NEWSLETTERS - Everest South 2005

Newsletter 315 May 2005

Namaste, Tashi dalek, Gidday, Tena Koe

The Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu now seems far away having been back in Base Camp for 10 days...maintaining the Himex strict Single Malt policy!

4 out of 5 of Team Gstaad returned to Everest. Team Leader - Marcel Bach, made a wise but difficult decision to return home due to some frost nipped toes during his descent from Camp 3. We miss You, Marcel...!!! And Happy Birthday too, hope it wasn't too rough in Bangkok...

The waiting game (Hurry up & Wait!) has begun - with weather theories as varied as the colours of Down suits in Base Camp.

There are those that will wait and those that don't.

We understand there are Teams currently on the South Col - 7,900m, intending to summit any day. Although some forecasts indicate high (35 knots) winds & low temperatures (-30deg.C) for the next few days...Good luck!

Fortunately the Icefall is still in (relatively!) good working condition...one colleagues' remark: " this years' an absolute Doddle (Scottish for 'easy'...).

However, for those of us that require more conviction are happily maintaining our acclimatising by reading, listening to music and creating genius literary pieces for website dispatches.

It's evident that the Icefall is more active as the temperatures start to rise, some of the ladders 'feel' less secure despite the ropes still being well secured by the Icefall Crew.

The route from Camp 2 to 3 on the Lhotse Face is well fixed - thanks to the many Expeditions' contribution of gear and Staff to provide a safe and efficient route.

With limited time and weather conditions, a combined effort (high speed Sherpas) has put fixed rope almost to the 'Balcony' - 8,500m for the 1st summit attempts.

This season so far has been unrelenting with high winds as well as frequent snow falls, however Team Gstaad is preparing to climb up to Camp 2 shortly.

With impressive commitment our Sherpa Team have set up our camps, with all the required food, fuel and oxygen to give our Team the best possible chance of summiting.

We are planning our attempt soon, ultimately meeting some North side 'Himex Team members' on the summit...yehaa - bring on the good weather!

It is disappointing to be informed, of very biased as well as extremely incorrect information regarding 'fixed rope debates' on Everest's North Ridge.

Why is it that there are those 'types' who find it necessary to create (defamatory) stories before establishing any actual facts...? Don't let the truth get in the way of a good (false!) story. Pity really, that such personality types are so motivated to discredit the actions & efforts of others...who have over a long time contributed so much for the benefit of all.

We look forward to a successful & safe ending to this season.

'Kaha nui'
Mark Whetu