Update 5/29/2004: This is
a four part email, the first part (1) describing the removal of the rope, the
second (2) describing who is still above the missing sections, the third part
(3) describing what has been done to try to correct the situation, and the
fourth (4) describing what ropes have been fixed on the entire route by all
PART 1: The
following notes are taken from an interview conducted on 29 May, 2004, with:
Ang Gyalu Sherpa from Patale
Chiring Sherpa from Rolwaling
On 28 May, 2004, starting at
about Noon and continuing into the afternoon, 7 of Russell Brice's Sherpas,
including Tibetan Guide School staff, led by Phura Tashi Sherpa from Khumjung,
including Lakpa Chirri from Namche, and including Tibetan climber Tenzing,
removed ropes below 7100 meters, for at least 600 meters down slope. This 60
meters included removal of ropes for 100 meters above the north col camp and
500 meters below the north col camp. When questioned, this group of 7 said
they were acting under the orders of Russell Brice.
Before Mid-day on the 28th, a
group of Russell Brices Sherpas had led a group of North Col Trekkers to the
top of the North Col. After the North Col trekkers went down, the 7 Sherpas
cut the ropes.
The method for removing the
rope was apparently cutting with knives. Some of the ropes (newer sections)
were cut away and rolled up and put in rucksacks to be carried down. Older
pieces of rope were cut and thrown to the side of the route and are still
The origin of ropes cut
include ropes fixed by the Korean Team, ropes fixed by the SummitClimb.com
team, and ropes fixed by Russell Brice's team.
No warning was given before
the ropes were cut. Some Sherpas from teams other than Russell Brice's climbed
the ropes in the morning, and coming down in the afternoon, were surprised to
find the ropes had been removed.
The terrain the ropes were
fixed on were snow slopes up to 55 degrees, including a near vertical ice step
of about 7 meters in height.
PART 2: The following people
are currently above the section of rope that has been cut, and they are
involved in trying to reach the summit:
Felix Berg, Arnold Coster,
Tim Spears, Jangbu Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, Tenzing Sherpa, Awang (Tibetan
Climber), Pubu Tsering (Tibetan Climber), and others.
PART 3: What has been done to
correct the situation: The SummitClimb.com team has tried to place their
remaining rope over the missing sections, and have succeeded in placing 400
meters of rope over some of the more dangerous parts. Their task has been
complicated by the fact that they fixed much of their rope early in the
expedition. Fortunately, some was held in reserve.
PART 4: The following
elevations on the mountains had ropes fixed to them by Sherpas and Tibetan
climbers from the following teams:
6600-7000m (North Col) ropes
fixed by: Russell Brice, SummitClimb.com, and Korean Team.
7000-7900 ropes fixed by:
Indian Navy Expedition, and Russell Brice
7900-8300 ropes fixed by:
1st Step, 8500 meters:
2nd Step, 8600 meters:
Snow Pyramid, 8700 meters:
Just below the summit: 8800
As can be seen from the
above, the Russell Brice expedition was involved in fixing the ropes below and
around the North Col, and other expeditions fixed the ropes above that. It
must be mentioned that the Russell Brice expedition fixed a ladder on the
second step, which was paid for by "Roy" a kind gentleman from South Africa.
Thank you very much.
This e-mail was send to EverestNews.com from
the Summitclimb Team.
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