Dispatch 5 05/05/04: Hi all,
well, we have done quite a bit since the last dispatch...
Firstly Andy and I took a
stroll up to the North col - this was by far the most exciting part of the
trip so far. It was great to get finally get down to some serious rope, ice
axe and crampon work on the mountain it's self. The route twists it's way up
over 600m from ABC with the last 400m pitched between 45 and 80 degrees on a
mixture of soft snow and blue ice. There are fixed lines available although
they consist of something equivalent to my grans old washing line - just not
We spent three days on the
col in total and felt surprisingly good considering it's over 150m
higher than we have ever been before, never mind slept - not that you can
really sleep at 7000m.
Once we were back down at ABC
the winds started to hammer the mountain. I was woken suddenly one night
thinking I was in an avalanche when I realized it was gusts of wind battering
my force ten tent (sponsor mention) however it held it's ground -
unfortunately our fantastic force ten HQ tent (that had been the envy of all)
did not fair so well and is no more... I do feel it is important to mention
that a mountain hardware HQ tent next to ours also bit the dust!
One thing about altitude is
that it completely knocks your body for six - feeling completely
exhausted by our exploits on the north col we (Ian, Andy, Jon + Jon Mislow,
Lakpa Temba, Garth Miller, Dwain, Bruce - the other guys are attached to Dan's
trip) decided to go Russian and retreat from the mountain (the Russians
traditionally climb high then retreat very low to recover before attempting
so after a 12 hour journey
split between a bolloxed old truck and 9 people + baggage sharing a 4x4 we
have arrived in a boarder town called Zang aka Jangboo where the altitude is
only 2300m. we are choking on the thick air and thick steaks for dinner...
this place isn't exactly my favorite holiday destination but it's better that
hurricane hit base camp. We are only here until Friday (4 days in all) before
we head back to base camp feeling much stronger.
Our plan is get back to ABC
for the 11th May and wait for a weather window that will allow us a shot at
the summit. It sounds kind of strange, that after years of saying one
day...everest... to all of a sudden be saying that within the next two weeks
we will have given a shot at everest summit our best effort - having already
climbed to over 7000m on the mountain and stayed for 3 days. That said we are
in the fortunate position to not be in a rush for the summit - so should the
window not look great we will bide our time at BC and ABC waiting until it is
We will be in touch again in
about 4 - 5 days all being well.
thanks to: Prentice Furniture, The Westons, Force Ten, Boiler care, Boreal, T
& F Electronics, Comar Fluid and Power, Brookleigh Lanscapes, RAB, Wayfarer, M
& M Clothing, J T Duncomb Builders, Hinckley Insurance, Industrial
Manufacturing Services, Barry Hawkins Narrowboats, DMM, Esporta Warwickshire,
Midland Sheet Metal
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