NEWSLETTERS - Everest North Side 2005

Newsletter 215 April 2005

Since we have been at Base Camp the expedition members have been divided into two teams for the north side of Everest - the yellow team and the red team. This has no significance except for the fact that there are a certain number of yellow tents and a certain number of red tents here at BC. Those in the yellow tents are the yellow team and those in the red tents are the red team. Also we have two or three Mess tents so one team goes to one and one to another so neither tent is too crowded.

The Yellow Team - Everest North


  • Dean Staples (NZ)
  • Dave McKinley (NZ)
  • Duncan Chessell (Aus)


  • Charlie Hobbs (also an international guide NZ)
  • Mary Hobbs (in support of Charlie North Col and writer of newsletters to date)
  • Chuck Dasey USA
  • Grania Willis Ireland
  • Antoine Boulanger France
  • Peggy Foster Canada
  • Akitomo Fujibayashi Japan
  • Shinichi Ishii Japan
  • Brett Merrell USA
  • Chieko Shimada Japan
  • Jezz Benton orig. UK now NYC, USA


Red Team - Everest North
  • Bill Crouse Guide - USA
  • Mark Woodward Guide - New Zealand (Woody)
  • Kevin Goldstein NYC - USA
  • Paul Hockey Australia
  • Mogens Jensen Denmark
  • Sissel Smaller Norway - lives in Hong Kong
  • Soren Nielsen Norway - originally from Denmark
  • Richard Staite UK
  • David Tait UK
Attached to red team
  • Monica Weil-Kalozdi USA
  • Jean Pavillard Guide - originally Swiss - now in USA
  • Tom Torkelson USA

We also have expeditioners who are going for the North Col at around 7,000 meters and some long-term supporters of those who are going for an Everest summit bid who remain at either BC or ABC for the duration of the trip.

North Col
  • Andrew Taylor - guide NZ (Frog)
  • Oliver Smallman - UK
  • Leo Rub USA (originally Peru)
Medical crew at BC and ABC

We have a doctor and nurse with us long-term who are here with the expedition: Dr Terry O'Connor and Stacey Crowley who accompanies Terry as both his partner and the nurse of the trip. They are helping expedition members as required but have also brought medicines for the local Tibetan people and have had daily surgeries for them, treating all sorts of long-term problems with simple remedies that have brought relief. Terry is also very open to natural healing remedies too which is of enormous benefit. Their assistance has been very appreciated by many people.

Travelling to Interim Camp and ABC today 16.4.05:

Peggy, Jezz, Soren, Paul, Woody, Frog, Olvier, Leo and Terry and the big boss Russell Brice are bound for Interim Camp today.

Travelling to Interim Camp and ABC tomorrow 17.4.05

Richard, Sissell, Mogens, Bill and Richard go from the red team tomorrow. From the Yellow team tomorrow, Chuck and Grania head up.

Travelling to Interim Camp and ABC 18.4.05

Charlie, Mary, Akitomo, Shinichi, Brett, Chieko, and David Tait. Dean and Dave are heading up on 18.4.05.

Veronique Veekamp travelled to ABC earlier this week with guide Duncan Chessall. Veronique had booked to trek to ABC only and will return with Sherpas on Monday and then travel back home.

Puja Ceremony

Earlier this week there was a very special ceremony for all expedition members on the north side by the Head Lama of the Rongbuk Monastery that blessed those climbing. Incense burned, the Head Lama and his assistant said prayers and prayer flags were erected at the end of the ceremony where they flutter in the (very vigourous wind!) for the rest of the expedition. The prayer flags are coloured in red, white, green and blue and send prayers of peace and love throughout the world whenever the breeze lifts them - which is almost all the time. It was a very special ceremony that was appreciated by all expedition members and the staff.

Other news:


Himalayan Experience acclimitization draws on the long experience of the boss (Russell Brice) and what he considers is the most optimum gradient approach for his clients. His gradient approach to acclimitization is slow and steady and has already paid off. No Himalayan Experience team members has yet had to return to a lower altitude or has experienced altitude sickness to the extent they have had to go home. However, many other teams have had to send previously fit young members back home from BC and ABC already.

Fixed Ropes

Himalayan Experience has been instrumental in replacing all of the fixed ropes on the north side with 10,000 meters of new rope of the same thickness and removing old rope that has been confusing in the past. With the new rope fixed from the beginning of the climb to the top it means people are easily able to discern what to link into which is vital during hte climb. Right now Himalayan Experience has transported all the rope at ABC and at North Col and are Sherpa teams are also joining in to fix it to the summit as a team.


We have experienced very strong winds and already damaged tents have had to be replaced. Over the next few days the winds are predicted to lessen which is very exciting for all of us!
Two ladders are required for negotiating our climb to the North Col. They are needed to bridge the gaps of a couple of very large crevasses. Until last year no ladders were required for this area. Last year one was required, this year two. We'll keep you posted.


The last night at Base Camp where all members of the team will be here (before the summit) was celebrated last night with a combination of western and Tibetan dancing. The Sherpas and Tibetan people joined in and a very special evening was enjoyed by all.

South Side

As expected, the legendary Whetu is progressing well with his team on the south side and has established Camp 2 there. I understand that this is about the same altitude as ABC on the north side. Whetu will be sending his own newsletters from the south side as they progress.

Italian team

The Italian team who are utilising Himalayan Experience logistics on the north side are due to arrive in Lhasa Tibet today.

Cho Oyo

The team for this summit arrive in Kathmandu and leave for the border on 18.4.05.

Team members

David had a quick and unexpected little trip back to lower altitudes to get a very painful hole in his tooth repaired. He spent two nights in Kathmandu and is due back here today. We welcome his return. There are members of the team who have also offered natural treatments that will help hasten his recovery that he is appreciative of. The chief cook also had dental problems and will return with David today.

Russell (the boss) has advised the guides if they have tooth problems they won't be going back to lower altitudes but there is a strong piece of string he can attach to a yak and slap it on the rump - he feels that will cure any problem the guides may have!

Jezz Benton said his mum swears by hot lemon honeys; and he is keen to report that he has converted most of the team to mother benton's lemon honeys during this expedition!
Kevin (NYC) wants to let his mum know he is being well-fed.

The rest of us send our love to family and dear friends who we know are with us all the way. It is of unbelievable help! Thanks team!

This is Mary (Hobbs NZ) signing off here for now and I look forward to updating you with more news from ABC after 20 April.
Best wishes to you all.
Warmest regards