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Dear Friends,

Thanks for all you messages. Al/ Chris – regards to Bear, Jay and Liz/ SJC – have conveyed hellos to Dave Hahn

After 4 days up high, the team is back in Basecamp (BC). It was a hard slog to get to Advance Base Camp (ABC). Current fast runners are Roz and Gil who both made the legs to Intermediate camp and ABC in very good time. It’s hard work, covering the total BC- ABC distance of over 21 km , most of it over 5900m. I had a particularly bad time, nursing a cold, and got into ABC quite hammered.

The route above the intermediate camp, is more of the same although the route crisscrosses more glaciated terrain, none dangerous, but thin layers of powdered scree overlaying slick ice made for careful walking.

It was hard not to keep looking at the soaring north face of Everest. Occasionally, it would be obscured by Changtse’s north ridge, but in any case, the summit route is easily discerned even from a distance. Closer to ABC, the Raphu-La/ pass revealed itself as well as the difficult northeast ridge. This ridge eventually merges into the north ridge/north face’s shoulder. The NE ridge withstood many attempts, including the ill-fated British 1982 expedition which had Tasker and Boardman disappearing near the crux of the climb , the Pinnacles. The ridge succumbed some years later to a huge Japaneses expedition which seiged it for 2 months.

We spent 2 days at ABC (6500m), scoping out the route to our next objective – the North Col ( 7000m ) .We also set up 2 larger tents at ABC for more elbow room!! From the snowy saddle of the North Col, summit attempts will be launched. However, back in BC, this is still a long way to go. We will head up only in another 5 days or so. The sherpas and American team with which we are sharing resources are pushing the route hard though and some interesting developments are due in a few days.

WIth the ‘circus’ in town – many expeditions here now, it will be interesting to see how many are willing to share the costs of the fixed line to be used on the route as well as the manpower to get the line there in the first place. So far the big teams here are : the Russians, the Aussie Army Team as well as Russell Brice’s outfit.

But for now, we have numerous things to settle – the main is to get rested as well as getting rid of our hacking coughs and streaming head colds. The low temps, dust and bugs around here don’t help.


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