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  Summit Climb Everest 2004 Dispatch 10


5/21/2004: Dear EverestNews.com Thanks for all of the great work you are doing in telling the story of climbing Everest.

Here are the dates, names, and local origins of the summiters in our two succesful SummitClimb.com teams (so far, as we plan to continue trying): 

18 May, 2004:

Thomas Haines, Colorado, USA.

Ryan Waters, Georgia, USA.

Franck Pitula, Lyon, France.

John Mislow, Chicago, USA.

Lakpa Temba Sherpa, Kulima, Nepal.

Nurbu Tsipe, Tashi Tsom, Tibet

Dorje Kasang, Old Tingri, Tibet

 

20 May, 2004

Andre Bredenkamp, Capetown, South Africa.

Lakpa Chiri Sherpa, Kulima, Nepal. 

The last few days have been filled with many challenges and achievements. After a number of days of patient waiting at 6400m, a group of us made an all-out summit sprint to take advantage of a brief weather window.  The team departed at 0130h on May 18 - brisk winds, pitch black, and nothing but our headlamps to guide our way up from 8300m to the Yellow Band. Daniel Mazur stayed in the high camp to help the team on their way and coordinate the crucial Tibetan part of the team. After negotiating the slick limestone of the Yellow Band, we gained the summit ridge after the first step.  The Ridge is very exposed with cornices dropping off 3000m to the left and 2000m on the right.  Not a good time to slip, and especially challenging since we were wearing crampons (skittering across icy limestone in utter darkness is a very sobering experience).  Onward we pushed, up to the mildly technical but quickly overcome second step. After picking our lines carefully, we were standing on the top of the second step and trotting quickly towards the third step.  A few hours later we (John, Lakpa Temba Sherpa, Frank, Ryan, Thomas) were standing on top of the highest peak in the world; great views, exhaustion, and elation. Nurbu Tsipe and Dorje Kasang followed a few hours later.

A quick stay at the top and we were ready to descend.  As we downclimbed the summit pyramid dihedral, we ran into a number of climbers that were still making their way up to the summit.  We found out later that these climbers were members of the unfortunate Korean team that tragically lost two of their members that day.  Our deepest sympathies go out to the fallen climbers' loved ones.  Soon after we descended to safety at the North Col and ABC we were informed of another loss; a Japanese climber.  It is a sobering reminder of how ruthless the mountain can be.

The second wave of climbers was not as fortunate with the weather as the first - gale force winds, whiteout conditions, subzero temperatures, and hostile surface conditions conspired to make further attempts highly difficult and hazardous.  However, despite fierce weather, our Andre Bredenkamp from South Africa became the first South African male to summit from the North Face.  Braving untoward conditions with the help of Lakpa Chiri Sherpa, Andre has made it into the record books - and is currently making his way down to ABC safely.  Hats off to you!

The final summit assault teams are planning on making their attack at the earliest sign of fair weather, perhaps in the next day or two.  Oxygen and other essentials are moving into place and we send our very best wishes for a safe successful summit bid.

Thank You Very Much, Cheers, Yours Sincerely, from John Mislow, Thomas Haines, Duane Morrison, and all of us at SummitClimb.com

Dispatches

 
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