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  Mt. Everest 2004: George Dijmarescu and Lakpa Sherpa

Boring day in ABC but an interesting visit

Dear EverestNews.com, Today is another day of doing almost nothing. The weather report is advertising strong winds above North Col. I advised the sherpa of this inconvenience but they decided to go up anyway. This morning I learned that all the sherpa try to make a carry at the last camp (8300 m) but were forced back only after few minutes of exposure to the tremendous wind present almost always above camp one. Ang Dawa Sherpa one of the youngest sherpa in our team and personal sherpa for Dave Watson had continued up. I can only speculate that his reason is pride and of course an extra pay check, his determination is well appreciated among all of us. Here in ABC the wind is howling, I can only imagine how it can sound on the slopes of north ridge. I made that trip more than twelve times and I am well aware of the conditions.

Last night we celebrated a silly birthday party for Dan Lochner, our resources are limited but the spirit of our climbers and the celebration made all these inconveniences irrelevant. Maila, our cook with almost no voice prepared a cake large enough for us not to be able to finish, Dan Meggitt, Guillermo Carro and Dave Watson made their surprise gift of strawberry and cherry jelly, but hold on, inside was mixed a bottle of vodka, the cake was almost forgotten and the red jelly finished on time. My surprise was an imaginary Russian girl who's name first letter started with "G", I assured Dan that the Russian girls is a bit rounded and red in the chick, and she is waiting for him in their dome tent Mountain Hardware, she will make him feel much better. We let Dan enter his tent first and there "she" was, laying on one of their camping beds, all red and motionless. "What the heck is that?" he asked, I was following him with the video camera rolling, Dan Meggitt was doing the same, several flashes, digital and slides were taken of his surprised face. This is Gamow, the bag, I inflated the emergency high altitude bag so it look like some person in the semi dark tent, Christmas lights were creating an atmosphere of intimacy. Dan's face lighten up, his sincere smile prevailed exposing his well kept denture to the multi color Christmas lights. said Meggitt: "Hey Dan, .....?, we all laugh,  Dan appreciated all the little surprises, including Lakpa's CTMA 50th anniversary coin of the first ascent of Mt. Everest. Our generator suddenly stopped working and all the pretty Christmas lights that were making the Mountain Hardware pleasure dome were reduced to our head lights. Guillermo Carro went outside and try in vein to restart the generator, perhaps also an effort to keep the good time going. I felt everyone had a good time, a harmony relatively new to our experience. We didn't have the media people and let loose our feelings. Dan Lochner is a guy who helped me tremendously with his electronic tools and others. Such a generosity is rarely seeing here. I sure remember this kind of generosity. We went to sleep glad it worked out our little but important party.

This afternoon we received a surprise visit from Kari Kobler, no, he is not guiding this year on Everest, he has a trekking group and yesterday he went with his clients to North Col, he will rush down to Kathmandu since he said a Maoist strike in Nepal is announced for May 20th so he needed to be in the Nepali capital by then. Kari announced (we knew) that he will be guiding on K2 starting in June with a relatively large group of 16 climbers, sure impressive. He also let us know how he lost a man on K2 last year, his feelings made him pull back of the climb at 8300 m on a perfect day, he asked other climbers if they wanted to come back since he had a bad feeling that something wrong might happen, two of the climbers aborted the climb with him and other 3 climbed on. When they reached 8000 meters camp they look up, still a wonderful day and shortly after they say the German climber falling perhaps more than 100 meters, bouncing on some rocks and then came to a stop on a relatively flat spot. They all climbed to where the German fell and find him dead, they pushed him aside of the view and started down to the safety of the camp. I sense that the German climber death was the main reason Kari decided not to guide this year on Everest, he spoke with intensity and sincere sadness about the climber's death. I know Kari is a man passionate about mountain climbing, sometime deep inside with his own thoughts. Last year Kari share with me while I was part of the Romanian expedition the print out weather forecast, and this several times, he never asked for one dollar. His visionary view of how Everest will develop in the next 10 years made me think about Tibetan, young aspiring climbers, his inside information about CTMA effort to create a stable and profitable job for the young Tibetans, he spoke with eloquence about the climbing wall in Lhasa, said Kari: Something I never seeing in Switzerland or in Europe. It was nice to see Kari again and I asked him to bring the weather forecast next year, here in Everest. His gentle smile along with the so long made me feel I will see Kari again soon, who knows perhaps in few weeks in K2.

Despite Carolyn's Monroe's complaining that Connecticut Everest expedition [note Michael and Carolyn are writing for the Hartford Courant newspaper] doesn't have a cook in the base camp, again these journalists fail to informed why we don't have a cook and all the circumstances that lead to this inconvenience. Simply we lost a cook due to serious illnesses when Russell Brice had to put him in the Gamow bag and on Oxygen, just to keep him alive. No expedition can send the cook down every time one or two members decided to rest at the comfort of BC, this will be so chaotic and impractical. Carolyn is a reporter with trekking permit, we cannot let our kitchen resources go to a person who has no ambition or right to climb this mountain. How unfair for her to claim that some how Asian Trekking should send a cook down and let us climbers exposed with only one cook. To their luck Maila's health has deteriorated that we decided to send him down in order to recover. I called Carolyn yesterday morning announcing that Maila will come down and will some how cook for the three climbers in BC. Regardless of my announcement she did sent a dispatch to the Hartford Courant complaining there is no cook, judge for yourselves. Journalism.

Just In: After I spoke with the sherpa at the North Col I was informed by Ang Mingma that Ang Dawa did made it to 8300 m camp with 5 bottles of Oxygen and a tent, what an effort. More about them tomorrow, they plan for a trip to last camp tomorrow.

Best regards to all the people who love the mountains and the intimacy of nature. To my lovely Sunny, baby, I missed you and I can't wait to see you again soon. I ask your uncle Claudio to give you a sweet kiss from me and your mother.

Best regards George Dijmarescu


Lakpa Sherpa is the only woman to have summited Everest three times. This year she will climb Everest again, trying for a record fourth summit, and George Dijmarescu will go for his sixth summit in six years. These are remarkable mountaineering feats for any individual, but above and beyond this, the couple will attempt to reach the summits of both Everest and K2 in the same season to complete the Top of the World Double Header -- together. George and Lakpa are sponsored for 2004 in part by Sabia & Hartley, LLC of Hartford CT.

To offer support or assistance for Gheorghe and Lakpa’s historic climb, please contact us at

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