin (client no-legs) and Dorji Sonam Gyalgen (Nepalese 5 summits)
- Bob (client) and Phubu Tsering (Tibetan 2 summits)
- Gerrard (client 62 years old and French) and Tenzing (Tibetan 3 summits)
- Max (client) and Dorjee (Tibetan)
- Tim (client) and Lakpa Nuru (Nepalese)
- Jen (camera) and Tashi Namgye (Tibetan)
Nth Col Logistics and film crew:
- Russ (team leader and 2 summits)
- Doug (film crew and master wildlife photographer Mr Polar Bear)
- Jake (sound and ex rock star)
- Luo Bu Zhan Duz (supporting Sherpa for North Col, Tibetan)
Why two teams?
For several reasons, mostly to limit congestion on summit day and to maximise logistics.
Speaking of logistics, this year Russ has had his Sherpa's fix all the rope on the north side of Everest (from the bottom of the North Col wall to the very summit) to ensure the safety of all climbers.
This has come at a cost: 5,400m of rope, freight charges, taxes, anchor gear, Sherpa wages, their safety gear and oxygen has cost over US$32,000!
So far, the ropes have looked like a highway with all the climbers from all other expeditions using them. Russell's problem is recovering the cost. To date only 12 expeditions have paid up (total of $11,600) so Himalayan Experience is currently shouldering the extra cost which is a shame when it is only $100 per climber. The Sherpa's are free.
This has been an excellent year for conditions and weather and we hope it continues giving us the opportunity to fufill our dreams. The clients feel in safe hands as between the film crew, Sherpas and guides there is a total of 63 ascents of Everest - this is a huge amount of experience and the clients are keen to add to this total of ascents.