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  Canadian USANA Everest expedition 2004

After two years of preparation and hard work, Claude St-Hilaire, Mario Dutil and Maxime Jean, three Alpinists from Quebec (Canada) and Gabriel Lemieux, base camp manager, will join the numerous teams en route to Everest's summit. On Marsh 25, they will leave for Katmandu with the company of 14 trekkers and two experienced guides,

The team is hoping to reach the top of the world during the first week of May. Serviced by Montain Hike, They will reach the base camp April 6.

Update 4/28/2004: April 15, 2004, Base Camp, Mont Everest, Nepal

Good news and bad news at Base Camp.

During the night, many people worked on completing the construction of the helicopter landing zone; which is only used in case of emergency since the altitude of the Base Camp is higher then the maximum altitude for helicopters.

The bad news: this morning, someone in charge of a foreign base camp had to be evacuated after a bad fall near Base Camp, causing him fractures to the ribs and a head lesion.

One last day of rest before three days on the mountain. Today, the alpinists prepared their gear for an early start and three days in high altitude. They will sleep at the camp for two nights before returning to Base Camp. It will not be easy with the windy conditions on the mountain. 

April 21st, 2004, Base Camp, Mont Everest, Nepal: Preparation is going well for the third day on Mont Everest scheduled for April 23rd at 5:00 a.m. Days of provisions, many gallons of fuel for the stoves, the alpinists’ gear and 42 oxygen bottles are ready for the occasion. All that gear will require many hours regarding logistics. Nevertheless, the three alpinists are able to find some rest.

The altitude starts to be noticeable at Base Camp. For the last few days, more and more alpinists and base camp managers caught the “Khumbu Cough”, a regular cough with no remedy and no impact other than the lack of oxygen (50%), lack of humidity (17%), and the temperature of the air at that altitude. Problems of digestion are also more frequent along with apnea of the sleep. Fortunately, everyone from the USANA Everest 2004 team is in excellent shape.

April 23rd, 2004, Base Camp, Mont Everest, Nepal:

Bad weather conditions. For the last three days, snowfalls, winds and dense clouds keep the alpinists still at Base Camp from progressing on the mountain. These unusual weather conditions make the Khumbu Glacier unstable, and keep the Sherpas and the mountaineers who already are on the mountain from a safe descent.

A few days delay compared to the initial schedule. The expedition is four days late compared to the original schedule. Such a delay being normal on Mont Everest, the USANA Everest 2004 team members keep their morale and stay ready to move as soon as the weather allows it.

April 25th, 2004, Base Camp, Mont Everest, Nepal: Weather conditions improve and allow alpinists to move to phase 3.

Mario Dutil, Maxime Jean, and Claude St-Hilaire left Base Camp this morning at 5:38 a.m. to complete their acclimatization. They will sleep three nights at camp 2 and if they feel well, to continue to camp 3 which is at an altitude of 7300 meters.

Strike at Katmandu: A few days after our departure from Katmandu, a general strike started and slowed down the entire economy, including postal service and shipment of audio-visual documents. We are looking for alternatives to speed things up, but other options are limited and also extremely expensive. We are sorry for the inconveniences it may have caused to our partners.

A Satellite link allows us to send emails in text form

Today, we were able to have a link with a DATA SATELLITE thanks to the collaboration of an American expedition not too far from us and to the support of our relatives/friends in Quebec.

In order for us to be able to send the maximum of information possible and to keep costs reasonable, we ask you NOT TO SEND US EMAILS. We know how much you support us.

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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