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  Mt. Everest 2004: Irish Expedition Update


Update 5: Birthday/Heli pad construction; Heavy winds last night have made us Base Camp bound for today, so we've postponed an attempt to get to Camp 1 for a further day. We'll try again tomorrow.

It Clare's Birthday today and she's 33 years of age. We plan a small party for tonight to celebrate her birthday as well as Easter on Everest. We're all feeling a tinge of homesickness as we'll be missing the festivities back in Ireland. Easter is a time of year that I love as the days are getting longer, the weather is getting better and it's a great time for walking.

We've only another 46 days on Everest!

It's also Niall's last day at Base Camp. He will begin his journey home tomorrow. He is really looking forward to returning to Siouxsie, his partner, and Keelan their son, who will be celebrating his first birthday on Niall's return.

Helicopter Pad: Each team at Base Camp has got together to help build a Helicopter pad on site in case of emergency. Not an easy task on a moving glacier. Last year this was a blessing when George, one of our team mates, had to be evacuated as a matter of urgency.

We're not sure yet if helicopters will be allowed to fly to Base Camp after the crash last year; a Russian aircraft crashed killing two people and injured seven others. We hope that the authorities will consent to allowing a landing in case of a severe emergency. Building a landing pad at this altitude was tough work.

We are presently cramming our minds with foreign computer and communication language and knowledge! We're driving Niall mad with last minute questions and are just hoping that we'll be able to cope without his magic touch. We'll miss his company as much his whizz kid knowledge! 

So far, all equipment is standing up to the rigors of the mountain. I'd like to thank all our sponsors for their sound advice; it makes life on the mountain so much easier to see everything working.


Clare with birthday greeting.

Dispatch 17 - April 9th

Dangers of the Khumbu ice fall.

Its amazing, no one slept last night; apprehensions prior to our first encounter of a place known to us climbers as the chamber of horrors. This moving river of ice is over five hundred feet deep and moves at a speed of over three feet per day. We will have to pass through this ice  fall up to 10 times as we attempt to reach the summit of Everest. The glacier has a mind of its own; there's no chance to relax until past this section.

The Khumbu Ice Fall: A spectacular but treacherous horror-chamber of bottomless crevasses, seracs, and ice blocks the size of three storey houses that stand overhanging, ready to crumble without warning and quench your life in a heart beat. This section stretches from base camp at 17,600 feet to Camp 1 at 21000 feet. We cross this area using fixed ropes and use ladders to cross the many crevasses and towering ice walls.

Today's objective was to help acclimatization to 20,000 feet before returning to base camp. Pemba, Clare, John, Niall and I had a spectacular day in the ice fall before returning to base camp and should be ready to try for Camp 1 tomorrow. We had an early night to rest up for the push tomorrow. Lights out at 8pm and dreams of moaning, crackling moving ice!


Jumble Of Ice Blocks In The Ice-Fall
 

Dispatches

Pat Falvey, veteran expedition leader, Everest climber, author and motivational speaker.

To book Pat Falvey on his 'AGAINST THE SKY' LECTURE TOUR. e-mail us at

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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