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  Waiting out the high winds on Everest: Summit Climb Everest 2004 North Side


Update 5/25/2004: Dan Mazur and around 7 climbers (plus Sherpas) are waiting out the high winds at 7600 meters. Two have attempted to go to 8300 meters. Others are with them... This is "group 3" for the SummitClimb expedition headed by Dan Mazur.

5/2Dan Mazur and 7 climbers (plus Sherpas) have headed up to the North Col for the next in wave of summit attempts from this team... 3/2004.

Earlier update is below: 5/23/2004: Dear EverestNews.com,  Thanks for the great work you are doing at EverestNews.com.

Here is Franck Pitula's gripping account of his summit ascent for your French speaking audience. I think they will enjoy it very much. Thanks again, you guys at everestnews.com are great!

On the 18th of May there were 5 people on our team who arrived at the summit of Everest via the North face: 3 Americans, 1 French (myself) and 1 sherpa, all with oxygen. We have seen uncertain weather windows, but it paid off. The second wave had little chance as ultimately all things said snow. At the end of a very long effort, a South African from our group has all the same arrived at the summit. The others had to give up en route. This is something, but it is for the best: we arrived at advance base camp alive and in near pretty good health. During these last days, several people died in the same places where we have gone. Everest is not reputed to be greatly technical, but it does not remain less dangerous. To come down, it took me 3 days; I remained very concentrated. A bad slide that happened 2 times without consequence can quickly turn dramatic. The place called the "Second Step" is particularly difficult, both going up and coming down. I implemented all of my knowledge as a mountaineer. A Korean chose the bad fixed rope, and he remains there! Everest is a terrible experience, and sometimes although one hears about its banality and ease, this is not true at all.

Today some others are again up high, but their chance of success is weak; there's a lot of snow. A third team waits, but the weather forecasts are pessimistic. In all, we have 24 candidates and Sherpas who would like to make the summit. For we 6 who have succeeded, it's over. The others wait with hope for a weather window. They can't wait more than 3 days to leave for high up because to make the summit requires about 5 days under 7000m.  But the motivation is waning because monsoons approach. One of the great difficulties on Everest is the waiting, while watching health and motivation. This might appear petty, but it is more difficult than speaking about the technique that one has or does not have, which is much simpler.

Little by little, I realize my climb. I believe that I am the 28th Frenchman to have summited Everest via the North, and the 60th overall (to be confirmed). It is nothing. I think that I will benefit better from all of this once the expedition is over.

Franck Pitula, direct from advance base camp on Everest, 6400m. Saturday, 22 May 2004, 11.46 AM. Peking.

Dispatches

 
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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