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 The emotional search for Sandy Irvine is on: Italian Everest/K2 2004 expedition


May 18, 2004 (15:30 at base camp)  Today is a rest day at ABC where all of the climbers from the Everest-K2--2004 expedition are reunited. The interruption of the first attempt, having been aborted at 8600 meters, has not compromised the general morale of the team.  There is rather, much faith in the imminent reprise of the operation.  Meanwhile, Tarcision Bello, who departed 2 days ago from ABC, has communicated to us that he has arrived at Camp III.  His objective, in agreement with the expedition leader Agostino da Polenza, is to conduct a very emotional research expedition in the area where George Mallory and Sandy Irvine disappeared in 1924. Mallory's intact remains were discovered at 8200 meters in 1999.  The remains of Irvine may be hiding the camera which the two climbers almost certainly had with them. This camera, of course, could furnish the answer to the mystery of whether or not Mallory and Irvine reached the summit 29 years before the historic "first" of Hillary and Tenzing. 

The vice-co-leader of the squad/team, Soro Dorotei, revealed last night the new plan of attack. The teams will depart in reverse order from last time and will all depart directly for camp II at 7800 meters.  The first group will now consist of Soro Dorotei, Silvio Mondinelli, Giulio Maggioni, Marco Confortola, Michele Compagnoni, Giampaolo Gioia and Marco Forcatura.  They will be followed by the 2nd group of climbers consisting of Alex Busca, Claudio Bastrentaz, Paolo Comune, Mario Merelli, Mario Panzeri and Karl Unterkirker.  The winning strategy this time will be to carry oxygen for use in both groups, in order to ensure also the scientific enterprise of this expedition.  Climbers will plan to use oxygen beyond 8300 meters.  The two groups will also have to be autonomous, sharing the help of the four Tibetan sherpas between them. Now the unknown factor remains that of the weather which, however, is expected to remain good for another 4 or 5 days. These will be the crucial days for the hoped for success of the expedition.

Dispatches

copyright Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition Expedition

 
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