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  SKi8000 expedition 2004: Update

4/29: Just after dark, the summit team has arrived in basecamp. Tomorrow full story!

4/30: A period of intense teamwork has contributed to a fantastic achievement which merits credits from many people, especially Joost, Herman, Ngima, Pemba, Pasang and Ang Pemba. Thanks to these people, and others, it has been possible for Greg, Ang and Pasang to reach the summit of Cho Oyu. A true team effort, which has been built up for many months before success was possible. The real achievement, the ski descent from 8201 meters, followed.

I would personally like to thank Joost and Herman for their hard work and friendship.

The climb up to Vicks camp 3 was very strenuous. Mentally, I had a hard time making identical steps as a week earlier, but this time without Joost. It felt very weird to be climbing without him, especially because I had not climbed without him for more than a year. But as Johan would say, "elk nadeel heb zijn voordeel" and I enjoyed more space in the tents. Ang Pemba, Pasang and I left Vicks camp 3 at midnight, in artic temperatures. Before we arrive at the rock band at 7700 meters, the moon disappears and leaves us in complete dark. We have some problems finding the fixed ropes we placed earlier and I start worrying about our summit attempt. Luckily, Pasang finds the ropes and progress can continue. My thermometer indicates -43 degrees at 5h30, and my feet are freezing cold. I take of my shoes to rub my toes warm, but this nearly helps.

At 8h00, we arrive at 8020 meters, where Joost and I decided to turn around a week earlier. From here, I am determined to go the summit, but the going is extremely slow. When we arrive on the vast summit plateau at 8120 meters, I know we are going to make it. After one and a half hour of walking, searching for the summit, finally Everest comes in view and Ang and I celebrate success! Pasang descends quickly because he is too cold while Ang and I make pictures and enjoy the view.

After a few moments of concentration, I click in to my ski's at 8201 meters and point them towards base camp! The real adventure starts, and I begin to feel better and better. After 100 vertical meters of skiing, the weather starts deteriorating quickly and Ang and I lose view. We cannot find the fix ropes which lead down and I decide to take off my ski's and replace them with crampons. It is now important that Ang and I safely descend to Vicks 3 together. It is 14h00, we are still above 8000 meters and the weather is turning for the worse. We are both completely exhausted, moving very slowly and both a bit worried about the situation. We proceed downwards and at 18h00, we arrive in Vicks 3. For the first time, I realize the Vickspedition is successful!!!

I camp 3, I feel very bad. I try to drink something, and fall asleep. The next day I feel much better and prepare to continue the ski descent. From Vicks 3 (7448 meters), I am able to ski all the way to the ice cliff, at 6800 meters. A short abseil on the ice cliff, and I reclick into my ski's! I really feel very well on my ski's, and this gives me courage for the continuation of the ski descent, off the difficult ridge. Ang is filming every second of it!


Yeah, I made it! At 17h30 Ang and I arrive in OC&C camp 1, where Pemba and Pasang are awaiting us. It is two more hours walk to base camp, and completely in extase from emotion and fatigue, I meet Joost and Herman in tears. Ngima and Joost's father have arrived in base camp, which is a great surprise!! The next few hours go past me without me really realizing what's going on, but I remember feeling very happy to be back in base camp with Joost, Herman and the others.

The night is long, because I cannot sleep from the pain in my throat. The fatigue is serious but I know the Vickspedition Ski8000 is succesful, and that we did it as a team! Thanks to all of you for your support! Greg

copyright SKi8000 Expedition



Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.



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