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  Austrians summit Everest! Mt Everest 2004: Austrian team

Update 5/18/2004: Hello, we have a big surprise, Fritz, Markus, Lakpa, and Dawa finally reached the summit the 17th of May at 11am Nepal time, they thought the summit was not high enough so they went back 100m and turn back again to finish it properly.

It is the first ascent by the Tibetan side this year, with a huge team of 2 member plus 2 Sherpas. I am very proud of them, everybody is fine we are going back to Kathmandu tonight the 18th. Sorry to inform you so late but I was joining them in ABC to welcome them back on earth. I would like to thank EverestNews.com to have build us a wonderful web page, Thanks to all friends and family for their support and if I can I would like to say hello to my sponsors Lowe Alpine, Salomon, Cb, As Adventure. and also a kiss to my mum, wife and kids. see you, Zeb 

Update: Here are the latest news, Fritz, Marcus, and our 2 Sherpas Lakpa and Dawa have reached the second step this morning  8680m, after having climb all night, the weather is perfect today. But they decided to come down because they had no more ropes to fix. It is hard to understand what happened. A group of 5 Italian with 4 Sherpas was suppose to fix rope and to go for the summit this morning, apparently our team was stronger or let say faster so Lakpa has ask them to take 200m of rope and to go ahead, after having overtaking the Italian group and fixed 200m rope, for some reason the Italian decided to turn back instead of helping my team to finish fixing rope and to summit. It is really frustrating to know that the team is strong, the forecast is perfect, but finally we had to abort.

As I spoke to Marcus this morning they were 2 hours from the top, but they decided that the security was worth the summit that is a very clever decision, which is somehow hard to take so close from the goal.

This attempt was the first in the north side, because of a bad communication between the big expedition which are suppose to organize the rope, we have already missed three summit day where a lot of people from the other side had summited.

Congratulation to them they have down a great job and they have proved they could easily summit if all the pieces of the puzzle have been present. see you, Zeb

Update 5/16/2004: The Austrian team is attempting the Summit right now and have passed the first step.

Update 5/13/2004: Hello, we are back to CBC, after 7 days of rebuilding in Kathmandu, good food, good drink, Just what we needed.

Anyway I was still looking at the forecast everyday, and we now have decided that the 17th of May would be the perfect day, the wind is decreasing from the 15 then the 16 is very good with wind around 30K/h on the top, then the 17th almost no wind maybe cloudy afternoon, but then they shall be on their way back. [Note the forecast has changed again, for apparently the better.]

Our only question is that: as no fixed rope has been put after 8100m, will they be enough team attempting this day, to succeed in one of the first Summit try of this year ?

Today Fritz and Marcus are walking up to ABC, tomorrow they will rest, the 15 ABC, North Col, the 16 North Col, Camp 2 : 7900m, then they will start early night so around 11h pm Nepali time Climb all night to reach summit early in the morning the 17.

Here are the plan, Talk back to you when I will have more info.

See You, Zeb

Update 5/7/2004: Hello, after estimating our acclimatation is complete, and because the forecast is not showing any possible summit day before mid may, we have decided to establish a new camp, we call it camp 4. It's a rest camp in Kathmandu, so we are now resting 7 days in Kathmandu, in order to refuel our body and to come back in full shape for the last push after 5 weeks in the sand, the cold, the dry and windy Tibet it's extremely good for the mental to see the green, and warm Nepal, and to breath normally.

After considering the Idea of Fritz to come down and relax, we have taken advice from a doctor specialized in high altitude who has confirmed us that in 7 days we would not lose the benefit of our acclimatation, we have decided that it would be the best way to wait the good window.

The coming back was quite hard, we got stuck in a small river for 3 hours at 5300m, and a total ride of 17 hours but is really worth it, the canyon who leads to the Tibetan border Zangmu is just amazing the road goes from 5200m down to 900m in Barhabise, the road is cut in the middle of the cliff with sometimes 1000m of nothing under it.

Zeb is Checking every day the weather report to establish a plan to be the perfect day on the summit, it seems that we will have a good period from the16 to the 19 but this is still far and the forecast can still change so we have to be careful.

Marcus is enjoying the food again, and the swimming pool is at he right temperature he says.

talk to you soon, Zeb

Update 5/2/2004: Hello, here we are still at the base camp, we have spent four days resting after our pushing to 7000m most of the team are reaching this altitude in those days.

The life down at the base camp is resume to a breakfast at 9 then we spend our time reading, or walking around to the different expeditions, then we have lunch very local for example pizza with mushrooms or vegetable, then afternoon again some reading we have tea, tonight we have a Chicken bought by our sherpa Lakpa he is a very friendly Sherpa from the Khumbu valley he has summited two times, and he is one of our best chances to summit here he just came from ABC yesterday under the snow in three ours for 22km its not so bad don't you think?

It's very interesting to go around and to discuss the goal of  the different expeditions, to see the mentality in which the different groups works, from the Russians, to the American, Greek, Spanish, Chinese this year its quite international.

Some are there just to see, some others are motivated like hell, some others are just following what the others are doing.

Now our main concern is to know when the fixed ropes are going to be ready for the summit: until now the ropes are put until 7800m.

The problem is for a small group like us that we are not big enough to prepare the mountain, and to fix hundreds of meter of ropes, so that mean that we have to wait for the big group like Italian or other group with more than 20 Sherpas to get the mountain ready to climb, that mean that we must at least go at the same time better wait one day after them to go and use the ropes.

This mountain is such a big one that we have to join our effort to make it ready. Our plan is to be ready for the last push by the end of the month.

So tomorrow Wednesday 28 we go back to ABC then the 29 we will be on the north col 7000m then one night there the 30th we push to 7500m or little more if we feel so and then come back to ABC, end of the acclimatisation, rest in ABC or back to CBC and from there we wait for the final window.

Studying the weather like crazy to find the perfect window. I get the forecast from Yan Gienzendanner which has work several year on this mountain he his working in the meteofrance so he has all the French system to help him in his work and I must say for instance the forecast he gave us is quite accurate.

The weather has been very bad until now, yesterday we had 15cm of snow in the camp, what is frustrating is that there is almost no wind on the top these days.

Now our goal is to finish our acclimatisation, and to rush on the first opening of the weather to push for summit.

sorry for my English I m sure you understand that touching the keyboard with the north Face gloves is like trying to do surgery with boxing gloves. byby Zeb.

Hello I start a new mail, I' m not sure this one is gone any way, here are the news we just come down from ABC where our team have finish their acclimatisation, sleeping at 7000m and pushing a little further.

We have had a lot of strong wind these last day especially today a lot of tents have been destroyed in ABC and in the interim camp, even in the Chinese Base camp.

We had to put our dining tent down because it was starting to explode from every part. Our team is feeling alright, time is getting long and every body wants to get closer to the summit now. Marcus is missing Martina and his mother 's food, Fritz he wants everything to be finished fast.

As always the mountain will decide, we have to be ready but patient. see you Zeb

Update 4/24/2004: Hello. Here is some news from the Austrian team. Today we are back at the Chinese camps. After joining our sherpa team on the 19th for a direct walk to ABC, we were quite exhausted, but we managed it after stopping in the American tent. The team at North Col was very nice to us and gave us a little Nepali tea, which helped a lot towards our progression  Finally, we arrived at ABC around 7 pm. We stayed there two days to recover, put up tent, and look around for some friends. Our cook got sick for one full day, but after two aspirin he was on his feet again. Because we heard that the forecast was OK for the North Col, we decided to get there on the 22nd to put down some material, tent plus food. Because we had too much material we could not send it all to ABC at once. Our sherpa had no crampons and could not help us get our material on the North Col. We still went there because I thought that it would be good for the acclimatisation. We did it very well, and on the 23rd we walked back to ABC in order to recover several days. I'll tell you more later. Best regards, Zeb.

Update 4/18/2004: We are an Austrian team with two climbers, Fritz Klausner and Marcus Noichl, led by the French guide Zebulon, and we also have three sherpas. We are on the North side here in base camp for three days. The team is in very good shape. We will climb with oxygen. We plan to reach ABC on the 19th, and we are ready for a long acclimatization. Everything is going well for the moment. Cheers to all friends and family, Zeb. 

Zeb, of course, is Roche Bertrand aka "Zebulon," who in 1990 summited Everest when only 17 years old with his father Jean-Nol Roche. They flew together on a tandem paraglider from the South Col and landed at base camp on the 7th of October, 1990. Then he returned to Everest and summited with his wife, Claire Bernier Roche...

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